A life update – lots of changes!

It feels like it’s been/still is the busiest few months of my life! I have about a month left of my maternity leave and…

Time on my own

A month ago I went to Marrakesh for 4 nights with my sister and her friend. It was SO lovely to have a child-free break, and just time by myself to relax, wander round etc. I really managed to switch off and relax, and I don’t feel guilty about it at all – I am definitely not the clingy mum type, I’m more than happy to have time away from them!


It was actually really hard coming back (a nightflight didn’t help!) and then was thrown straight into….. Continue reading “A life update – lots of changes!”

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Christmas tag

I was kindly tagged by 2 of my favourite bloggers – Jenna at TinyFootsteps and Katie at Life on Vista Street to do this Christmas Tag…. with just 6 sleeps to go I’m as unprepared as ever… still have a few presents left to buy, still have some Christmas cards to send and the tree is still in the loft!

I will be glad when the big day is here – we’re off to the in-laws for the day so no cooking for me 🙂 This year is baby W’s first Christmas so hopefully we will have a lovely day with lots of fun memories!

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

I think it has to be ‘Home Alone’ as that reminds me of Christmases when I was growing up – I think it came out when I was about 10, we had it on video and would watch it a lot! I also love Elf, and Love Actually.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning, of course – always have, always will 😉
 3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
I’m not sure if I have a stand-out one to be honest…. all the childhood Christmases blur into one.. and they were defo the best, I think Christmas is so magical when you’re a kid! Although just thinking about it, last year I saw the Coca-Cola Christmas lorry and that was pretty magical 🙂
4. Favourite festive food?
Roast dinner is my favourite meal anyway, so Christmas dinner is just awesome 🙂 turkey with cranberry sauce and bread sauce, roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips yummmmmm

I also love the endless supply of mini sausage rolls that my mum has every Christmas!
5. Favourite Christmas gift?

Again, I can’t think of a stand-out gift… I used to love getting Friends box sets when I was in my late teens! These days I have everything I need/want and so I’m happy with bubble baths and smelly candles… they are my treats!

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
I love all the smells associated with Christmas and always have some Christmas-themed candles on the go… spiced apple, mulled wine, cinnamon, oranges…. lush!

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

I don’t think we did when we were kids. When I was a student I was always working in retail til quite late on Christmas Eve. After that, there were a few years when I’d go out in my hometown (Aberystwyth) for a few drinks on Christmas Eve with my sister 🙂 It will be interesting to see what our family traditions with baby W will be!

8. What tops your tree?
We still haven’t put the tree up this year yet so I can’t actually remember what we have on there – I know 2 years ago we didn’t have an angel or star so we put a Hello Kitty teddy there instead!

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
It’s not crazy, wild or extravagant…. all I ever wanted was a Mr Frosty toy and never got one 😦

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?
It has to the sense of togetherness, catching up with family and friends.

What are your answers to these questions?! Pop your blog links in the comments! Merry Christmas y’all x

11 question blogger challenge

Months ago, the lovely Jenna at TinyFootsteps tagged me in this blogger challenge – go over and take a look – turns out she’s a fellow Pink fan!

You’ll know I love taking part in these (here’s my previous efforts) so here’s my answers:

1) If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy?

I’d pay off the mortgage… and my sister’s mortgage…. then I’d head to the travel agents…..

2) How did you meet your partner?

Well,  I had just joined Match.com and I was in the work kitchen telling a colleague about it, when another colleague overheard and said ‘I didn’t know you were single, I know someone who I could set you up with….’ and that was that 🙂 (So I always say I wouldn’t have met him if it wasn’t for Match.com!)

3) What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done? (Come one, it’ll be like therapy!) 😉

I honestly can’t divulge all here but let’s just say I have a couple of poo-related travel stories!

4) If you could banish anything to Room 101, what would it be?

Polystyrene

5) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Oh god, everywhere!!! But my heart is here in Wales, so I would just have to settle for holiday homes in all matter of exotic locations!

6) What was the last film you watched and what did you think of it?

Wolf of Wall Street – good film, racier than I was expecting! Reminded me a lot (too much) of ‘Blow’

7) What’s the one piece of advice would you give to a new mum?

Hire a cleaner – even if it’s just an hour a week it will be the best tenner a week you spend 🙂

8) What items are you unable to resist when you’re out shopping? For me, it’s baby clothes and cute stationary!

Scarves. Percy pigs.
9) If you had to eat the same meal for dinner every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Roast dinner

10) Tell me about your proudest moment (I’m talking before babies!)

Going travelling alone and getting a 2:1  in my degree are up there but probably my proudest moment is winning a Manager’s award in work last year, nominated by my boss only 12 are awarded each year out of a workforce of a few thousand!

11) How would your best friend describe you?

Laid-back, disorganised

Now, I’m supposed to nominate some other bloggers but everyone I know has already done one of these so I’ll leave this one here for now – if you enjoyed it, nominate yourself and share your answers with me 🙂

Liebster award #2

You might have read my first liebster award for new bloggers – well my second nomination came from the lovely Mrs H – thank you sweetie! Please go and check her out – find out how she kissed John Barrowman!

Here’s the questions she asked of me..

1. What is your favourite book?

I love reading but very rarely get a chance to do it anymore! I love good thrillers, and a good chick lit but my favourite genre are any books based in faraway places like China, India etc… for that reason my fave ever book is ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ – it got to all my senses like being able to see and smell blossom trees… still can’t believe it was written by a man!
2. If a film was made of your life which actress would you want cast as you? 

Either Renee Zellwegger or Clare Danes – only because I’ve been flatteringly-told I have slight resemblances to them (I wish!)
3. What is your favourite way to spend a summer evening?

Sitting in the garden with a glass (bottle) of Prosecco, lovely nibbles, a good magazine and my family 🙂

4. What is your happiest memory?

Has to be the moment that baby W was laid on my chest just after being born

5. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?

I would like to be able to sprinkle fairy dust wherever it’s needed – this stuff could fix wars, broken hearts etc 🙂

I also like Karl Pilkington’s ‘Bullsh*t man’ character – there are lots of people I’d like him to make a visit to!

6. Tea or coffee?

I like a good coffee now and again but it has to be tea – I get through about 10 cups a day!

7. What would you do if you were Prime Minister for the day?

Oooh good question! Essay coming up…

Sort out the housing crisis by repurposing lots of our old, unused buildings – turning them into housing and community buildings. Also on the same note, limit the amount of housing that can be sold to overseas buyers – it doesn’t affect me but it sounds like this is a nightmare in London. In Dubai overseas buyers are only allowed to buy in certain areas – I think this could work in London?

I know unemployment is improving and there are some good, hardworking people who are still unable to find work. However, for all the benefit scroungers out there I can’t understand why they aren’t asked to do some type of community service (e.g. volunteering/ maintenance/ community projects???) or join the army or anything else that’s useful for the rest of us that are paying for them?

I love the NHS but it could be improved – I’d bring in a business guru like Lord Sugar to try and streamline things… not to focus on targets on care but thinking back to my pregnancy, and also an eye condition I suffer from – I’ve spent SO MANY HOURS hanging about in our local hospital – things could be organised a lot better and that would save them money!

I could go on but that will do for now!

8. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I went through phases… fashion designer, author and then for years I wanted to be an investigative journalist!

9. What makes you laugh?

Baby W laughing… being silly…. Fawlty Towers…. An idiot abroad….

10. What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Easy-going, laid-back, disorganised

11. Bags or shoes?

Shoes!

Now to nominate some new bloggers – here’s some new parenting/pregnancy bloggers I’ve come across over the last few weeks – Little O and me and Another Bun and a local (Cardiff) lifestyle/beauty blogger The little bones blog 

Ladies, please use the same questions as above – I know it’s cheating but I’m better at answering than thinking of questions!

Readers – please check out these new blogs and show them your support 🙂

the full rules…..

A Liebster is given to up and coming bloggers who may not be receiving the love that they deserve. It is a lovely way to introduce you, my readers, to some brilliant blogs. Plus, you get to learn more about me as I have 11 questions to answer.

The rules of the awards are nice and straightforward: 

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions given to you.
  • Nominate other bloggers with less than 500 followers whose blogs you love.
  • Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer

My Liebster Award #1

I was kindly nominated by Zena’s Suitcase for this award… For those not in the know, a Liebster Award is an award for bloggers to give to other bloggers.  It’s a way to say, “Hey, I like your blog!” It’s a bit like a chain letter, I answer 11 questions and then nominate more bloggers with less than 500 followers to answer my 11 questions.  So here’s my answers first off…

1) What’s the best thing about social media?

I love and hate it for a range of personal and professional reasons but the best thing about it has to be the ability to easily stay in touch and keep updated from friends and acquaintances around the world!

2) If your blog had a personality, how would you describe it?

  • Easy-going (by that I mean, this blog will only ever be a hobby so I don’t think I give it the same TLC as a lot of other bloggers – I publish awful photos etc :))
  • helpful (hopefully ;))
  • private (I don’t put baby photos on here)

3) Which of your children’s toys would you rather had never been invented?

My baby is too small to think of anything for this, although the music on his playgym does get annoying from time-to-time, there’s no way we could be without it!

4) What’s your best blog post title/headline?

Hmmm I can’t think of anything that really stands out here – probably ‘Co-sleeping – a common reality and guilty secret?’ as it was first ‘opinion piece’ which I published as it was hitting the news, so it got quite a bit of traffic

5) If you could only give one tip to another blogger what would it be?

Check how your blog looks on a smartphone e.g. iPhone. I read so many blogs that aren’t using the ‘mobile template’ and they hurt my eyes – so much zooming in etc! I think blogger and wordpress both have mobile settings which you can switch on 🙂

6) Would you pick the scenic route or the fastest route when going on holiday?

Ha – I would choose scenic but my other half would choose fastest and as he normally drives, he would win 🙂

7) What do you do with your blog when you go on holiday?

My blog takes a holiday too!

8) Where do you get your inspiration from for your posts?

Real-life! My regular updates are a bit of a diary for me, more than anyone else! My product reviews are all things I use that I want to tell other mums about, as I’ve found reviews so useful when I’ve been researching products. So I don’t just review things that brands ask me to review, I review stuff that we use or things I’ve bought.

9) If you were told you couldn’t no longer blog right now, what would you do?

Keep a better diary, maybe do some scrapbooks or something 🙂

10) When do you spend the most time on your blog?

I only blog when baby’s asleep in the daytime and as he only takes short naps now, that is quite a challenge!

11) If you could be reincarnated as any animal, what would you be and why?

A cat – I love cats – and look how much sleep they get!

Who am I nominating?

I’m not quite sure what the rules are about nominating (does 500 followers mean Twitter followers) and how many other bloggers I’m supposed to nominate but I’m just going to nominate 2 bloggers that I’ve just discovered over the last few weeks… both are relatively new…

Mousedogbaby – has just moved to Wales (not too far from me – we WILL meet!) and has not long had a baby

Clare at milkandsandcastles – is an ex-pat living in the glamorous Dubai with her new baby

So there you go – explore Wales and Dubai and follow these 2 bloggers! I love the questions I was given, so I’d love to see your answers to the same questions ladies 🙂

Blog your heart out

I’ve been tagged by EmilyandIndiana to fill in the Blog Your Heart Out meme – thank you Emily – it’s the first time I’ve been tagged to do one of these 🙂

Who/what encouraged you to start blogging?

I’ve enjoyed writing ever since I was a kid – I used to write stories for my little sister! By the time I was a teenager I wanted to be a journalist… that never happened, but over the last few years through travelling and my job in marketing I’ve enjoyed writing blogs for other sites (see my marketing blogs for eConsultancy, and my travel blogs for Hostelbookers: Costa Rica and lessons for travelling) so it seemed like a logical step to start blogging for myself… and when I found myself pregnant, it gave me the perfect reason (I’d always wondered what to blog about!).

How did you choose what to blog about?

See above – I thought pregnancy was a great place to start – I wanted to share my experiences with other people to help out as much as I could, as well as documenting my feelings and activities as a sort-of diary to look back on. There are a few pregnancy posts I didn’t get around to writing, but now baby W is here, obviously the focus will shift to writing about my experiences of parenting!

What is something most people don’t know about you?

Things that other bloggers won’t know about me… yet….

  • I’m born and bred in Wales and speak Welsh
  • When I’m not on maternity leave I’m a digital marketing manager for Confused.com in charge of a team of 15 people
  • Despite becoming a blogger, I’m quite a private person – I don’t plan to share baby W photos on the blog, or my deepest thoughts
  • I believe in fairies

What 3 words describe your style?

Does this mean my fashion style?! If so  – jeans, comfy, unfussy!! I live in bootcut jeans whether dressed up with heels or dressed-down with flip-flops… unfussy as I don’t wear much jewellery/many accessories and don’t bother much with make-up at the mo….

If this means my personality/blog style… ummmm…. most people would say I’m laid-back… my other half would say I’m disorganised… oh and most of us would agree I’m messy!

What do you love to do when you’re not blogging?

I’ve been a mum for 2 weeks and so most of my time goes on feeding, changing nappies, laundry and staring at baby W when he’s asleep 🙂

Me and my OH have always loved travel and holidays and we hope to carry on with this over the next few months and years with W, although nothing booked as yet.

I need to find some mummy/baby activities but before I became a mummy I used to enjoy girly evenings – meals, weekends away, spa days etc and hopefully I can carry on with this once I get into a bit of a routine!

Who’s next?

I’d like to tag the following ladies who had their babies within a few weeks of my baby W…