Swoon is moving…

February 6, 2014

PrintSwoon is moving!

I am slowly but surely getting the website together with the help of All That Good Stuff (my Husband’s company yo!)

You can now find me at http://www.youmakemeswoon.co.uk.

We still have some work to do but I am moving the blog over there as of today. I hope you’ll come and join me there – subscribers you’ll have to join again over at the new address.

Sally
xx

Gifts for New Parents

February 5, 2014

I thought I would share some of the best gifts I received for ideas for gifts for new parents.

Excuse the length of this post, I hope it’s useful.

Gifts

Gifts for Baby
All the gifts I received were wonderful and I loved them all – if you want to buy your friend a cute outfit or a cuddly teddy then go ahead. Before the baby arrives you have no idea what you are going to need and all that cute stuff just adds to the excitement. That said this is a list of the gifts I received that I really love and have found useful.

Swaddle pods – a gift from gorgeous friends in Australia, we loved this when Jessica was brand new. Swaddle blankets are absolutely fine but if you have a wriggler then you’ll spend a lot of time re-wrapping the baby especially with the kerfuffle of night-feeds. I also received lovely sleeping bags which as soon as Jessica wasn’t up for swaddling we put her in. They too are wonderful for keeping her warm and you don’t have to fuss with blankets every time you feed.

Sleepsuits – I do love dressing Jessica in cute outfits but it’s a hassle when they are little especially if they don’t like fuss so if you want to give something seriously useful then all in ones are the way to go. My favourites are from Mama’s and Papas and John Lewis as they wash really well but we got given some seriously lovely ones from Petit Bandeau that I will keep forever – that first size is so tiny and something I want to remember.
Little tip you should get ones with feet and scratch hands on.

Pretty blankets and quilts – I am lucky to own a lot of beautiful quilts and I got given a few more, plus I treated Jessica to some little colourful ones for her nursery. I use all of them. I don’t believe you can have to many blankets or quilts. I use them to cover the bed when I am feeding, I use them to add an extra layer on Jessica at night, I use them when we got out in the pram and now for playing on the floor at home and out. They get puked on and dribbled on a lot, you need a few.
Find out if the nursery had a colour scheme and try and buy one to fit.

Huge Muslins – I got given some beautiful muslins at my baby shower, and they are huge. I always make sure I have one of these when we go out. Baby’s are sick a lot. You need to always have a muslin handy. I loved having pretty ones to take out with me and at home I have pack after pack of plain white ones.
I also have the softest bamboo muslins for wiping dribble and milk.
I love Aden and Anais.

Every baby needs a Sophie. The cutest toy and it has really come into its own recently (teething!)

Also the cutest, softest toys are Jellycats – you can buy them everywhere. Jessica has so many bunny’s and the sweetest musical star in the car.
I also adore Maileg toys, I am very naughty with these, Jessica is already growing a gorgeous collection.

If you are a Mama and have found you have used something a lot and love it pass that knowledge on, some of the best gifts I received were exactly these.

Gifts for Mama – so gratefully received!
If the Mama is on baby number two or more this is the way to go, they probably have everything they need!

Give a Mama to be a massage or mani-pedi for use before the baby comes and she will LOVE you. Those last few weeks before baby arrives are tough, you are fed up of being uncomfortable and just want to meet your little one. The best thing I did was relax and take time for me, these are amazing gifts to give and will be the last time she’ll be able to do it for a while.

I highly recommend pampering products, especially early on in the pregnancy. A few wonderful friends gave me treats and I spent a lot of time having long bubble baths and using all these lovely products people gave me. I am so glad I did enjoy them while I can because it is so rare now!
I loved the Mama Mio products, the rich body lotion felt and smelt amazing and was a pleasure to use, as were the oils.
I also like Burts Bee’s products and still do, I have some of the baby bits too and they are so lovely to use.
Also Neal’s Yard (my Mum gave me the seaweed and arnica foaming bath – which is for when you are overtired how apt!)

I think any products that are natural are great when you’re pregnant your skin can be a bit more sensitive than normal and natural products for me always tend to be worth the extra cost because they feel good to use.

I also loved the Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil which I am still using. It soaks into the skin so quickly and isn’t greasy at all and is a joy to use.

One more idea that I can pass on and it’s possibly the best is to be helpful when you visit. I could have kissed the friends that dropped in with food, my mother-in-laws came and cleaned and friends that insisted on washing up etc were life-savers.

At first when the baby is brand new and possibly Dad is off work they might have it all sorted but, unless it’s going to offend, when you visit someone with a new baby make the tea, take food – if you can take a big pie or casserole they’ll love you forever, take a look around when you visit see if there is anything you can do to help, especially if the new Mama is having a tough time, someone just cleaning up, throwing the vacuum around might just make their week a little easier.

I wish I had known this before… I was so clueless, I imagine I was the super unhelpful guest visiting friends with new babies… Sorry to all of you!

xx

I have been meaning to write about this pub since November, but a few more visits since then have cemented my love and I had to share.

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Since becoming a Mama eating out is a whole new ballgame. There is so much more to think about. Parking, access with a (rather large) buggy, baby changing ad of course the most important – whether a baby is welcome!

We first visited here on a recommendation that the roast was awesome from a friend who has a 2-year-old, so knew they’d be okay about kids. It was my birthday and there were two big tables of adults with quite a few babies and toddlers, in fact this has been the case every time we visit. We have also visited for dinner, when Jessica was younger and sleepier and tucked ourselves away in a corner with delicious fish and chips and wine.

Top tip – they sometimes do a mixed roast – all three meats! It’s like a gourmet carvery! Also get the scotch egg, SO GOOD.

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The staff are always so friendly and nothing is too much trouble. Little things like high chairs already out with plastic bowls and cutlery have been noted, so has the heater in the baby changing (SO needed) and then we found out the owner has a little one and another on the way – all explained. He knows what families need. He has us for life. It’s our favourite spot, we always end up bringing a crew.

Of course none of this would matter if the food was rubbish, but it isn’t it’s great. Really great. My favourite place for a roast. The wine list is good but the beer selection is even more extensive. The normal menu has an awesome burger which is served pink and you can eat in the bar as well as the restaurant.

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I love this place. Go visit, just don’t take my spot!

The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer.

February

February 3, 2014

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This month…

I am aiming to continue to eat well, the scales have started to move in the right direction! I may still be having treats but meals have been super healthy and I intend to keep that up – Holiday in 5 months and counting!

I will try to step up the exercise, I hit Nike hard this payday, nothing like new gym kit for motivation! It will be hard to find the time but if nothing else I am going to take more (and longer) walks with the buggy.

I have lots of work on so I am going to write myself a schedule. I think having regular working times will help me get into habits and make it easier to get done. I am really enjoying using my brain to think about something else other than baby… it reminds me that I am still me.

I will be celebrating my husbands birthday and a favourite holiday – Valentines! I have an awesome card this year.

What are you looking forward to this month?

xx

Lately

January 29, 2014

This is why I love writing my diary posts, after a tough day where I didn’t do anything nice I was feeling a little tired and sorry for myself and then I looked through all my instagrams and realised I have done lots of nice things recently…

Of course lots of time with my sweet girl, she loves the deer doll I got her for Christmas (from Sisters Guild in Frome) and smiles and hugs it all the time – and I found the cutest bunny slippers for her last week in Aldi of all places! She won’t be able to wear them for a while but they were too much for me to resist.

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I have a new job and one of my tasks involves blogging about Bristol, how fun! So I have been exploring coffee spots this week… Full Court Press Coffee on Broad Street might be a new favourite. The coffee is delicious and pretty different from most – they have a menu with tastes you might find in each blend like wine almost. Also it is super pretty in there, I love the stained glass window at the back. (The last time I went here my friends ran a trainer store!)

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I cannot drink much coffee but I absolutely adore my daily cup or two… and I love coffee dates with my Mama buddies. Current favourites are Boston Tea Party for their pretty coffees and Zazu’s Kitchen for their seriously thick hot chocolate.

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Another new favourite is At The Well on Stokes Croft, my friend Sofi told me about it and I will definitely be going a lot. The place is all mis-matched china and they give you a biscuit with your cup of tea! I had some amazing American pancakes with bacon and blueberries. The. Best.

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The lovely Ivory Flowers (who I worked with on this event) have opened their store on my local high street – which makes it so much easier for me to get pretty flowers – I got this cute little arrangement this week. (They share the shop with Zara’s Chocolates which I have also visited a lot!)

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I had a marathon shoe trying on morning, I was told by a friend that your feet can get bigger during pregnancy and then not go back to normal… I don’t know if mine got bigger at all or if they have gone back already but I was relived to find my shoes still fit – I was most worried about my tiny sandals that I wore to y wedding but they still fit. *PHEW* In other news Jessica is into my Chanel make up already… jokes.

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We had a visit to Bath at the weekend, to see my parents-in-law for Sunday lunch. We visited Graze which overlooked the railway station. We love Graze in Bristol but this space is beautiful, I loved the brass lamps and the blue subway tile and the roast beef was divine!

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We have been making an effort to eat at the table again… in the mornings we pop Jessica in her buggy (she is not quite big enough for a high chair) and we eat together before my husband leaves for work. In the evening once we have put the babe down we sit and eat dinner together. This has felt like such a treat – I have been lighting all the candles and we have even treated ourselves to a couple of steak dinners! (We got our steaks from Source Food and they were SO GOOD)

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There is a lot of food in this post! I have been having lovely lunches out with my Mum – mostly recently at Boston Tea Party on Cheltenham Road, I love the interior and my veggie burger was amazing. I have to mention my new favourite lunch at home – it’s not a recipe and it is someone else’s idea so it cannot be a recipe post. (Roasted new potatoes and carrots with salad and a poached egg – I was full right through till dinner!)

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I am also resting a lot as night times are still very busy! So we head out most mornings and for lunch sometimes but I try to keep our afternoons free for downtime at home. I drink tea and watch movies under blankets and try to get her to nap. It makes for a rested Mama and a happy baby – she is such a homebody.

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xx

Happy Thoughts

January 28, 2014

I love this Roald Dahl quote.

It’s too lovely. And so so true. I need this today. *stressed*

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Print from The Adventures Of

I am so excited that I and a little girl… pinterest pics like these make me so so excited!

I cannot wait to put little ballet shows on her toes…

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And sunglasses! (have actually already done this, super cute)

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She is going to have so many tutus. I will be gutted if she’s not into dressing up.

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But mostly just little sun dresses. When she can walk, this is going to be so cute!

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I also want to get some skinny jeans and a cute scarf.

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Basically dressing my daughter up is more fun than dressing up myself now!

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