Review: Almondella Subscription Box

I recently discovered the Finnish-based company Almondella and their monthly subscription boxes whilst browsing online for baby gift ideas (a friend of ours is expecting her baby any day now).

You can subscribe for 3 months, 6 months or a year and each month you will receive a box tailored to your child’s age (up to 3 years old). The folks at Almondella say that they have a good eye for design and aim to select products that they believe are great quality and long lasting. The idea being that the items can be passed on to other babies once your child has out-grown them. Read more...

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Four years

Four years ago today I met the love of my life. Never could I have imagined the journey we were just beginning that day. We’ve crammed quite a lot in over these last few years, in the last 12 months alone we have bought a house, become owners of a gorgeous puppy, got engaged and brought an amazing little girl into the world. I feel so incredibly privileged to be with Stephen and share this life together. I’m a very lucky lady indeed.

Here’s just a few reasons why my fella is definitely ‘a keeper’… Read more...

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What’s in my make-up bag

I certainly don’t intend for this to be a beauty blog (I’ll leave that to the beautiful people) but I know that you don’t have to be an expert in make-up to appreciate a good nosey in somebody else’s stuff! I love reading ‘What’s in my make-up bag’ posts as it’s always fun to read about new products to try so here’s mine… I was pretty late to the ‘wearing make-up’ party as I grew up as a bit of a tomboy. Whilst most girls my age were practising the art of applying eye liner I was in the woods with my brother and our friends making dens. I even remember my mum once asking me when I would like to start wearing bras. “Never!” I snapped back at her. In my late teens I allowed myself to become a little more girly and thankfully I now recognise the benefits of a good bra! I also started wearing make-up, usually electric blue mascara and some garish coloured eye shadow because I thought it was cool. It was cool, right? I adore watching my friends put on their make-up before a night out, something about it just fascinates me – the faces they make as they put on their mascara or as they circulate their blusher brushes around the apples of their cheeks whilst making a fish face. However, whilst it’s OK for me to gawp at my mates beautifying themselves, I can’t stand to put make up on in front of people. It’s always seemed like a really private thing for me. I’m not too sure why? I feel nervous when I see girls apply make-up whilst sat on the train because one jolt of the carriage whilst applying lipstick could end in them looking like an Adam and the Ants tribute act and also I could never put make-up on in a public place like that! These days I like to keep to a relatively natural look so I have just a few key products that I use: First up is =&0=& =&1=&. You know the old ‘If you were stuck on a desert island what items would you take with you’ question? Well, this would be on my list of items. I’ve bought this same cream for the last few years and refuse to use anything else to moisturise my face. I’ll use it after having a shower and/or before putting on make-up. It’s so refreshing and that little tub will last me ages. =&2=& Then we have my foundation which is=&3=&. It’s nice and light and doesn’t make me feel like I’m putting on war paint also I think this shade suits my skin tone. =&4=& After putting on my foundation I like to use =&5=& – as I am prone to looking like Captain Shiny Head without it and trust me, it’s not a good look. =&6=& Next up, =&7=& – I will never, ever use powder blush again. This stuff is amazing and has lasted me ages, as you can probably just about see from the photo the plastic case is shattered and falling apart but I will use this blusher till death do us part. I love it. =&8=& I’ll then move onto my eyes by curling my lashes (never understood why people did this until I tried it for myself!) and applying =&9=& (In Black – oh how things change!) This mascara is good value and I’ve never really gotten on that well with more expensive brands of mascara. I don’t really want my eyelashes to look like spider’s legs. *shudders* =&6=& Finally, and this is something I’ve only started using recently –=&11=&. I’m quite fair haired and in the summer months my eyebrows get lighter and lighter until they just look bizarre. I googled my problem and saw that lots of other ladies had the same issue and there were quite a few recommending this range of pencils so I ordered one for a few quid and it has now made its way into my little bag of make-up essentials. =&12=& For the finishing touch I use =&13=&. Even if I’m not wearing anything else on my face, I will normally always stick this in my bag as it makes my lips look the same colour as strawberry milkshake and it tastes nice. =&6=& =&15=& And that’s it! I tend to only wear make-up a few times a week max – probably less now I have a baby. I’ve never wanted to be one of those women that rely on it and can’t leave the house without being plastered in foundation. I just wear it when I’m in the mood and when I’m not, I don’t – simple as that. Have you written a make-up bag blog post? Please leave a comment with the link so I have a gander!
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A co-sleeping dilemma

Jasmine, every night at one point or another you end up sleeping in our bed. It doesn’t matter how asleep you seem to be when we put you in your crib, the moment your back touches that mattress you are wide awake and nothing but mummy and daddy’s bed will do. I try to stay strong while you kick your legs and flail your arms around whilst making whimpering noises. Ultimately, I always give in. I scoop you up and place you next to me with your head resting on my arm, just how you like it. Immediately you settle and the only noise I can hear now is your sweet breathing sounds. Read more...

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Going home

If you’ve read my previous posts then you will know that aside from my mum living all the way in New Zealand, the rest of my family and friends are based 195 miles away in Bristol which is where I was born and raised. When I moved away from the city it was always my intention to go back home as often as possible. In reality, it is a lot harder to get back there on a regular basis but now that Jasmine is here I am going to try even harder to get back to Bristol as much as I can. I want to share Jasmine with the people I love and likewise I want them to be part of her life. This weekend, at almost 6 weeks old, Jasmine met my Dad, brother and friends for the first time. Better late than never. Here’s some of my favourite photos from the weekend (I got a bit snap happy!): =&0=&
Jasmine’s got her hat on, she’s coming out to play!
We tried to cram as much in as possible each day. On Saturday the weather was glorious so first on the agenda was a dog walk with some friends…
Cuddles with (Fake) Auntie Laura
Cuddles with (Fake) Auntie Sarah
That’s right, there was a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer on fake aunties (every kid has them!) as Laura and Sarah are identical twins! 
L & S with their pooches – Bella and Spencer
Laura is a neonatal nurse and Sarah works as a nanny so they’re great for little hints and tips when it comes to looking after tiny humans! 
I think this might be our first proper family photo!
Next up – Stephen, Jasmine and I met up with my best friends Jeni and Jodie for ice creams and sandwiches in the park…

I adored watching my bezzie mate Jeni hold Jasmine. It was the first time she’d held a newborn baby. I think she looks like a natural! :)
Jodie having cuddles with a rather windy Jasmine.
❤ Love these girls! ❤
Later that evening (after a little siesta back at the hotel and a shower to freshen up!) all 7 of us met up again to go for a meal at Frankie and Bennys. It was a brilliant end to fabulous summer day with some of my favourite people. 
A post-frankie and bennys girly snap sans Stephen and Jasmine.
=&1=& A visit to my Dad’s house to meet the famalam…
Jasmine and very proud Grandad!
Huggleberries with Uncle Matt.
Snoozing in the arms of Auntie Bethany ❤ 
After a long, hot and tiring car journey home, I let my Dad know that we’d arrived back safely and I got this reply from him:  This in itself made every second we spent sweltering in our little car on the M25 worth it. Every second.  I’m so happy that my friends and family have finally met my baby girl. It was an awesome weekend and now that I’m home I’m trying hard not to feel deflated and down. The sun is shining and I intend to enjoy every second of it while it lasts and contemplate my next trip home…  PS. Keep an eye out for my next post, I’ll be writing about my favourite Newborn Travel Essentials! 
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