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A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

GRATITUDE | 5 things I am grateful for

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We all have great days where everything seems to go to plan and anything you set out to do goes well without any curve balls be thrown into the mix. Then there are days where we have absolutely no motivation, no drive and any plans we may have made go completely tits up and out of the window. The days that are not so perfect can make us bitter, makes us angry and leaves us focusing on all that is negative. This happens to me more often than not and instead of focusing on the negative I just have to take to take a step back from life and recognise the good in my life - put everything into perspective. 
 
When you get up in the morning what's the first thought that goes through your mind? Maybe you got up later than expected and now your whole day has been thrown out, maybe you're worrying about your bills? Or perhaps you are just a type of a person that worries about everything that doesn't go right. I would have to say that I'm definitely in the latter category because I worry about most aspects in my life and in hindsight these things are not important.

By figuring out that I need to stop focusing on the negative in my life has helped me so much. Honestly is all this worry worth an unhappy life? No. There's always a way to see through those worries. Perhaps you have some encouraging family or maybe some supportive friends, there is always some kind of a positive in all that is negative - I am a firm believer in this notion. By practising gratitude can be so beneficial for our well being and actually create a positive out look  therefore making us happier. So that being said I want to share five things that I am grateful for...


MY HUSBAND

Through the years we have fought to keep each other strong and overcome difficulties that we couldn't have survived without one another. I will forever believe that our love will get us through anything. Life can be so hard and can really throw some shit into the mix to try and push our limits. We've had great moments, bad moments and awful moments. But as a husband and wife we have learned to survive the bad moments that actually helps us makes us appreciate those great moments by making them amazing. I'm so grateful that my husband always seems to have enough strength to always stay strong, strong enough for the both of us and I couldn't really ask for more. I will always be forever grateful that I get to share my life with my husband and to have him by my side to see us through. I will always treasure our time together and I will continue to encourage him to chase his dreams, as I am sure he will do the same for me. I will be forever grateful for my husband...


MY DAUGHTER

Sometimes I will look at my daughter and think how can it already be more than two years since my beautiful lady came into our lives. It's been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for all of us, we've laughed, we've cried and we've even played with toys at 4am in the morning. We have watched her through the milestones and created so many great memories as a family of three. I know it's what everyone says when they watch their babies grow up, but time does really fly by. Becoming a mother has been one of the biggest accomplishments that I have made and probably will ever make in my life. A decision that I have made has never brought me so much joy and so much love into my heart. I honestly thought I knew what is was to love and being a mother is a love like you have never known.

But our journey into parenthood has been far from easy. It's been one of the most difficult things I have ever had to face so much so that I was told that it would be pretty difficult for me to have children of my own. Our emotional journey into parenthood really took it's toll on both my husband and I but I will be forever grateful that I was incredibly fortunate to become pregnant with my daughter, Amelia - a true blessing that I will never take for granted. I will be forever grateful for my daughter...
 
 

MY FRIENDS
 
 
Good friends are so hard to come by. I'm the sort of person who doesn't make friends so easily, it's hard for me to build a bond straightaway but the friends that I do have in my life I am so grateful for. They are always there if I need them, always waiting with open ears to listen to me and my woes and always willing to organise a cocktail night when I need a break. My friends play a crucial role in my life and I know that I would not have become the person I am today without them. I like to think myself very lucky that our paths crossed and then will always be a part of my life and I will be forever grateful for my friends. I need to be grateful when my friendships are strong and maintain gratitude when friendships aren't perfect. By being grateful I will appreciate and understand my friends so much more than I already do. But most of all, I hope that by basing my friendships on gratitude I can become a better friend.
 
The only way to have a friend is to be one  - Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
MY STRENGTH

Looking back to this time last year was probably one of the most difficult years of my life. It was a dark time for me. I was unhappy, I had no motivation to do anything, my self-esteem was at an all time low and I was so far from the real me I could hardly recognise myself. By me being like this was effecting so many aspects of my life - my marriage, my family, my friends and even to some a extent I wasn't being the parent I wanted to be.

Leading up to this time in my life - I had lost my beautiful nan and I still find it hard to try and talk about her and to watch how broken my family is without her. My husband has faced some difficult times with his health, being told bad news time after time. I felt as if we were dealt a really crap hand in life and couldn't see beyond the negativity. But as time passed me by and the more struggles I faced I began to realise how strong I actually am. I think that this goes for most people who go through awful times in their lives - we are in fact, tougher than we realise. The problem was that I didn't realise until I had no other choice but to face my fears and be strong, be strong for my husband, be strong for our daughter. I am a much stronger person than I thought and I will be forever grateful for my strength...



MY OPPORTUNTIES

We are always given opportunities, more opportunities than we realise. We have opportunities presented to us, we fail to see them because we are too focused on the missed opportunities of the past, present opportunities not available, or opportunities some distance away. But there are opportunities before you if you are willing to see them. Each day we wake up and everything has changed. People are gone, circumstances change and those opportunities are no longer there- we need to nurture those opportunities, grow with them and feel grateful for them...
There are so many opportunities that I am forever grateful for. For me in this moment I'm grateful for my blog and my readers, by having this little space on the internet where I can be myself, makes me feel grateful and happy. I'm able to turn all my thoughts and feelings into words without any kind of judgement. I love the fact that I can get all kinds of positive and supportive messages from amazing bloggers from around the world, more importantly I'm beyond grateful for the opportunities that this blog has given me. It's a breath of fresh air. It makes me feel as if I can finally get back to that fun, confident, out-going person I was and perhaps make me a better person.
 
 
During my journey of life I have experienced struggles, hardships and anxiety just like many others in the world. No matter how hard I tried to motivate myself and think positively, I just couldn't do it. I thought that maybe this was what life was meant to be. But after a long rollercoaster of a ride and having so many positive people surround me I can finally say that I am happy. Maybe the most simple and most effective way to be positive is to turn my focus to GRATITUDE and always be grateful for everything that is beautiful in my life.
Have a great day and don't forget to show gratitude!

Are You A Helicopter Parent?

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Hello everyone,

I hope that you're having a great weekend so far? Today I feel as if I need to start this post by saying that being a parent is the hardest job in the world, there is no rule book, no training and nothing can quite prepare you for such a job. It's a steep learning curve for everyone and who's to say that there is a certain way it should be done and who's to say that someone is doing a better job than the next. It just feels like everyone is constantly being judged when you're a parent, why can't people keep their thoughts to themselves.

I'm sorry to go in so deep into the first paragraph of this post but I came across an article about being a helicopter mum and couldn't help but feel that I needed to give an opinion as a helicopter mum! I have a two year old daughter and I am without any doubt a form of a helicopter parent, so what is a helicopter parent? A  relatively new cultural phenomenon – yes, they use that word to describe it – where the parents ditch all their hobbies and work commitments to focus wholly and solely on their child, constantly shadowing their child in an over-protective way.

In the article, the writer explains that she is more of a “bench-warmer” when it comes to parenting style, particularly at the park where she wants her children to try things out for themselves, to take risks and explore, and to just be kids who play, without a parent intervening all the time. But she gets frustrated when other parents hover around her children, worrying about their safety, helping them while glancing around for their parent. My daughter is two years old and is quite capable of many things but as a parent I naturally intervene when she's exploring, it is something that I cannot help and feel as if the article parent shames me into thinking I shouldn't be.

Last week my daughter and I went to the park with my sister and her two young daughters. I don't want anyone to think that I am judging any parent who chooses to sit on the bench, if I am honest I take my hats off to you, I just wish sometimes that I wouldn't feel so anxious about my daughter and climbing frames. But at the park my sister almost immediately sat her toosh on the park bench ready to watch her girls play, but me? Being a helicopter mum and hovering over my daughter while she climbed up the ladder and  down the slide, holding her hand up the ladder and running around to the other side ready to meet her at the bottom of the slide. Let's just say it was hard work and I had built up a bit of sweat running to and fro after the 10th slide down! Phew! My sister? Happily watching her children from afar ready to pounce whenever they called for her.

If anything you could say that I was a little envious that my sister could sit there and glance at her children every so often. I don't know whether its because I am a first time mum, my daughter is an only child or it's because I am a sufferer of anxiety! Not there has to be a reason, it just baffles me. I just wish I wouldn't feel so anxious. I know that when my daughter wants climb to the top of the climbing frame, it's the best excuse in the world for me to live the life of a toddler and climb with her. Admit it - it's actually the best excuse, do you agree?


Being a helicopter mum got me thinking that perhaps it's more of a case of the ages of our children determines our intervention. My sisters children are four and two and as you can imagine that the two year old just follows and copies the four year old, my sister will always intervene if see she's that they are really going to hurt themselves, and she won't interfere until they ask for help. My daughter is very strong willed, confident and so courageous so it's not a case of her not having the physical competence or confidence to go and do her own thing. It's me. It's the parent in me. I will always want to be the first person to be there for my daughter if she ever falls and if I am honest this will never change.

I like to think of myself as a mixture of a "bench warmer" and a helicopter mum and I don't think it's a case you are either one or the other. I will bring up my daughter the best way that I think and I couldn't really care what people thought. Whether you're a bench warmer or a helicopter mum, we are all doing the best for our children and doing a damn good job in doing so.

Are you a "bench warmer", a helicopter parent or a mixture? Let me know your thoughts!

OUR WEEKLY ROUND-UP #2

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Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a fantastic week and  have lots of fun adventures planned for the weekend. I can't wait to hear about it. This weekend our plans include more painting, more glossing amongst other boring jobs, I can hardly contain my excitement, haha!



The little lady and I had quite a busy week this week and if you read our last weekly round-up you will know that we were collecting our car on Sunday. But received a call saying that we would have to hold off for one more day, as if three weeks wasn't long enough. Let's just say when we finally collected our car we ended up leaving with a full tank of petrol, a full valet and the next service for free - so worth the wait really! I think Amelia offering throwing a raisin at the salesman was a game changer, at least he saw the funny side of it! After the raisin throwing fiasco, signing paper work and finally getting our hands on the keys we went for a little drive in our new car. Our new car is an MG6 GT 1.9TB SE, my husband had to tell me all that part because when it comes to car makes and models I have no clue.



We then stopped for some lunch and went for a little mooch around some supermarkets before ending up in a carpet shop. As you will know we are in the middle of decorating our home and have been thinking about laying carpet on the stairs, landing and two bedrooms, but we need to finish glossing first. I can't wait winter will be so cosy. In other 'house' news we have been sorting through our loft and found 9 large vacuum packs of Amelia's baby clothes, I don't need 9, do I? So that's what I am planning on doing over the next few days organising them for sale, donation and hand me downs to other relatives. Wish me luck!


On Wednesday night I went to the cinema with my sister to go and watch Bridget Jones's Baby but the only time we don't pre-book tickets - THEY SELL OUT! I couldn't actually believe it when we arrived at the Cinema and the only other film that was available was Don't Breathe and because I am a bit of a wimp I was a little scared. But in fact it was very good and I was glad that we watched this instead because the theatre was near enough empty and we got some fab seats.

Amelia was quite ill towards the end of the week and it took me by surprise because during the morning she was absolutely fine and then the afternoon she became cuddly and had a temp of 37.6, thankfully lots of cuddles with mummy and Calpol seem to be helping.

So until the next round-up have a good week!
Quite Frankly She Said Sunday Best

IMAGINARY FRIENDS | Is it normal?

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Hello everyone,

For the for blog post today I want to talk to you about George, no not George from Peppa Pig but George our new imaginary friend. My daughter has just started to master the art of imaginative play and some of the conversations she has with her friend George are both adorable and entertaining. So is it normal for a toddler to have an imaginary friend?

Amelia and her imaginary friend George do everything together. They play, the read, eat and even do the bedtime routine together and I am sure you have guessed - George is very mischievous boy and gets Amelia into lots of trouble! Naughty George! But having an imaginary friend must a be a great thing to have and anyone who has seen Drop Dead Fred will know how useful an imaginary friend can be when things go crazy! George did it! George did it! A phrase we hear a lot.
So why do children conjure up these imaginary friends?
Being a toddler is no walk in the park! Think about it? Everyone is always telling you what to do, you have to share your toys, try to comprehend certain behaviours and you will be undoubtedly going through some major milestones. So, you can understand why toddlers may need to conjure up an imaginary friend - they won't tell them what to do, they won't play with their toys and they will do whatever your toddler wants them to do. But George puts up with a lot as he is always there for Amelia when she needs someone to blame for her behaviour and he's an outlet for expressing emotions. Who wouldn't want an imaginary friend? Heck I want one!
The whole imaginary friend situation did make me feel a little awkward in the beginning - do I acknowledge him, do invite him along for our adventures? I wanted get a good balance of fantasy and reality, but could I take the it too far? But after speaking to other parents they reassured me that it is common and completely normal for someone of her age to have an imaginary friend and therefore we needed to be a little more welcoming to our new friend.

It wasn't too long ago that imaginary friends used to be a cause for concern, but today there seems to be a suggestion that by having imaginary friends are actually helping children get ahead in learning and their social development.

If you think about it when a child has an imaginary friend, they must supply all the conversations themselves using their own words which will boost their language development. Your little one will never have to play alone and doesn't need someone to tell them what to do - they are able to figure it out on their own. By your toddler pretending and making up scenarios is actually helping them become more creative and even helps them handle difficult situations.

But a few things to remember...

By all means accept your new 'family' member and let your toddler and  their imagination run wild but always make sure that it is your child who brings up their friend into conversations and not to let them cheekily get out of bad behaviour - George goes to the step with Amelia!!! And don't use this new friend of theirs to get what you want, it doesn't matter how many times you say that their friend like peas your toddler will probably still not eat them!

So, having an imaginary friend is normal. If there's an empty seat at the dinner table and your little friend is there try not to worry too much, be kind and open to the new friend. After all you are watching your toddler become creative little thinkers!!!

Does you child have an imaginary friend? What's their name?
Run Jump Scrap!
Cuddle Fairy

Our Autumn Bucket List

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Good Morning

Are you all having a lovely weekend? Our week has been a quiet one, go and have a peek at Our Weekly Round-Up if you fancy a read. We were supposed to get our new car this weekend but after a phone call it turns out we now have to wait until Monday. But it's only one more day...

I hope you have been enjoying the last few days of sunshine as from the way it looks outside Autumn is well on it's way. I love Autumn! Seeing the changing colours of nature, the fresh crisp air, layering up those Autumn clothes and the warming spiced smells - all in preparation for Christmas! Yay. Everything about Autumn is exciting and so in the name of this excitement and in the hopes that it inspires you, I'm writing our ultimate Autumn bucket list that will keep us busy.



Go to a pumpkin patch and pick our own pumpkin - I have never considered going pumpkin picking before. However, when I realised that there are so many places in Norfolk that have pumpkin patches it's an opportunity we cannot really miss.

Carve a pumpkin - who buys a pumpkin without have a go at carving one? After having a stab at it (see what I did there) we will the use our scary pumpkin to decorate our doorstep in preparation for trick or treaters. My plan is to use the insides of the pumpkin to try and made a Pumpkin Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting.
 
Jump in a pile of leaves remember how fun that was when you were a child?

Take Amelia trick or treating as she hasn't been yet. When I was a child my parents never agreed with trick or treating and whole begging at peoples door thing, however nowadays there are so many events put on for children and in some areas may they even host a trick or treat hunt in your local town centre.

Plan an Autumn scavenger hunt for Amelia and her friends. If this is something that you think you would do then Pinterest is great place to give you some inspiration for a hunt.

Get creative and make Autumn decorations - Amelia, like most children loves to keep her hand busy so what better way than to encourage her creativity than with Autumn decorations. It's a perfect way to teach your little one about the changing seasons whilst creating a masterpiece that you can keep forever, we have a large collection of Amelia's creative displays.

Smash potty training - We can do this...

Go to a fireworks display - In Norfolk there are so many great events and one that we go to every year is Fawkes in the Walks which is a free firework display. I was a little worried about taking Amelia last year but she enjoyed watching all the pretty colours and I am sure that this year won't be any different.

Plan a family getaway - November is a busy month for us as it's mine and Tony's birthday. This year we have decided to book some time off and go on a family getaway, unsure of the destination but as long as my family is with me I don't care. It's been a long time since we had a getaway.

Do you have an Autumn bucket list? If so, what's on yours? 

OUR WEEKLY ROUND-UP

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Hello everyone,

I hope you have all had a fantastic week and got lots planned for the weekend. I can't wait to hear about it. This weekend we don't have too much planned - only the fact that we get to pick up our brand new car on Sunday and I'm so excited. We have been waiting three weeks! As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait.

Wow I am so happy, the weather has really changed this week hasn't it. At the beginning of the week it we had a bit of a heatwave and now as I am writing this round-up it's pouring down with rain and I am pretty sure that there is a thunder storm on the horizon! But anyway I prefer the colder months of the year, yes, sorry I'm one of those annoying people who say 'Autumn is my favourite time of the year'.


The little lady and I have had a quiet week mainly because the husband has been on his night shift and in all honestly due to the weather I just didn't feel like doing too much. We all have those lazy types of weeks, right? I have been enjoying the relaxing week at home with the little one and also taking part in a productivity course over at You Baby Me Mummy, it has been brilliant and just what I needed for my blog. The five day productivity course involved daily challenges in order to boost productivity with my blog; setting goals, using my time more effectively, batching work loads and even finding a bunch of buddies to help me along my way with my blog. This course has taught me to focus and given me the motivation to take my blog to the next level, also it was a good kick in the butt and it's helped me in so many ways already. I have set myself goals, scheduled posts, connected with other bloggers and already well on the way to building great friendships with my accountability buddies and the everyone else who is part of the #MomBossSquad


Also this week, we have been potty training and we are pretty much smashing it! I am so proud at how quickly my beautiful little lady is understanding the whole idea of potty training, clever lady! I am not saying that she will be fully trained in the next few weeks and we've got a long way to go. The mishap this week was quite funny I found her hiding away because she pooped in the corner! Potty training a toddler is no walk in the park, so watch this space everyone.


So as you can see it's been a quiet week for us. But I have been informed by the husband that we have a very busy week ahead next week with painting the bedrooms, utility room and the garden fence, oh and the dreaded task of glossing! Boo! I am more excited about picking up our car than bloody painting though, as you can imagine!
I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and I cannot wait to hear about it.
 
Life with Baby Kicks
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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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Mummascribbles

The Daddy Tag

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We will be sharing something a little different here on Mimi Rose & Me tonight and take part in a blogging challenge that has been set by the lovely C├ęcile over at The Frenchie Mummy, please go check her blog out! So the challenge as you may have guessed is the #DaddyTag where Dads are asked a series of questions about them and being a Daddy. I was lucky enough to catch my husband before he fell asleep on the sofa so here are Tony's answers...


Are you a Stay at Home Daddy or a Working Daddy?

Working Daddy 

Would you have it any other way?

Yes I would love to have the opportunity to be with Amelia all day everyday.

Do you co-change dirty nappies? Even the very smelly ones?

Yes and they still make me wretch. How can something so small make smells that bad.

A little fairy gives you the possibility of breastfeeding? Are you going for it or do you run away?

No I wouldn't run away

What is the one must-have item for a daddy?

A supporting mother *winks at me*


How many kids do you plan on having?

I am more than happy with one but I would consider another when the time is right.

Lads’ nights? How often do you have them?

Not too often.

Your children’s favourite achievement?

Being able to say 'Dada' before anything else

What is your best memory with your kid(s)?

There are so many! But ones that really stick out for me are when she said Dada for the first time and when I received a video of Amelia and Mummy playing games.

Name one thing you miss since being a daddy?

Being able to get up and out without thinking about taking a truck load of stuff with us


Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now? And we mean YOU DADDY, not the mummy!

I have lost 4 stones since we had Amelia.

Dream holiday with your kids?

Anywhere where there is no signal, no internet and no distractions so we can all run wild!

Dream holiday without your kids or even without the other half? (You’re allowed to dream)

CUBA! with my wife!

How has your life changed since having kids?

I find life less stressful and I have learned to be more patient, but I ever do get stressed or anything then I will always think about Amelia and that video.

Finish the sentence “It makes my heart melt when…”

When she makes a frown at people and they tell me she's just like me.


Favourite beers brands and football team?

Warsteiner and Newcastle United

Huggies or Pampers?

[ASKS: What ones do we get?] Pampers!!!

Have you always wanted kids?

Yes without a doubt

Best part of being a dad?

The best part about being a dad is knowing that my little girl will always need me!

BEETS BLU Smart Scale

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I hope you all have had a lovely weekend. We have been busy bees painting our hall, stairs and landing something that we have been avoiding since moving in. Amelia like most toddlers wanted to help us paint and no matter what distraction we put in her way she was back asking to 'try a go'. We gave her a new paintbrush to play with and she managed to find the smallest drop of paint and painted our glass door frame. Little bugger!!!! But we managed to finish painting without too many mishaps. Anyway I will stop babbling on and get back to why you're here. If you follow us on the blog you will know that we are no strangers to Beets BLU in fact we are big fans of their Key Finder and Heart Rate Monitor. So when I was asked if I would like to try out their Smart Scale I had to say yes of course. 


The Beets BLU Smart Scales are slim, sleek and glossy black with silver metal rectangles that measure body weight, body fat percentage, water level and muscle mass when feet make contact with them. There is a LED blue light that easily displays your weight in kilograms, stones and lbs which is fantastic news for people like me who are short sighted, no more squinting for me.

To use the Smart Scales you simply download an app and enter in a few details about yourself like your age, gender, height and body composition. In order to get the most accurate result it is best to check your weight first thing in the morning after visiting the bathroom. It really is so simple to use. You open up the app at the same time as you stand on the scale and after about 10 seconds the data appears on your phone via Bluetooth. I think that it is a really unique way to keep your self motivated. My husband and I started a health kick at the beginning of the year and have hit a plateau so this is has been a great help with our motivation because the information tells us exactly what our body is made up of and therefore we are able to amend diets and exercise plans accordingly.


The only criticism that I have with this Beets BLU Smart Scale is that the instructions never explicitly say that I needed to download an app from iTunes or the android equivalent. Instead there is a QR Code given and to be honest I am not too sure how that works. The scales are £49.95 which is a little more than I would like to pay but you have to see that the scales do a lot for their money and if you need the motivation or reliable data to track your weight then I would highly recommend these.

These are not just your normal bathroom scales. I really like the fact that these scales are able to give you more information about what your body so you can understand your body and identify the parts you need to change or improve. I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to be able to work with Beets BLU and receive this amazing product, it really has given me the motivation that I need to improve my overall being. If you are in a plateau or need some motivation to make improvements to your lifestyle then this is the product for you.

Kate Moss Sculpting Contour Palette

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FRIDAY FAVES is going to be a regular segment about products that I think are fab and want to rave about whether it's a new book, a beauty product or a recipe - they will just be a FAVE! So let's get to it with the Kate Moss Sculpting Contour Palette in Coral Glow. Whenever I review a product I will always use it for a good month or so before giving any form of an opinion, is that fair to say? My skin changes so much throughout the month and that is not even including the changing seasons! So anyway sorry for babbling on I just wanted to say that before we get into this favourite. I am absolutely loving this palette. It's a super cute contouring kit from Kate Moss and Rimmel London. Oh Kate, you little beauty, you really can do no wrong. I have always been a big fan of Rimmel and their Kate Moss products and now they have joined the contour train with this beautiful palette...my new fave!


The kit has a highlighter, a contour and a blush which is available in three shades : #001 Golden Sands for fair skin tones, #002 Coral Glow for fair to medium skin tones and #003 Golden Bronze for medium to dark skin tones. Due to my pale ghost like skin I opted for the Coral Glow and it really is the perfect match for my skin tone. 


First off, lets talk about the packaging. I am in love with the rose gold edging, there is just something about rose gold at the moment, don't you think? I love the fact that this is super compact and slim enough to pop into your handbag, especially as I am forever changing hand bags from my baby changing/everyday handbag to smaller ones. Now moving onto the three shades. The powders are very soft and smooth which make it easier when applying and blending, I am one of those girls that hate product waste and due to the size of the powders this is not a problem. The highlighter is a subtle champagne colour that has a beautiful shimmer which is great for highlighting areas that naturally catch the light. The blush is a matte coral pink which is really pigmented to help give definition and colour to my apples. As for the contour the shade is perfect for an everyday natural contoured look and it adds warmth to my complexion, similar to a bronzer. It great for a subtle contour I hate seeing girls with an oh so obvious heavily applied contour - it looks ridiculous. 


To be honest I am new to this whole contouring idea and can't help but think to myself why didn't I dabble in it sooner? But if you're in the same boat as me and just starting out this is the perfect palette for you to give you a subtle but contoured look to the entire face. There is also a handy little picture on the back of the palette to show you where each powder is applied to your face to help make life a little easier. As I said before I am new to this whole contour thing but for a subtle look I start by adding a contour into the hollows of my cheek bones, then I smile like a Cheshire cat to add the blush to my apples and to finish I will add the highlighter all over my cheeks. 

I think that all three shades worked great together and helped me get the contoured look without looking over the top. For me, my favourite part of the palette has to be the blush, in fact I would go as far to say that I am so in LOVE with the blush and it's been the perfect colour for summer. It is also small enough to pop into a handbag without having to bring a truckload of makeup with you for the same effect. So if you want to join that contour train this is the pallette for you and at £6.99 you can't really go wrong! 

JAMBERRY NAILS | Are you a Jamberry Girl?

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I hope you're having a lovely day so far. I absolutely love painting my nails but sometimes it can suck as you only get a good two days before they become chipped and you have to repaint them. So I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to tell you all about a new product that I have been trying out. Have you heard of Jamberry Nails yet? I am sure that it will only be a matter of time before you do because I know that since its release in the UK I am seeing a few consultants pop up on my social media. I was delighted when my friend Adele kindly offered me a free sample to trial. Adele lives in Norfolk so if you live locally she is definitely your Jamberry girl. No need to make an appointment or make a call its all done online and send to you by post, which is a bonus for busy people
What are Jamberry Nails?

For those who don't know Jamberry Nails are wraps that are made with durable materials, so smudges and streaks are never an issue, and can last for up to two weeks on fingernails and four weeks on toes. With over 300 nail wraps in an incredible variety of designs, you can customize, pair, and layer Jamberry nail wraps to create a look that is all your own—all from the comfort of your home.

In addition to nail wraps, you are can get your hands on an Application Kit, Mini-Heater, and Hand & Nail Care items, a selection of products that includes everything you need to pamper yourself and keep your nails looking fresh and beautiful.

My friend Adele is a consultant for Jamberry and offered me a free sample of the beautiful Party Picnic. These have to be the prettiest nails wraps and would be perfect for a summer wedding. What do you think?


Application

Jamberry nails are thin vinyl sheets that are pressure and heat activated to adhere to your nail for a long lasting and beautiful look. There is a great tutorial by The Jam Girl on YouTube channel  but if you'd prefer to read instructions here is how to apply the nail wraps.

First is the nail prep! Your nails should be clean, oil free and your cuticles should be pushed back. As you can imagine it is not a good thing to let the nail wraps touch your skin as this can ruin the adhesive bond, so be sure to take care and choose the correct size for each nail.

Once you have sized the wrap to your finger nail, peel off with tweezers or a wooden cuticle pusher and cut in half. Then heat the wrap up with a hairdryer for 3-5 seconds or until they are soft and flexible.

When warm enough simply press the wrap onto the nail and smooth it on with your cuticle pusher, I have found that it you gently pull and stretch over the tips it helps get a tighter bond to my nail curve. Lastly trim the top with scissors and file off the remaining wrap in order to remove any excess and then heat the wrap once more until its bonded to the nail.


I found using the nail wraps relatively easy, the first one was a little wonky and didn't bond as well but the ones I applied thereafter were good to go. I guess practice makes perfect. So what do you think about these pretty nail wraps?

Removing the wraps

Removing the nail wraps was something that I was least looking forward to because I have heard that they can be tricky and cause damage to the nail. But I am not just saying this , removing the wraps was dead easy and didn't damage my nail whatsoever. To be honest I am unsure as to why some people said that they were tricky my only advice would be that not to pick them AT ALL! I found this great tutorial video on the Jamberry channel to help with the removal of the wraps.

The Products
Jamberry Nails have a wide range variety of designs, colours, tips, florals and patterns. They have glossy, matte, clear and sparkle and even metallic and sparkle. There are currently two new finishes called Satin and Lustre so there is something for everybody. As I have said they don't just stop at nails wraps, Jamberry also have an Application Kit, Mini-Heater, and Hand & Nail Care items. Go and check out their website and YouTube channels.

Would I recommend Jamberry Nails?

I have to say that since trying these Jamberry nail wraps I am so a Jamberry girl! There are just so many great things about these wraps. These set of nail wraps has lasted just under two weeks - how amazing is that? They would have lasted much longer if my nails didn't grow so fast and I didn't have such busy mummy hands. I also like the fact that there are so many options available, I am a vintage girl and as you can imagine I am head over heels in love with all the Jamberry floral wraps, any attempt in creating patterns with nail polish never ended well. So I am very happy. 
Even though I have definitely been converted into a Jamberry girl I still would like to let you know the things I don't like about these Jamberry Nails. At first they are quite fiddly so you have to be quick and meticulous about placing the wraps on your nail and therefore it can take time and lots of concentration, which can be a little frustrating. But the more I practice the easier it will get. But the positive outweigh the negatives by miles. 
These Jamberry Nails are great value for money! You buy them by the sheet and each sheet costs £15, but the best part about it is that the sheet is enough for 4 manicures or pedicures. Please check out my friend Adele's Jamberry Page and go pretty up your nails.

*DISCLAIMER: I was kindly supplied this item free of charge, to test and evaluate. In exchange, I agreed to provide an honest review detailing my thoughts*

A Week of Toddler Meals

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I hope you're having a lovely day so far. We are having a fantastic morning....not! If I was to tell you that porridge is so hard to get out of your hair once dried you will know that I own a two year old!!!! The little monkey even managed to put some of the poor dogs back. So you could say that sitting down to meals is not something that we look forward to in the Combes household. We have been really struggling with getting my daughter to eat her evening meal, I seem to waste so much time and effort for her to not even touch her food.


Does anyone else have this problem with their two year old? I must say that despite this morning and the whole porridge in my hair thing, she eats really well. I do like planning her meals for each day of the week to make sure that the are as colourful and varied as possible to keep encouraging good eating habits. We have this Cath Kidston section plate and this seems to have help improve meals times - the sections are perfectly sized for her portions. I know that sometimes it can be difficult to try and be creative with toddler meals, you can get to a stage where they can be eating the same. It is always a good idea to try new foods each week and don't forget to be persistent with refused foods. I cannot count the amount of times that Amelia has pushed food away and then decided the following week she cannot get enough! So without further ado here is what a typical week of toddler meals is like in our household...

DAY 1

Breakfast: Crumpet, Banana, Kiwi & Strawberries 

Lunch: Ryvita Crackerbread with Cream Cheese, Carrot & Cucumber Sticks, Tuna, Sweetcorn with Cherry Tomato Halves.


Dinner: Potato Wedges, Carrot & Green Bell Pepper Sticks, Fish Fingers, Chive with Onion Chutney Cheese and Cherry Tomato Halves.


  
DAY 2

Breakfast: Porridge with Raisins, Apple Wedges, Grapes and Strawberries.


Lunch: Dutch Crispbakes with Ham & Cream Cheese, Carrot Sticks, Cheese, Kiwi, Savoury Egg and Cherry Tomatoes. 


Dinner: Savoury Rice, Broccoli, Chicken Bites & Corn On The Cob



DAY 3

Breakfast: Banana Porridge, Strawberries, Raspberry Greek Yoghurt & Raisins. 

Lunch: Soft Cheese Sandwich, Cucumber Slices, Cherry Tomatoes, Sundried Tomato Focaccia, Cheese Chunks
Dinner: Tagliatelle, Grilled Courgette, Boiled Eggs, Carrot Sticks and Cherry Tomatoes
  


DAY 4

Breakfast: Crumpets, Banana, Kiwi and Red Grapes


 Lunch: Ryvita Cracker bread with Ham Stars, Carrot & Cucumber Sticks, Cheese with Cherry Tomatoes


Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese, Cheese and Cucumber



DAY 5

Breakfast: Toast, Banana, Scrambled Egg and Pear Slices


Lunch: Ryvita Cracker bread with Soft Cheese, Carrot & Cucumber Sticks, Tuna, Cherry Tomatoes and Sweetcorn.


Dinner: Tomato Pasta, Cucumber Wrapped in Ham, Sweetcorn and Cherry Tomatoes



DAY 6

Breakfast: Teacake, Banana, Strawberries and Red Grapes


Lunch: Dutch Crisp Bakes with Soft Cheese & Ham, Carrot & Cheese Sticks, Kiwi and Savoury Egg with Cherry Tomatoes


Dinner: Herb Mashed Potato, Carrot & Yellow Bell Pepper, Baked Beans and Ham



DAY 7

Breakfast: Teacake, Strawberries, Yoghurt and Pear Chunks


Lunch: Dutch Crispbakes with Cream Cheese, Cucumber Sticks, Cheese Chunks, Tomato Halves and Ham.


Dinner: Savoury Rice, Cod Fingers, Chantenay Carrots and Corn On The Cob


So that's about it a typical week of toddler meals. What does your toddler eat? Until the next time....

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