Saturday, 29 July 2017

Rainy Summer Days

Summer. It's definitely my favourite season. Light evenings, warm days and summer dresses are among the things that make me happiest. I think the sunny weather is good for your soul and instantly puts you in a good mood. However, sometimes the Great British weather has other ideas and this week we've found ourselves saying bye bye sunshine, hello wind, rain and thunderstorms. Did I fall asleep for 3 months and wake up in October? (Haha who am I kidding? I have a newborn, I don't go to sleep). So whilst we wait for the sun to put his hat firmly back on, I wanted to share with you a few things we recently got up to on a very rainy Sunday.

We had just got back from Grufflalo hunting at a Bedgebury Forest (see our new vlog here) and jumped into the car as the heavens opened and we narrowly missed being drenched. We were more than ready to go back home and snuggle up in front of a movie! So when we got in, I put some cookies in the oven (sounds more impressive than it was as they were the frozen ready to bake ones!) and Archie decided he wanted to watch Hotel Transylvania 2 which will only have been the 3458th time we've watched it. Now he's a little bit older and has the patience to sit and watch the majority of a film, it really is one of my favourite things to do. I forgot how brilliant kids movies are and I love when I get the chance to watch an old favourite, especially when it becomes one of Archie's favourites too. Our little tray is from Amazon, they have so much tableware available and I love these especially as they look like china but are actually made of melamine, so they're Archie proof and perfect for little picnics, whether you're indoors or out! (The cookies were a winner too!)


Once Archie got a bit bored of watching the film, we decided to do a little activity I've been wanting to try for a while. Elliot is now 8 weeks old and I feel like I can see him getting bigger everyday! So I wanted a way to remember how tiny he is right now. We got the Baby Art Magic Box to try. It's a little kit consisting of clay, rolling pin, display tin and stand, to make a special hand or foot impression keepsake. I thought it might be a bit messy, but the clay comes ready made, you just roll it out and set it in the tin, I also twisted some of the clay together to make a little decorative boarder around the edge (get me!) Its not the easiest thing getting a wriggly 8 week old to keep his feet still, but I was actually really pleased with with how it turned out! It's really sweet and Archie loved helping us press elliot's feet into the clay, in fact he liked it so much we had to get the play doh out so he could have his own foot impressions done after! It's also dermatologically tested and safe for baby's skin. Amazon have some lovely keepsake gifts and impression kits, including ones you can frame which I've got my eye on next!

After that we all (apart from Elliot) tucked into a Sunday roast. We hadn't had one for a while as it's been so hot, so I was really looking forward to it! Once the boys were in bed, I took the chance to do a bit of pampering. It's not something I get to do much at the moment, so I grabbed the opportunity whilst I could to pop on a face mask, and paint my nails. The colour I went for is this beautiful gold by OPI called Gitzerland It's a really pretty metallic, perfect for sunny days, holidays or just to cheer up yourself up on a rainy day! It felt SO good to get a bit of me time, and it reminded me that I need to take more time to look after myself, it's amazing how much better these little things can make you feel.


I'm definitely looking forward to more summer days with the boys this year, but I think a cosy, rainy day every once in a while is a good thing. They say a Sunday well spent brings a week of content, and It certainly did just that.

This post was in collaboration with Amazon's #NowItsSummer campaign. As always, all views and opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Read more

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

And then there were two...

It seems like moments ago I was looking down at my bump and wondering who you were. Did you have hair? Would you look like your big brother? Well it didn't take us long to get the answer to that question as you are the image of him, but so completely unique at the same time. My beautiful Elliot, it's sounds like a total cliche but I can't imagine you not being here now. Part of this crazy little family. The house that's slowly being taken over by boys and I couldn't be happier because I get to be your Mummy...

The past 6 weeks have been a whirlwind to say the least. I've been dreaming of those first newborn cuddles and lazy days doing nothing but looking at my tiny baby for months and it really is so lovely, but you forget the toll that the sleepless nights and an unsettled newborn have on you. Elliot isn't quite as calm and content as his brother was, which I feel so bad saying as he's so tiny, and 5 minutes ago he was cocooned in a little snuggly world of his own. He already seems more cuddly and likes to be held or wrapped up, and all hell breaks loose if he's anything less than toasty warm, (he gets that from me). His big brother has always been fiercely independent, and I like that they already have their own personalities.

During that first few weeks, I was surprised to find myself, at times feeling helpless all over again, as if I had never done this before and was once again a first time Mum. I'd forgotten how exhausting it can be, It sounds weird to say, because as I said, their personalities are already quite different, but at first I felt as though I'd woken up in some weird parallel universe, where I'd gone back in time 3 years and was looking after a newborn Archie again. However, that little baby is now a whirlwind of a little boy and lazy baby days are not so easy to have when you're being asked to play in the padding pool at 5:30am by your toddler.

There's no doubt about it, becoming a Mum of 2 is a learning curve, a big one. But everyday I feel like I'm getting the hang of it that little bit more. They both teach me so much without even knowing it. Elliot has brought out the most loving, caring side in Archie. He wants to be with him all the time, cuddling him and helping me look after him. He goes up to everyone he meets and tells them about his new baby brother, and for some reason, he says 'Elliot' in a little welsh accent which is honestly the funniest and cutest thing ever, and a total mystery to us!

One of the things I was looking forward to once Elliot was born was putting the boys in matching outfits! We we really kindly sent some beautiful pieces from My 1st Years recently which has been on my list of favourite baby brands ever since I had Archie. They do some adorable matching outfits for siblings and Archie actually screams with delight when he sees his little bro's been dressed the same as him! So I'm going to take full advantage of that whilst I can! As well as matching sets, My 1st Years are home to some of the most beautiful personalised gifts for little ones, Which would make the perfect present for anyone that's just had a newborn. Everything from the softest, monogrammed hooded towels and robes for bedtime (Prince George has one you know!) to their very own teddy bear complete with name jumper. Archie also has a personalised toy bag which has been home to all of his soft toys for the last few years and it looks beautiful in his bedroom. Their service is second to none and everything comes wrapped in a luxury gift box which I always think makes it a little more special.

So now days you'll often find me sitting in Archie's room, cuddling Elliot, playing with Archie and wondering what it'll be like when they're old enough to play in there together, imaginations running wild. Having one was fun, but It's definitely better with two!

Here's all of the beautiful My 1st years pieces featured in this post if you'd like to have a look, as well as some of my other favourites!

This post was kindly sponsored by My 1st Years. As always, all options are 100% honest and my own.

Read more

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Sweetie Redefined

For my 16th Birthday, I received one of my favourite gifts ever. My Sweetie bracelet from Links of London. I truly treasured it and every charm I was given still holds a special memory. From the 16 and 18 charms I got on those milestone Birthdays, to a star charm from My Nan & Grandad for a performance I did, and the 'R' initial I got when I started dating my now husband almost 10 years ago.  It's a keepsake that I love to look back on and reminds me of a truly happy time in my life.

The iconic bracelet is still a staple in many a jewellery lovers collection today, but with modern updates such as the option to add rose or yellow gold rings, as well as diamond beads, allowing you to create the most beautiful & unique mixed metal piece. Since my Engagement and Wedding rings are white gold and Platinum, and my favourite metal is rose gold, I really like being able to mix the two and my new Sweetie bracelet allows me to achieve the look perfectly.
The charms That adorn my Sweetie bracelet today reflect who I am now, And Links have a range of charms to help make your bracelet one of a kind and personal to you. I love the beautiful, ornate feather charm. I chose it as a reminder of loved ones that are no longer with me. I always feel close to my Nan whenever I see a robin and believe that it means she's watching over me. My other Nan who I'm very close too has always told me that when you find a feather, it means a loved one has sent it as a sign to say they're looking after you, so feathers hold a special place in my heart. The wishbone is of course to help bring me luck. I have always been drawn to lucky symbols, especially on jewellery pieces and I find there's something fascinating about wishbones. Finally, I chose a sterling silver heart locket. Since becoming a Mum, anything that can be made personal has taken on a whole new level of meaning, and I love that once the new baby arrives, I'll be able to put two tiny little photos of my tiny little babes inside the locket, to keep them with me wherever I go. You can also get this charm engraved, so I think I'll have their initials put on the front to make it ever more meaningful. I paired my Sweetie bracelet with the stunning Narrative 18K Rose Gold Bracelet and the Timeless Sterling Silver bracelet to create a gorgeous stack.
I love the fact that my bracelet nods towards nostalgia and reminds me of my teenage years, but also now takes on a new meaning as a women, someone with different priorities and values. I don't think there are many brands that could achieve that.
This post is in collaboration with Links of London

Read more

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Preparing your Toddler for a New Baby

We're getting closer and closer to becoming a family of four. The days and weeks have been flying past us and in all honesty, I don't know where that last 33 weeks have gone. But something I've thought about a lot in that time, and I'm sure it's a topic that gets every parent thinking, or even worrying, is how will our toddler adjust to becoming a big brother/sister? It's a big transition to go from being the baby of the family, having your parents and grandparents undivided attention to there suddenly being someone else in the picture that's smaller and needier than yourself.

It's one of the questions I'm asked most when chatting to family, friends, pretty much anyone I meet, 'Is Archie excited about the baby?' and to be honest, it's a difficult one to answer. For quite a few months I really don't think he had any concept of what a new baby meant. He had just turned 2 when I became pregnant again, and as he hasn't really been around that many young babies he really didn't have a clue. I think he though we were all mad! I think we all would at 2 if we were constantly being told that there's a baby in Mummy's tummy! (Sometimes I can't even get my head around it!)

I thought I would share what we've been doing over the past few months to help him understand more about what's about to happen, and adjust to the idea of becoming a big brother. Each of these little tips have either worked for us so far, or we're going to be trying once the baby arrives, so although I'm no expert, I thought I would write them all down in the hopes that it might help some of you going through a similar time in your life. I also wanted to share with you some of these photos because even though I'm so excited for there to be a brand new baby in the house, I feel sad that this chapter of it just being the 3 of us is nearly over.

A Special Arrival
1. A bit obvious but a good place to start is telling your little one about the new baby and see what response they have. This will obviously vary greatly depending on their age and level of understanding. I think it's really important to make it all feel special and tell them what an amazing big brother or sister they'll be to try and get them excited about the idea too. Maybe the new baby could 'write' them a card letting them know they're looking forward to meeting them. We also got Archie a T-Shirt which says big brother and he loved this! I think we can underestimate toddlers sometimes, and assume that if they can't see something they won't be able to grasp the concept, but Father Christmas and The Easter Bunny are big deals in the house, so even though the baby might not seem real to them just yet, they understand something exciting is going to happen.

Love The Bump
2. Try not to put too much pressure on them to love/cuddle/kiss your bump. This was definitely what I was doing in the early days as I thought it would help him understand it more, but I think sometimes it can be a bit too much for them. If your toddler is anything like mine, they will just want to do the opposite, so pick your moments wisely, but when they do decide that baby needs a bit of love, lots of praise works really well and nothing prepares you for the first time your belly gets a random kiss or cuddle. I definitely cried!

Baby Books
3. Something that's helped massively is reading Archie books about becoming a big brother/sister. We noticed a big change in the way he understood what was happening after we had read them a few times. He seemed more excited and gentle and started talking about 'his baby' a lot more. There are some really lovely books on this subject. Here are the ones we got but I'm sure there are lots more: 1 2 3

Helping Hand
4. Get them involved in preparing for the new baby. Let them help with washing and folding their siblings clothes (even if it takes 10 times as long). Archie has really enjoyed helping us open anything that's arrived for the baby, and putting things like the pram together. It's also great to get them a doll around this time if they don't already have one. They can help you put a nappy or a baby grow on it, or push them around in the pram to see what it'll be like when the real baby arrives.

A Gift From The Baby
5. This one might not be for everyone but we decided to tell Archie that his baby brother is going to be bringing him a present when he's born. He's been so excited, and reminds us all the time that his brother's bringing him 'The Look Out" (Paw patrol for anyone lucky enough not to know) when he arrives. I totally get that some might not be comfortable about doing this and it shouldn't be about presents but one of my earliest memories is actually of a little pink box filled with tiny nappies and a baby bottle for my dolls which my little brother gave to me when he was born. I think it's the start of building the bond they'll have as siblings and we've told him he can get a present for the baby too.

Meeting The Baby
6.  Something that a few people have suggested and I actually think I'll try is to have the new baby in their cot/crib next to you instead of holding them when your toddler comes to see you both for the first time. It really might not make any difference but it makes sense that it could be quite confusing for a toddler to see their Mummy holding another baby. It only needs to be for the first few minutes, but giving him some attention first before picking up the baby and introducing them to each other seems like a more gentle way to go. But I'd love to know if anyone else did this and what happened when your children met for the first time.

So they're just a few ways in which we've been trying to help Archie transition into becoming a big brother. Of course the most important thing to remember is that with such a small age gap, one day he might not even remember a time when his baby brother wasn't here! But whatever his reaction when the time finally does come, I know he'll become the best big brother. I'm already so proud of him.

I'd love to hear any tips or your experiences, if you've already gone from one baby to two! Any advice is much appreciated!

Love Kate x

I'm wearing: Night Shirt: Primark 
Archie wears: Yoga Pants & Top by Baby Mori

Read more

Saturday, 4 February 2017

A few new favourites: Chloé Lauren Inspired Pumps

During a recent late night browse on ASOS, I came across these beauties, I think my eyes lit up at the sight of the pale pink, scalloped goodness I saw on the screen, ok so I'm probably getting a little carried away, but honestly, they're so pretty and basically what inspired me to do a little blog post about these and some of new additions I've been loving just lately. My instant thought was they were a really great homage to the Chloé Lauren Pumps, but of course at a fraction of the price. The only real difference is the laser cut hole in each scallop, but I personally wasn't looking for a direct copy and love that these offer a nod to the designer style, but have their own thing going on. They also go down to a UK size 2, and having tiny feet that never quite fill up a pair of size 3's, I knew these would probably be a lot more comfortable and I'd actually want to wear them instead of just look at them!
I've also been wearing this gorgeous monochrome fluted sleeve blouse lots in the past couple of weeks. You might be surprised to know it's from George! I popped into ASDA Living for something and ended up coming out with this. I'm a sucker for poker dots anyway, and I love the painted print effect, but the sleeves meant I couldn't walk away from it, I got it a couple of sizes bigger than I normally would and it covers my bump quite well as it's not too short, so pleased with this little purchase!
Before Christmas I was very kindly sent a bottle of Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb which I believe is a limited edition bottle. It still contains the classic fragrance with it's floral notes of jasmine, rose, and patchouli to name just a few. Having loved it for years, I had never actually owned a bottle myself and I'm so pleased I have this to add to my perfume collection. It's sits so sweetly on my dressing table and is fast becoming one of my favourites.
Not sure if I've mentioned before that I like scallops? I ordered this bag at the same time as the shoes and the colour match it really good. I might not necessarily wear the bag and shoes together but I can already feel Spring creeping in (optimistic I know) and I think I'll reach for this delicate little clutch quite a bit as it warms up.
Finally I thought I'd mention a couple of little homeware/office accessories I've pick up lately. I found these adorable Eiffel Tower scissors on eBay recently, and they were only a few pounds so decided to pick them up as a nice little addition to my desk, they come in other colours too. The cute Kate Spade Photo album is actually a few years old now, but they're still stocked in John Lewis. It was a present from Rikki and I love looking through the family photos he put inside. Finally the little pink and gold note pad was from TKMaxx. It's constantly sitting on my desk and I'm always jotting down notes and little reminders on it. I included it in a stationery haul last year, but I did another one last week and if you like this notepad, you'll probably love everything in that video too so I'll link it for you here.

If you've blogged about any new additions to your wardrobe or home recently, please put the link in the comments as I love being nosey! And let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this.

Love Kate x

Read more
© Dolly Bow Bow | Fashion and Beauty Blog. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig