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Current Hair Styling Faves

As a work from home mum my life is basically a big balancing act, juggling my work load, being a mother, being a wife and considering home life too. Most mornings consist of getting up, rushing to get my daughter her breakfast, into her uniform, getting myself ready and out the door before 8 am. A few hours to try and get some work done before going back to collect her from school which is followed by playing toys and making dinner just in time for the husband to walk in the door. So it comes as no surprise when I say that I am just too tired to make time for me. When it comes to hair, I'm a simple gal. I would love to make time for my hair every morning and create some of the cutest lustrous locks but in reality, that's never going to happen. I have a little one that is on a go slow every single weekday, making no time for me or my hair. So the school run mum bun is always the favourite.

Cold, wet winter weather can take a toll on your hair. The most effective and practical way to protect your hair from the elements is to cover your head with a hat or scarf, but make sure that it’s not too tight, but let's be honest even then it can be bad for your hair. Limit the use of tools like hair dryers and curling tongs, as the heat can dry out your hair and scalp, increasing the risk of damage. It might be tempting in the colder months to turn the water temperature up, but try to avoid washing your hair in very hot water – use warm or cool water to avoid damage. As really hot water can dry out your hair and damage the delicate skin on your scalp, which may be extra sensitive during the winter. I have had a change up in my hair styling products and introduced a few new products from Design.ME.

Design.ME is an innovative company that is leading the way with a new approach to hair care. The packaging is a solid pastel colour and each product is a different colour. This makes life a lot easier since they are bright and it’s very easy to pick out the product you want in the sea of other products in your arsenal. All of Design.ME products are Vegan, Gluten-Free, Cruelty-Free, Paraben-free, and Sulphate-Free. For me, the packaging was what stood out the most for me. All the different products come in a different pastel shade and I really adore pastel shades. Personally good packaging can obviously make a huge difference to products and sales, especially when they’re sitting there on a shelf with thousands of other products. You want yours to stand out and I’m certain that these would, if you were walking down the hair care aisle. It's all about the pastels! So today I wanted to share a couple of my current hair styling faves with you all. 

Powederdry.ME is a spray that you use when your hair is damp to cut down on blowdrying time. The formula uses microemulsion to form a thin layer on your hair fibers to give it better alignment. This allows you to blow dry your hair without having trapped water in the tangles in your hair. Design Me has created this product to cut down on the length of time it takes to blow-dry your hair by also causing the water to bead up on your hair. This causes a lot less heat damaged which is great for your hair and your time management! When I used this I also say my hair had a softer feel and looked healthier. I have to say that the Powderdry.ME really did cut down my blow drying time. I'm a girl with long hair, who has probably spent most of my life drying my hair, but this bottle of wonders has really helped cut that down. Not only does it save me some time it actually battles the frizz and boy do I have some frizz this time of year. Since using the Powderdry.ME I can really see a difference in the condition of my hair, it's a good one to add into your hair care routine.

Fab.ME is like a spray in conditioner but also feels like a kind of treatment, and I can't say that I have ever come across a product like this before. It's a new one for me. You simply spritz on damp hair after washing. It basically does, well, everything. It controls frizz, detangles, strengthens, heat protects, hydrates and so much more. It's a great all rounder and if you are looking for a product that does everything, then this is the one for you. It's brilliant. It was quite a thick formula and smelled amazing, but not too heavily fragrant and it certainly stays on your hair long after you’d finished drying. The benefit just keep coming with this Fab.ME and it's definitely something that I will try and use twice a week to get all the benefits from the product. After a few uses this has left my hair feeling nourished, it looks healthy and it feels super silky and smooth. Not only that, but it has definitely helped my split ends.

One hair product that I cannot be without is hairspray, and this Hold.ME hairspray brings three different holds of hairspray into one bottle. With just a little twist, you can modify the hold from light, medium, and strong.Hold.ME is a flake-free, vegan and cruelty-free formula that not only gives you shine and hold, but also offers UV protection from your hair straightners and curling wands. And this one smells amazing. It's definitely one you should try. 

Have you tried anything from Design.ME? Do you have any hair styling faves?

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Introducing Roald Dahl and the Magic

My daughter's favourite time of the day is bed time, not because she loves to go to sleep, but because she really looks forward to sitting on my lap to get ready for story time. It's something that we have always done together and now that she's learning to read it time to introduce some classics. We are more than familiar with Beatrix Potter so now it time to introduce the little lady to another great storyteller of our time. Roald Dahl. The BFG, Matilda and Willy Wonka are some of the best loved characters in children's literature. I remember reading these book as a child and getting lost in the adventures, there aren't many of us who can honestly say that they haven't read a Roald Dahl book.

So many people love Roald Dahl for his style of writing, speaking to children as worldly and aware and offering them stories in which children triumph over the villainous adults. The dark humour that Roald Dahl characters often find themselves in were unusual in children’s books before he came along and are not always so easy to get right, but not for Roald Dahl, he perfects it! So we have decided to welcome our daughter into the wonderful world of Roald Dahl and introduce some of the classics. 

We have even been watching some of the films, last week we watched the new version of BFG and my daughter loves it. It's such a great film. Now she loves anything to do with the BFG. Who doesn't like the BFG though? You may remember during the Christmas craziness that we had a few gift guides floating about that were jam packed full of ideas for little ones. We featured this cute Roald Dahl stationary set and it went down so well with the little lady that I decided to go into a little more detail about the set. This lovely stationery set, featuring popular Roald Dahl characters, is perfect for a new term at school or at home. Ever since the little lady opened this on Christmas morning she has taken it everywhere, she even packed it into her school bag ready to show her teachers and friends. 

The set contains the high quality products from Helix Stationery and includes a pencil sharpener with shavings holder and safety screw; six coloured pencils; two eraser tipped HB graphite pencils; a white pencil case with doubled stitched seams and durable zip; a drawing book and sticker sheet. The stickers can be used to personalise the drawing book as well as the pencil case , which is a lovely idea. The set features, of course, Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations, making the set a delight for all Roald Dahl fans.

Never one to shy away for a little creativity, my little lady got straight to it and used the stickers to personalise her new pencil case and book. However, as much as she loved putting stickers on the book when it came to the pencil case they would stick so well. And when she tried to put her pencils in their new case, the would always leave marks on the inside as she pulled them in and out. But other than that, it's a cute set that is perfect for any budding Roald Dahl fan.

So what's your favourite Roald Dahl Book? My favourites are Matilda and George's Marvellous Medicine. 

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Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

At the start of the year I made a few promises to myself and one of these were to try and eat better. It's something that we have been enjoying as a family and even though we are now in February we still want to continue with the health kick. In one month I have lost a stone, all by making a few changes and planning and I really hope that my weight loss continues. If you're trying to shed a few pounds or you have decided to try and eat better let me tell you about some overnight oats that are the perfect way to begin your day. Most people on the slimming world plan rave about these overnight oats and I have to say I completely understand why so many love them, they are super tasty. 

These apple cinnamon overnight oats are so easy to make ahead breakfast for all those busy mornings on the go. As a busy work from home mama I know only too well how easy it is to skip breakfast. So what better way to make sure I get a good breakfast than with a few ingredients and a little preparation. Best of all, this recipe takes minutes to create and is made of hearty oats, apples and warm spices. 

A heart healthy diet should include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, lean protein, and should limit fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. This is why these overnights are so popular as it really does tick off so many boxes. And it's so quick and easy to prepare. Trust me, you'll love these. 

To make these super tasty apple cinnamon oat you'll need:

40 g Porridge Oats
100 g Fat Free Natural Yoghurt
1 Apple, chopped
1 tsp Granulated Sweetener
1 pinch Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

To make these super tasty apple cinnamon oats you will need a jar or bowl, as it will be easier when it comes to layering. Weigh out 40g of oats and then add the cinnamon and granulated sweetners to the oats then mix well. 

Take your jar or bowl and then begin layering the ingredients. First add the oats, then the yoghurt and then top with fruit. Continue until you have used all the ingredients and then add the vanilla extract. 

Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight so the porridge absorbs all the yogurt. In the morning stir so all the layers are mixed together and top with more fruit.

Have you tried overnight oats before? If so, what are you favourite flavours?

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Explore the Adventure: Planet Zoom, Strikes. 

Is there anything better going to soft play so your little ones can let off some steam. Both my husband and I love to go to soft play so we can spend time having fun with our daughter, but really it’s because we like to release our inner child by jumping, swinging and sliding with our daughter. Who doesn’t love soft play? I know we are all guilty of being the big kid in the soft play area at some point in parenthood. 

A little while ago my daughter was invited to her first little birthday party at our local bowling alley. However once we walked in we soon discovered that there was a soft play area for little ones called Planet Zoom. I must admit I have never really thought about taking the little lady here but we soon found out it was the perfect place to explore lots of adventures.  What I really love about Planet Zoom is that there is a safety gate just as you walk into the play area. The staff made sure that each child had permission to go through into the main part of the complex which made me feel at ease. To make your visit even more convient you were able to order food at the restaurant bar directly opposite the soft play area and just to the left there were some toilets and a baby changing area too.

As we had a party we had to wait for other guests to arrive and so the children went in the soft play area and had a runaround. Once everyone else arrived it was time to order food. There are different food choices at Planet Zoom and some of these choice include favourites such as; Sausage and Chips, Nachos or Burgers. You simply place your order at the food bar opposite the soft play area and the staff serve to  your table, which I thought was a lovely touch.

A typical party pack includes party invitations for guests, party bags, a gift for the birthday child, 60 minutes soft play, a hot meal and unlimited squash. This package is priced at £11.95 per child and I have to say it’s great value for money. My daughter had chicken Goujons, chips and peas and enjoyed drinking lots of squash. That’s not even including how much fun she had with her friends on the soft play area. All parties have a dedicated party host to ensure that the party runs smoothly. For larger parties, it is recommend additional adult supervision. Now never one to shy away from an invite into the ball pit, it didn’t take me long to join my daughter. However it was so much fun trying to bury my brother in law. 

Planet Zoom is a great place to unleash some built up energy, or grab a bite to eat. If you have bigger children they could get involved with a couple of games of bowling or play on some of the arcade games that are available, at an additional charge or course. So as you can see there is something for everyone.

Do you like soft play? Now are you like me and love to get involved?

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Baby Born Interactive Wonderland Dragon

My daughter love anything magical and mystical. I love watching her play with her toys and make up some imaginative adventure that normally include some fairies or unicorns of some sort. However something that she has really become interested in lately are Dragons, this definitely has something to do with the how to train your dragon series. So you can imagine our excitement when we saw one of these and our daughter went a little crazy.

Last year we got our daughter her first BABY Born doll from the Wonderland series and pretty much since then she takes her baby doll everywhere, so when we discovered that there was a dragon in the wonderland series we couldn't wait to complete the collection. With its cuddly purple fur, sparkling wings, long tail with shimmering spikes, big blue eyes and fiery nostrils that light up, this little dragon makes the perfect friend for your little one. The interactive wonderland dragon comes with a wand, an egg that can open to reveal a baby dragon inside. 

When you gently tap her forehead with the magic wand she makes cute dragon sounds. Tap her again and she starts walking, flaps her sparkly wings, makes dragon sounds and both her eyes and nostrils light up. The BABY Born Interactive Wonderland Dragon also comes with a dragon egg that hatches into a cute dragon baby. The small plastic dragon fits inside the egg, this then fits into a hole under the dragon's tail. It’s a great addition for my baby obsessed daughter, who likes to get miniature everything. She loves to pop it out from underneath and has become quite attached to the baby dragon.

The dragon has various touch points that make her interactive, pressing her ear makes her eyes light up and sparkle and she also makes cute little ‘dragon’noises. The wand is used to gently her forehead which makes her walk forward whilst making noises and flapping her sparkly wings. The little lady loves watching the dragon walk round the room and claps as she flaps her wings.

Personally, I really think that this sweet dragon is the perfect little toy for my daughter to get lost in her imagination. I also like the fact that this toy is not loud and annoying like some of her other toys. Who thought it was a good idea to buy a microphone! The BABY Born Interactive Wonderland Dragon retails at around £54.99 so is a little on the pricey side but I think a younger child will be very impressed with the things it does. I like the fact that the quality is really good and the toy is part of the wonderland collection and will sure to keep my little girl entertained for hours.

What do you think of our new friend?

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Yes, I Know My Daughter Needs a Sibling

It doesn't matter what your family situation is there are always people who ask questions about your reproductive plans. I remember as soon as my husband and I were married we were bombarded with baby questions, even on our wedding day. We had spend so long organising one of the happiest days of our lives but thne to be bombarded with baby questions wasn't ideal, we should have been completely honest and tell them that baby plans were not something we had even considered at that point. However, we just nodded along. We both wanted to enjoy being a married couple for a few years, go travelling, explore the world before adding a baby into the mix. Is there some kind of requirement at weddings to ask the bride and groom about their reproductive plans? Because let me tell it's not a question you ask.

You'd think having a baby would stop such questions being asked, they don't! 

Becoming parents was amazing. We were completely in love with our roles as new parents and taking care of our beautiful baby, it's so exciting watching someone you adore and love with everything you have grow and become independent. Parenthood is one of the most fulfilling experiences that anyone can ever go through and we feel so lucky to be able to finally have a family of our own. Becoming a mother to our beautiful baby was not the easiest journey, actually it was probably one of the toughest things we have ever been through. Many women don't want to talk about their feelings of pain, frustration and shame that comes with fertility. I think throughout society, there is a kind of stigma that to be a real woman you should be fertile and have babies. If anyone needs extra help, we are somehow less perfect or less of a person. But as a woman who has had fertility problems we just cannot beat ourselves up about it. Some women can look at a male and become pregnant, others it could take a little longer than they first anticipate and some need extra help along the way. No way is the right way for conceiving a baby, it just has to be the right way for you. I think that's what a lot of people forget becoming a parent is not always a walk in the park. You don't think one day 'let's make a baby' and by some miracle, poof, you're pregnant!!! It's doesn't always work like that. It takes a lot of love, support and patience.

I think that's why we feel so grateful to be parents, we never thought we would be parents. Our daughter is our miracle! We are complete. We feel content. But those baby questions are being asked, again. 'Are you having another?', 'Baby number two on the cards yet?' We were more than content with our life as a family of three but it seems that a couple sticking to one child is not enough. If you don't have a baby you are always being asked when you're going to have a baby. If you already have a child, you then start getting asked when are you having another and I have known some people with two children of the same gender getting asked 'are you trying until you get a boy'! As a mum of an only child my biggest fear is leaving this world and leaving her alone. I know I may sound irrational and I know she will have family and friends but it's a genuine fear. It is fair for her to be alone? 

The year marks a big milestone in our second fertility journey and it's something that we have kept close to our hearts. After the birth of our daughter we started to tell people and the whole world through this blog about our fertility problems, along the way felt some kind of comfort knowing that it can happen to anyone. Being a parent was one of the most amazing experiences you could ever have, and last year we made the decision to start trying for a baby. Unfortunately we are in a similar position we were five years ago. I honestly thought that I wouldn't have any problems when it comes to conceiving another baby. After all, I have already prepared my body for pregnancy and we pretty much know how it all works so it should be a walk in the park right? Last year saw a lot of heartache for us. We have had one negative test after another. We had a glimmer of hope with our first positive pregnancy test, which was short lived making the heartbreak that much harder and so painful.

Like most children, our daughter is desperate for a sibling. I'm beginning to realise that it's having an impact on my daughter. Our daughter has always been confident enough to go off and play with her toys, colour or play dress up on her own. But recently she is making references to a brother or sister and telling us that it's no fun playing on her own. As a parent it was absolute torture hearing those words. Both my husband and I are trying so hard to have another baby and it's getting to a point now where I don't think it's going to happen for us and it breaks my heart knowing how devastated our daughter will be. How do I tell my daughter that she may never have a sibling?

I would love nothing more than another baby. I know everyone is right our daughter needs a sibling. So can you imagine our heartache that we may never be able to give her the sibling she desperately wants. Each time you ask a question about a second baby, it's like a stabbing pain in my heart, or you're picking a wound that refuses to heal. My husband is just as desperate for a child as I am,  we feel guilty we cannot give our daughter a sibling, we are consumed by the immense heartache each month and at times we are angry and sad that we can't have what we want. 

We have always known that becoming parents was never going to be an easy and both my husband and I have been extremely lucky to have been blessed with our beautiful baby girl. I guess, we never considered the possibility of having another child, seeing as we have already blessed with our miracle baby. With most families, a second baby comes soon after the first. We have lots of friends who have had children around the same time as we had our own daughter and have already had another child, pregnant or already planning for another. Being under this spotlight is not fun. If anything it makes us feel as we are not enough. My husband and I love our little family, to us it's perfect as it is and if we are blessed with another baby then that would be wonderful. But if it's not meant to be we are more than happy with that.

Those questions, those words feel like you're picking at our family. Are we not enough? It's something that we struggle with daily, it weighs heavily on our mind. But we have no intention of sharing those personal emotions of our lives until we are good and ready. A turning point in trying to conceive a baby naturally came when we noticed it began to have a impact on us, our life and marriage. We were constantly worrying and asking ourselves whose at fault, and in reality these things just happen. We have made some big changes this year in a bid to improve our chances of a second baby. But my husband and I were very fortunate to have our beautiful miracle baby girl, Amelia-Rose. A true blessing and one that I will never ever take for granted. The only way that I can end this post is to say, be thankful and appreciate the things you have in your life and remember whenever you meet new people, stop and think that they could be fighting a battle that you know nothing about, so be kind.

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Small Interior Changes To Your Bedroom Can Do Wonders For Your Sleep

As you man know, we have been making some big changes in our household and spending the last few months turning our house into a home. Although we have minimal scheme throughout and the majority of the decorating is completed, it still feels as if some rooms lack finishing touches. Our bedroom is the main focus for us at the moment as we both want to create a space that oozes tranquility and calmness, but also create a space that we feel comfortable, relaxed in to help get a good night's sleep. Are you getting enough sleep at night? If you do manage to drift off into a slumber is the quality of that sleep as good as it should be? I don't know about you, but night time is the worst part of the day and getting to sleep has become something that I dread. I always have a good intention when I go to bed, but then as soon as my head hits that pillow I'm wide awake. Small changes in your bedroom can do wonders for your sleep.

1// A Good Mattress is the Essential. 

A good night's rest may be as simple as getting a new mattress. If your mattress is too lumpy, hard, or soft, it will keep you up all night trying to get comfortable. Both my husband and I have different needs when it comes to sleep and a mattress so it can be difficult to get a good balance. There are many different types of mattresses, such as foam, spring, adjustable, waterbeds, and even an airbeds. I have wanted to get a new bed and mattress for some time as ours is far too hard for me, I prefer a softer feel. Have you ever thought about all the things you need to consider when buying a mattress? We spend a third of our lives sleeping and yet the perfect mattress is easily overlooked. Where we sleep determines how we sleep, and not all mattresses are created equal. And I have to say when it comes to choosing a new bed and mattress there is a lot that I haven't consider before. Being the biggest independent retailer in Scotland, Archers Sleep Centre know a thing or two about mattresses and all the different types, materials, fillings and even consider your physical needs too. So for us we would need to get a bed that is long enough for my husband, but is comfortable enough for the both of us.

2// It's a Sheet Thing.

I don't know about you, but the best way to end any day is getting into fresh bed sheets. Have you ever noticed you tend to sleep better? But did you know that buying brand new bed sheets every two years can do amazing things for your sleep. I did not! So I have been making several changes and made lots of new bedding purchases. But as a standard you should be changing your bedding once a week. Besides collecting dust, your bedding also gets a fair share of sweat and dead skin cells. Sorry for too much information, but you really need to know these things. So fresh new bedding improve your personal hygiene and sleep, and who doesn’t love the feeling of climbing into a freshly made bed with clean sheets? When choosing your sheets always go for a cotton material as they are cool and lightweight, with natural fibres making it breathable. It's also machine washable. These are our favourites.  

3// A Colour Can Change An Atmosphere.

Believe it or not but the colour of a room can actually have an effect with sleep. Colour has a powerful effect on our mood, and our mood in turn affects our ability to sleep. And no one wants bad sleep. If you’re trying to create a serene space, opt for a muted blue, which is considered the most calming shade. Keep the colours simple; go dark, go light but never use bright colours. Often colours such a bright red, orange or bright pink can often increase brain activity preventing you from switching off at night. Personally we always go for dusty tones, our room colour is duck egg, silver and cream. The perfect colours for a good night's sleep. 

4// Plants Look Good, But They Are Also Great For Your Health. 

Yes, adding a few plant to your bedroom decor can do wonders for your sleep. I know right? We have a few plants around our home so it does make complete sense to add some into our bedroom. An array of greenery throughout the home gives your home an instant botanical feel and make you think of embracing the outdoors. Plants in the home has become one of the biggest design trends over the past few years. People crave bringing a bit of the outside in, from big statement furn trees to tiny succulents and even arrangements of herbs in a kitchen window sill. In your own home plants can be arranged and clustered or spread out throughout rooms. Not only do they look nice and add a pop of colour, but they also help purify the air and can make you happier. The best plants to put in your room are Jasmine, Snake Plant, Lavender, Peach Lily, and Aloe Vera. 

Relaxing yet functional, the bedroom is our happy place. It’s the place you retire to after a busy day to unwind and relax, and for the parents out there, it may be the one place to have a quiet moment to yourself. So, shouldn’t our bedrooms be the ultimate luxury relax, recuperate and get a good night's sleep. By make a few changes to your bedroom can make all the difference to anyones lifestyle and more importantly their sleeping pattern. Do you have any ways to help you sleep better at night?

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Don't Forget Dad! 5 Ways To Spend Time with Your Dad in 2019

Everyone wants a strong, healthy relationship with their dad. And as we get older and start raising our own families, we come to realise how important spending time with him is. But it’s not always easy. When it comes to things like days out and spending afternoons with mum, that seems to come much more naturally than finding something to do with dad! But don’t worry, here you’ll find some handy ideas of ways you and your dad can spend an afternoon and just enjoy each other’s company!

1// Eat

What dad doesn’t love to fill himself up with a delicious meal? And then have a second helping! And if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, then chances are you might have a healthy appetite too! So, with that in mind why not make time for brunch? Its common for schedules to clash with work and other commitments, so catching up for a bite to eat is a lovely way to get in some much needed quality time. You could go somewhere you both like to visit or try something totally new! If you have a particular fondness of a certain cuisine, introduce your dad to it and see if you can convert him! 

2// Go For a Walk

My dad loved taking us on nature walks when we were kids, so why not recreate the magic and bring back some fond memories? If you live near a beautiful national park then head up there for the afternoon, take a picnic, a flask and try your best to make dad stick to the trail – rather than taking you on a wild walk through the unchartered wilderness…

3// Head to the Movies

If conversation is a little thin on the ground between you and dad, then don’t worry. How about a trip to the cinema? If there’s an action film he’s been wanting to see or a historical drama that is right up his street then why not suggest going together? You can discuss the film in detail afterwards and maybe treat each other to a drink in the bar before you go home. Who knows, it could become a regular thing!

4// Try a Beer Tasting Experience

If sitting in the pub with your dad and his work mates isn’t really your bag, then why not try a tasting experience at a local brewery? Your dad will love finding out about the history and the story behind local ales – he’ll have a few tales to tell his friends. And you can both take home some bottles to enjoy later!

5// Plan a Spa Day

Not just for you and mum! We often forget that dads need a chance to relax too, so why not head to the spa together for an afternoon. You can sit in the sauna, try a couple of lengths in the pool and then enjoy a massage of facial in each other’s company. There might even be Father, Daughter packages specifically tailored to you.

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