Monday, 3 October 2016

The Un-filterable.

You know those days when its not even 10am 9am and you're already wondering if its bedtime yet?
I like to refer to those days as the un-filterable.  There is simply no Instagram filter that could make the snapshots of those days any better.  

We have been going through a bloody tough time with our son Harry.  He is coming up to 3 and it seems like the whole terrible twos/threeanger thing has well and truly kicked in.  There doesn't seem to be a day lately where I haven't had to tell him off for doing something naughty or battle with him across the dinner table. 

I don't understand why mums (and some dads, don't want to leave you out there lads) find it so hard to share the tough parts of parenthood.  Those real dark times where you have said a few swear words to your children, not even under your breath.  Where you physically have to lock yourself in the bathroom to stop yourself from bursting into floods of tears from frustration.  Or when you're scrubbing lipstick out of the brand new sofa because you stupidly left your handbag at toddler-level.
I haven't been posting as much as I usually would on Instagram because of course no one wants to see photos on their social media feed of that puddle of wee your son just gifted you on the rug or the almighty tantrum over wanting to wear a shark print swimsuit with slippers to nursery.  So pre-mum you are led into this false sense of everything being pink and fluffy, with not a meltdown in sight.

I am certainly not one of those people who pretends that it is all fine and dandy and that I love being a mum every second of every day, because I don't!  Its the hardest job I've ever done.  I'm not a mumsy mum and sometimes I would rather talk about makeup and Geordie Shore than whether breast is best.  We don't do arts and crafts at home twice a week because I simply can't stand the mess, and I let Harry watch his iPad whilst eating his breakfast every morning!  AND SOMETIMES (this one is really bad) I have to bribe him with chocolate in order to brush his teeth.... ironic?!

Why am I writing this you may be asking yourself?!  Well its simply just a ramble, a real life one where it isn't all sunshine and rainbows.  Sometimes I want to smash my phone up when I see how seemingly perfect another family's life looks.  But I have to remind myself that it is all the work of the ever popular Valencia filter, and really I bet those people are going through the very same struggles that I am.
Also.. I do really love the bones off my son even if I did almost want to throw him out the window at 3am this morning!!  I know it won't last forever and its all part of the parenting game!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

A Playdate to Wellington Country Park | with Huggies Little Swimmers

We recently went for a playdate with our buddies Lara and George.  We went to one of our fave local hangouts, Wellington Country Park.  They have an awesome new splash pad, tons of parks and even animals to pet, it is such a nice place to visit if you are in the Hampshire or Berkshire area!

I decided to film our playdate so that you can get a peek into a typical Thursday morning with my little bug Harry!  As a Huggies Little Swimmers Get Set Splash Blogger, I wanted to show you guys how easy it is to use their swim nappies whilst out and about on a whim without it being a stressful experience.  We always always always have a few of them in our changing bag for days like this where the sun could burst through the clouds at any moment!

I hope you enjoy this video (give it a thumbs up if you did!)!  I would love to hear what you guys have been up to this Summer in the comments, or if you have any hang outs you think I need to check out!

*As a Huggies Little Swimmers "Get Set, Splash" blogger I did collaborate with them for this video and post, but as always my opinions are always honest and entirely my own!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Just the Three of Us

I feel like its been a really long time since I have sat down and just rambled about my little bug Harry.  I think its because he is no longer a baby so typical milestones happen less often and life is generally more consistent.  However for my lad and his magic ears there are so many milestones that I just don’t realise he has surpassed and I have found myself sitting and realising that for a kid that couldn’t hear just over a year ago he is doing pretty darn well!!

Harry can now say SO many words and understands pretty much everything that you say to him.  He will point out objects in picture books if you ask him to find something, his favourite books being anything Peppa Pig (ew) or Thomas.  If you ask him to put his shoes on you are generally faced with a big fat “NO” but it confirms he knows exactly what you want him to do, he just doesn’t want to do it like any other two year old! 

Being two and a half is really quite hard according to Harry.  Those of you with 18-20 month old babies who think they have entered the so called “terrible twos”, I promise you that you have seen nothing yet, the daily meltdowns are REAL people.. get your gin ready!!  Yes I am that mum with the screaming wild one unwillingly strapped in his pram because he wants to run off in town.  Don’t you hate the judgey looks from passers by!?  They clearly have never had a 2.5 mini person.  He is a terrible eater which stresses me out daily, he is defo one of those so called beige eaters and won’t touch fruit or vegetables at home.  We have really started to crack down on it though and I’m becoming quite strict with his snacks and treats.. any advice would be gladly received #stressedmumissues

However alongside the tantrums and mayhem, confusingly, comes the most loving moments.  Harry will often run opened armed and unprompted to embrace us in a huge bear hug and he blows us lovely kisses every night once hes tucked up in bed.  He has so much to say when I pick him up from his childminders and babbles away in his own little language whilst dropping the words “garden” and “park” in here and there.

Harry is and always has been a typical boy, in the sense that he loves nothing more than cars, trains, diggers and planes.  The day is never complete unless hes got one scraped knee and a ton if dirt under his fingernails!  He is finding the balance between play fighting and actually fist fighting and so far its not going too well!  He doesn’t quite understand how to tickle someone and its more like pinching and scratching but he really doesn’t mean to be so aggressive

Sitting and looking back at how Harry has evolved makes my heart feel so warm and fuzzy and I still get that bubbly proud feeling in my tummy when I tell people I have a little boy whom I am so fiercely proud of  

I feel like life is really great as a family of three right now and although people around me seem to be extending their families left right and centre I’m so content with my two boys, my team that seems to be growing ever stronger by the day.


Friday, 17 June 2016

Whats in my Changing Bag | Toddler Edition

Now Harry is a full on boystrous 2 year old the contents of my changing bag have somewhat changed.  I do find that if we are going on a whole day out then I will need to take Harry's own mini rucksack stuffed with toys to keep him busy in, but other than that I find that my Pacapod Mirano is just fine to pack with what we need for everyday use.  It is super spacious and has these excellent little detachable pods that you can use to separate your essentials

One of those essentials is a couple of Huggies® Little Swimmers® swim nappies and as I happen to be one of their "Get Set, Splash" bloggers this year I will tell you a little bit about their exciting new design!

The UKs No.1 baby swim pant brand Huggies® have teamed up with Disney© Pixar’s Finding Dory movie (eeek I am so excited to go and see this with Harry!) to encourage mums, dads, aunties and uncles to have more spontaneous water play.
Swimming doesn't have to be a planned activity and it doesn't always have to involve going to a sports centre, it can be as simple as a paddle at the local park or even a splash about in the paddling pool.

 I have always loved Little Swimmers® i find they provide enough protection for Harry to splash about happily without swelling and becoming uncomfortable on his sensitive skin.  They also rip away easily at the sides which I find essential for changing an active toddler!

I love what Huggies® Little Swimmers® are campaigning for here, I think water based play is really important for your childs development and to feel safe around water but it needs to be a fun and less stressful experience.  The new Huggies Little Swimmers are covered in Disneys signature characters from Finding Dory, Harry absolutely loves pointing out the "fishys" when he is wearing his!

Harry's nanny lives down at the seaside and I know the minute we get there he wants to run into the sea and we are also taking him on holiday to Spain later in the year so I know Little Swimmers® will be coming with us everywhere this summer!

We are also really lucky and have a couple of splash parks where we live so jumping in for a paddle and to cool off is often on the agenda when the sunshine decides to grace us with its appearance

Here is what else is in my toddler changing bag:

  • Waterproof phone case (to capture all those splash filled memories)
  • Swim Shorts
  • Wipes
  • Anti Bac
  • Kate Spade Purse
  • Topshop Makeup/essentials bag
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • Hair ties
  • Tangle Teaser
  • Pen
  • Toy train
  • Chewing Gum
  • Towel (I have this stowed away in the basket of our pram all summer for if we fancy a dip in the water!)
  • Crackers
  • Water bottle
  • Raisins
  • Sun Cream

Will you be doing more spontaneous swimming this year??

*As a Huggies Little Swimmers "Get Set, Splash" blogger I did collaborate with them for this post, but as always my opinions are always honest and entirely my own!

Monday, 13 June 2016

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2016

I really love putting together gift guides and I am constantly reading other peoples for present inspiration.  But instead of finding a bunch of stuff online that I would buy for the Dad's in my life, I thought I would ask my other half Scott to pick some of his favourite things for me to recommend to you guys in 2016's Fathers Day Gift Guide. 

Mont Blanc Legend EDT:  I am a sucker for a good men’s fragrance, but its such a personal thing it can be hard to get right when picking for someone else.  Montblanc EDP is probably the nicest scent I have ever smelt, it is simply divine and I can pick it up as soon as Scott sprays it without it being overpowering or heady.  For me this is a middle of the range men’s fragrance price wise but it is definitely a luxury fragrance that I think ever man will love, whether its your dad or your other half

Pampeano Personalised Belt*:  My other half has been a huge fan of these belts for a long time now and he is rarely seen without his holding up his skinnies.  He loves the bright designs that add another element to his outfits and this limited edition British Flag number is his favourite.  Its design was created to celebrate Team GB's participation in the Olympic games in Rio this year, and is perfectly fitting for the big Royal Birthday too.  I also got it personalised with Scott's initials embossed onto the belt loop to add an extra special touch.  (Pampeano also do some stunning ladies belts, I have my sights firmly set on this leopard beauty)

Lush Fathers Day Range*:  I was lucky enough to go along to an exclusive event (it was just me and one other blogger!) at our local Lush store, where they treated us to demonstrations of their latest range for Fathers Day.  I actually had never thought about shopping in Lush for men’s gifts but I’ve completely changed my mind as I think the products for the men in your life are really quite special.  Their Smuggler's Soul Shampoo bar was one of the stand out products for me as it was such a simple product and very compact which I think every bloke appreciates.  I also adored the fragrances available and loved how they came in different strengths depending on your tastes.  But my absolute favourite product from the range was the DAD bath bomb, mainly because it looks super fun, smells delicious and spells out Dad when placed on the surface of your bath water - perfect right?!

Ronnie Fieg Diadora Trainers:  Is there a word for wives and girlfriends of trainer hoarders?!  If there is please let me know, because that's me.  My partner is obsessed with trainers and has like 100 pairs which to be honest I hate but this pair of Diadora’s are actually rather nice!  Every man appreciates footwear as a gift and Scott has assured me that these are a good buy, and they have also recently been featured in GQ!

Personalised Photo Mug:  These types of mugs aren’t for everyone but we love them in our house especially with the more modern fun designs Photobox has come up with.  It is a small gift with a lot of thought, great for those of you on a budget.  I love the design of this one Scott received from Harry, and the inside of the mug is gold which makes it look more expensive than it is!  Photo box are also offering customers up to 30% discount and £10 off all orders over £40 using code 40SAVE10 ending this Thursday

Bayliss & Harding Sports Range*:  I have really grown to love Bayliss & Harding products ever since trying one of their shampoos and these minis are brilliant for Dads who like to take care of their skin and are great travel essentials.  They smell great and they also come packaged up in this cute camper van wash bag which I know my Dad would love.  This set includes hair and body wash, aftershave balm, face wash and shower gel in a citrus and mint scent

Brixton Supply Snapback Hat:  Scott loves a hat and can usually be caught wearing one most days when we are out and about, his favourite one being this Brixton Supply snapback.  Its plain but stylish without being too “rude boy” and I feel like its a real safe gift to buy for fashion conscious dads as the sporty look seems to be well and truly back in

Fathers Day Card:  We are a card family and we write soppy notes and essays in every one we give to each other so I think a good card is really what makes a great Father Day and this one from Not on the Highstreet is perfect from my little boy to give to his Daddy

What are you buying your Dad/Dad's for Father's Day this year??


Monday, 30 May 2016

Travel | Morrocan Days & Arabian Nights

My darling friend Sammi gets married in just a few short days and I wasn't going to post about the hen party we went on to Marrakesh, Morocco but I found the place so captivating and inspiring that I just had to tell you a little bit about our Arabian adventure!

I must admit that when Morocco was first thrown into the mix I was a little apprehensive and unsure about the location, especially for 11 ladies looking for a bit of a party!  I was however completely surprised about how safe I felt and how much I loved their country.  Morocco has some truly beautiful sights to see and was actually one of the more cleaner places I have visited in the world.

When we arrived in Marrakesh our taxi pretty much dropped us off in the middle of a busy street, full of inquisitive locals wondering who on earth these women were and why one of them was dressed in a tutu and veil!!  
We were lead down a mysterious winding alleyway to a random tiny doorway just a short walk from the main street.  What we found inside was a world away from what we had expected and from the dusty streets outside.  Our riad could only be described as lavish, we had exclusive hire of the whole place which was absolutely perfect for us 11.  Riad Goloboy boasts 3 floors of 12 individually decorated rooms.  I actually spent a portion of the first day exploring every corner of the place wondering how many more rooms it could possibly hold!  They were all so beautifully furnished and each one had its own different personality.  I was very lucky to be sharing with the bride so we had a ground floor room which looked a bit like a honeymoon suite with its white interior.  In the middle of the rooms was a gorgeous courtyard with a fountain where we found the best lighting for our group shots!  We also had a sun terrace complete with comfy sunbeds and a hot tub - which we actually used more as a plunge pool in the 33 degree heat!
We had 24 hour service from the French speaking staff working at Riad Goloboy and they honestly couldn't have been more accommodating.  They walked us too and from the main street every evening and arranged taxis, prepared us food as well as keeping the place tidy.

We booked a tour guide to take us around some of the different quarters of Marrakesh and he spontaneously took us to visit part of one of their lavish palaces.  It was so beautiful and I was completely obsessed with the floors (I have a bit of a thing for good lookin' flooring!) but I must admit the tour did drag a little and we kind of wanted to get onto the souks before lunchtime!  Our guide also seemed to have a little "deal" going with a carpet shop so he ended up ushering us into one for what felt like forever to be shown like 400 rugs that we quite clearly weren't interested in buying, so do watch out for that if you book a tour guide in Marrakesh.
I didn't make it to the souks unfortunately due to the pretty long walk around beforehand and still having to be careful after my surgery.  But most of the girls had a walk around and said it was pretty cool, and some came away with some leather goods and Moroccan oils (the locals don't like you taking photos in the souks so sadly I don't have any to show you either - very mysterious!!)  When wandering around Morocco I think its good to bear in mind that yes this is a Muslim country and it is polite to keep a little more covered up than you usually might in other hot countries.  We found that taking light scarves out with us to throw over shoulders and cleavages was our best bet.

Our first night in Morocco was spent in true hen party style with a slumber party/dinner in our Riad.  The staff thought we were mental, wearing our PJ's to have our 5 course (delicious) meal and drinking shots every time someone said the word "wedding"!!  The drinks flowed and the games escalated so obviously all of those photos can stay hidden on our iPhones :)  If anyone needs some hen party game ideas comment below, as one of the bridesmaids came up with some of the best i've played!!!!

Going out out in Marrakesh was brilliant.  One of our evenings started with another five course meal, this time at a quaint little place called Tobsil.  It was another one of those places you literally wouldn't know existed until someone guided you there and behind the door was a stunning restaurant filled with the smell of Moroccan tagines and sound of traditional music.  We were served various delicious dishes, courgettes, hummus, tagines and honey and almond chicken.  The food was so lovely and the staff spoke impeccable English, I would highly recommend visiting Tobsil if you're in Marrakesh and want to experience a taste of their food and culture.  The lighting was SO dark in Tobsil however so any photos we did get weren't the best quality

We quickly found ourselves in the upmarket and modern part of Marrakesh where the buildings became newer and a lot taller.  We headed into a club called So Lounge which was immediately right up our street!  They had a band on stage with some great singers playing all the classics and latest songs for us to get our groove on to!  Unfortunately for us though we had underestimated how much alcohol was going to cost in these bars and it was most definitely London!  Despite the fact we ran out of cash pretty quickly we still had such a great time and pretty much crawled into bed with giddy heads and sore cheeks from the laughs.

As beautiful as our Riad was we spent one of the 33 degree days at Beldi Country Club which was simply STUNNING!  I mean like breathtakingly beautiful, you really have to see it to believe it.  After lounging off our hangovers on their cosy sunbeams, we enjoyed cocktails and lunch in their little restaurant whilst we presented our Hen with a book of special messages from everyone involved in this special trip!  Its safe to say we all shed a little tear and some laughs at the photos and lovely things everybody had to say to our gorgeous Bride

I cannot praise Marrakesh enough and Riad Goloboy for making our stay one to remember. Now onto the main event and where the fun begins.. The Wedding!!!!!

Tips if you're travelling to Morocco:
  • Change up your money when you get to the airport in Morocco as the rate is so much better
  • Take light scarfs as you will need to cover your shoulders in the old town/souks
  • Get an exchange rate app or calculator, I was the only one who had it and we would have been stuffed without it as its not the easiest currency to convert
  • Bear in mind that drinking alcohol in Morocco can be expensive
  • Take tablets for upset stomachs with you as we did find that we all had a dodgy belly at different points of the holiday
  • Take TONS of anti-bac!

What countries are you visiting this year?? Have you been to Morocco?


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Favourites #2

Zoeva Rose Gold Vol.2 Brushes - I think if you’re going to spend a large slice of your monthly salary on make up like i do then you need to have some decent tools to apply with.  Step in Zoeva brushes!  I was treated to the beautiful rose gold collection, which included this stunning rose gold pleather bag, for Christmas and they have changed my whole makeup game.  I still use and love the Real Techniques brushes occasionally but for me the Zoeva brushes really do apply makeup like a dream.  The buffing brush and my CT Magic Foundation are a match made in foundation heaven and the brow brush seems to work wonders with every single brow product I team it with.  They are pricey but with some basic TLC these brushes will last you forever, and my god they are worth it

Wunderbrow (I use the shade Brunette)- This was a product I never in a million years thought I would try let alone fall in love with.  I saw endless budget adverts on TV for the stuff as well as the usual Facebook plugging but when I saw Lauren use this (she does awesome little videos for The Sun Beauty) I suddenly looked at Wunderbrow a little differently and thought perhaps it was the product for me.  I wasn’t wrong and I fell head over heels the minute I stroked it onto my brows.  I don’t use the applicator directly onto my face as I feel you have no control over how much product you are applying.  I find it easier to use my own brow brush dipped in a little bit of the gel and using soft strokes is the best way for me personally.  It stays on so so well and is removed with an oil based cleanser.  If you want these bad boys to last you more than a day you will need to steer clear from using an oil based products on your face

Una Brennan Oil - This brings me swiftly onto my fave oil of the moment and that is the Una Brennan Cleansing Oil.  I love love love using oils on my face I find them so hydrating, they remove dirt and makeup better than anything else I’ve tried and most of all my skin seems to adore them too.  I use a small pump of the oil directly onto dry skin, which instantly lifts any makeup from my face.  I will then use a hot flannel to remove it as well as a good few splashes of warm water to make sure no residue is left.  The only problem I have with the Una Brennan Cleansing Oil is that I do find it gets into my eyes a little bit and I find they do seem slightly irritated by it so i have been avoiding using this in my eye area (even though the bottle states this should be fine) 

Forever 21 Necklace - I bought this necklace last year as just a little add on buy to a big Forever 21 shop and I've just dug it out!  Its a choker style necklace that can be worn slightly longer if you get that claustrophobic feeling that sometimes comes with this style of necklace!!  I've been wearing it with everything and so many people keep asking where its from.  Unfortunately I don't think this one is available anymore but I just wanted to mention it as Forever 21 does so many nice necklaces

Topshop Cactus Shirt - I feel in love with this succulent shirt from Topshop the second I saw it!  The material feels a little dressy and luxe but would look great with a casual outfit or tucked into a leather skirt with heels for a dinner out.  I think I will be wearing the sh*t out of this little number this Spring/Summer!

Primark Heeled Sandals - I wasn't actually sure if I liked these tan sandals when I bought them but once I had got them home and teamed them with all of my holiday outfits I fell in love.  They are literally the perfect sandal, you can wear them super casual with jeans or shorts for a stroll in the sun or you can dress them up with a skirt or dress for an evening out.  The heel is the perfect size for me as I don't really "do" platforms (granny) and the best thing about them is that they were SO cheap and no one can believe I bought them in Primark! As you can see i've been wearing them to death!

The Girl with no Past - You will probably find that books are a staple in my favourites posts as I tend to go through them rather quickly and reading is something I really enjoy!  The Girl with no Past was a bit of a random pick for me and came up on my “recommended” page on my Kindle.   To sum up what it is about, Leah is a 20 something year old girl living a very boring, simple life with a massive secret and a dodgy past, when someone begins to torment her and shake up life as she knows it.
I found myself completely sucked in from the get go with this one, although you don’t find out the whole story until right near the end, so much happens so you don’t feel like its a slow burner at all. 

Broadchurch - I know right how behind???!  I am one of those annoying people who shun these cult series until I hear so much about them I end up binge watching and regretting not watching them in the first place! Broadchurch was certainly one of those and what put me off was the fact that Dr Who chap is in it.  However i actually fell in love with his character and thought he acted the part really really well.  Again I don't want to give too much away because its all about the shock factor with Broadchurch but series 1 kicks off with the murder of a school boy and its filmed over Jurassic Bay, Dorset which is possibly one of the most picturesque places in Britain!

Pancakes - I'm eating tons of pancakes lately, which I used to be so awful at making!  However I found a foolproof delicious recipe via Pinterest and I now stick with it and make like 20 pancakes at a time to reheat in the toaster as and when I want them.


Friday, 6 May 2016

The Sunny Days

Sunny days call for bright colours, new funky shoes and all the parks.

Since having my surgery a month ago I haven't been able to do much at all with my little bud. Not being able to lift him means no trips out together alone and not being able to drive means not venturing further than Waitrose cafe or a crappy local park.
Luckily friends and family have been awesome with lifts and we were also blessed with some glorious sunshine over this last week so we have spent some lush bright days in basking in the heat.

We discovered a little farm shop just 5 minutes drive away from where we live in Basingstoke called Wellington Farm Shop. Toddler mums you are going to love it. There is a kid friendly huge cafe offering reared and butchered on site meats, home made breads and cakes and the best breakfast I've had in AGES. Also the coffee is to die for!!  But outside is where this place really outshines most farm shops and cafe's as it boasts a gorgeous little wooden play area and tiny farm complete with horses, sheep, pigs and chickens.  I find it quite hard to take Harry to cafe's when there's no entertainment for him, I often end up taking an iPad with me which ideally I'd like to avoid where I can! He is however getting better at sitting up as the tablet when he's bribed with sausages and promises of cake

Top - Mothercare  |  Shorts - Gap  |  Trainers - Puma

For the first time this year I managed to get a pair of shorts on Harry's ever growing legs, teamed with this gorgeous little tee from the Little Bird by Jools range at Mothercare. I am so obsessed with it and would put him in it everyday had he not spilt jam all over it! The whole range is so unique and really recognisable with its slight 70's retro style and brightly coloured vibe.  I couldn't resist letting Harry wear his Cookie Monster Puma trainers with this outfit, they matched his top perfectly!  They are a little too big but he adored them so much he almost ended up wearing them to bed that night!! 

Backpack - Cath Kidston

Socks - Primark
This weekend we are hoping for more sun, a walk and perhaps a little dip in a pool as Harry has some new swim shorts to try out (Little Bird by Jools ones of course)

 Have you found any toddler friendly local spots lately??

© Lucie & The Bump. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig