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Mama

  • InMama

    The Working Mum Juggle

    As a mother, I of course want to support and protect my babies as much as I possibly can. Whether they are with me or not, I am pretty much always worrying about them. Asking myself is they’re having fun, wondering if they are both getting on okay, and worrying whether they miss me as much as I miss them. (Spoiler; probably not, they’re too busy having fun!)

    The world is such a scary place and some days I do wish I could be with them all the time, holding their hand whenever they need me. But sadly this just isn’t realistic as Mama’s gotta go to work! I recently increased my hours at work and I’m now working four out of five week days. Which means I only get one day off during the week to spend with Hugo. I’ve been finding the adjustment pretty hard.

    Mainly cos it’s just so bloody tiring. Because of course it isn’t just getting up and going to work then coming home again at the end of your working day. THOSE WERE THEY DAYS. It’s now getting myself, Bella and Hugo up, ready, fed and out the door by 8.15am each morning by myself as Josh leaves for work before anyone else is usually even up. It’s then juggling dropping off two children in two different places within twenty minutes before then getting myself to work on time by 9am. It’s then the same after I finish too. Throw in ballet once a week, homework, packed lunches, reply slips, party invites, sorting the dog out, housework, washing, cooking and BLOODY HELL IT’S EXHAUSTING. And that’s before any kind of socialising, exercise or me time. There are literally not enough hours in the day!

    Something that is super important to me is being able to drop Bella off at school every day myself. Right from her first day at school I think I have done almost ALL of the morning drop offs. I am very lucky that my employers are pretty flexible and I’m able to start work later than everyone else to allow me to do this.

    One of the things I have found to be invaluable since working more is being as organised as I possibly can. I do the majority of prep the night before. I make Hugo’s packed lunch, pack my work bag and lay out Bella’s uniform and my clothes for the next day.

    My phone calendar is my SAVIOUR and I basically run my whole life from it. The notes app is also super handy for writing down things I need to remember to do. Other ones I use regularly are the Ocado and Sainsburys ones. I like to flit between the two but I just add things into my basket as and when we run out which makes food shopping much easier. I also recently signed up to an online pharmacy so I can manage my prescription from home rather that having to go into the doctors. It’s super easy to set up and you can reorder asthma inhalers, diabetes equipment along with all your regular medications too. Which is all really handy!

    I’m very lucky to have wonderful In Laws who have the children overnight for us a few times a year so we can get a bit of couples time in too. But even then I have to make sure the children have everything they need before I even start packing for myself. The longest we have ever left them for is three nights when we went to Budapest last year and Sweden in January. Both times we made them a countdown to our return that Bells could tick off and thankfully both times that were absolutely fine. I did miss them but I’m always a much better parent after some time out!

    Obviously I am not the only working mother out there. And many have more children and responsibilities than I do. But it’s hard. And it’s a juggle. And I’m not ashamed to admit that. I just try to tell myself that it IS worth it. It’s helping to instil a good work ethic into the children by them seeing the importance of Josh and I both working hard. And it means we can live a nice life now but also hopefully one day it’ll mean we can provide the children with a bit of a support buffer to fall back on when the time comes for them to navigate the big wide world by themselves.

    *Collaborative Post but all opinions are of course my own*

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  • InLifestyle, Mama

    June Favourites

    When I first started blogging, one of my favourite posts to both read and write, were monthly favourites posts. But somewhere along the way I stopped writing them. So I thought I would try and bring them back as and when I feel like I have some things to share. I’ll probably try to keep it to 5-8 things each month and they’ll probably include a bit of everything. So here is what I have been loving in June!

    An Edited Life by Anna Newton
    My wonderful Sister In Law bought me this book as a gift shortly after my Dad died as she had read it and really enjoyed it. I put it away until I was feeling in a better head space. When we went to Cornwall I popped this book in my bag in the hope I would be able to make a start on it. Well once I started reading, I literally couldn’t put it down. I devoured half of it while away and came back feeling so motivated to get my shit together!! I have since finished it and started putting Anna’s tips into action. It gave me the push I needed to get more organised and I have already referred back to it numerous time! I’d definitely recommend it if you are looking to streamline your life.

    Three Tier Cakes from Jane’s Patisserie
    I made THREE of these amazing three tier cakes from Jane’s blog during June. Starting with a Biscoff one for my bestie, a dairy free victoria sponge for my niece and lastly a chocolate fudge cake for Hugo’s second birthday. They are surprisingly easy to made but look super impressive. And of course they taste bloody delicious. Definitely my new fave way of doing big cakes!

    Super Facialist Vitamin C Cleansing Oil
    My friend Charlotte Connoley is a facialist and recommended I tried a cleansing oil for my first cleanse as I was on the hunt for a new one. The one she had told me about had been discontinued so I ended up picking up this one by Super Facialist on a whim in the supermarket as it was on offer. But OH MY, it is so lovely. Feels super luxurious and literally melts my make up away. It leaves my skin feeling amazing and I will definitely be repurchasing.

    Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
    I have been on the hunt for the ‘holy grail’ foundation for years now and I very rarely repurchase a foundation twice. But I picked up a sample of the Double Wear a while back and was very impressed. I have used this before a few years back but always found it a nightmare to get off my skin. So I ended up buying a full sized bottle and a pump and have been really enjoying using it again. It stays put all day and matches my skin tone beautifully. And really that’s all you can ask for!? I wear shade 1C1 Cool Bone.

    Black Aysmmetric Sandals
    This is probably a bit of a boring one but I have been wearing these sandals EVERY DAMN DAY. They are so incredibly comfy and literally go with everything. I have received lots of compliments on them too! They are just £28 and are made from real leather. Definitely a summer staple for me!

    Gousto Meal Boxes
    We recently started using Gousto for four meals a week and we are all loving it. It’s been a great way to get us out of the rutt we had fallen into. I tend to go for the 10 minute meals and it just takes out a lot of stress of meal planning and doing a big food shop. Plus the meals are DELICIOUS.

    Calm App
    I’ve been using the Calm app consistently over the last few weeks before bed and I definitely find it helps me to drift off easier. Bella also loves the children’s sleep stories too. I’d like to try some of the other mindfulness sessions during the day at some point too.

    Netflix
    And last but not least is Netflix. I am suuuuper late to the game with this one but I now don’t know how we ever lived without Netflix. So much so that we’re cancelling our Sky package. So far we have binge watched Queer Eye, Sex Education and have dabbled with a bit of Orange is the new black too. The film selection is also pretty good as is the kids bit!

    And I think that covers most of the things I have been enjoying over the last month or so! I imagine July’s favourites will probably include factor 50 sun cream, fans and cold G&Ts cos OHMYGAAAD it is hot lately!!

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  • InBrand Collaborations, Mama

    Casual Weekend Style {ft the new SkipHop Greenwich Convertible}

    Oh Hi! Hello! It’s been months since I have shared a post over here. Last year was very quiet for this little online space of mine. Mainly because life was just so busy. The renovations took over most of the first half of the year. And then with Bella starting school in September and me working more it’s just been very full on over here. Life is still just as busy. But I’d really love to start sharing more again. More style posts, more interiors, more recipes I love and just more general personal ramblings. So I’m kicking off the new year with a style post! It’s an outfit I wore at the weekend which I loved and I wanted to share with you all about my new favourite bag.

    It’s been super chilly in East Sussex over the last week or so, we’ve had a few days of snow and a hell of a lot of ice. I have been cooped up at home with two sicky babes which hasn’t been much fun. The horrible germs that come with winter is definitely my least favourite thing about this season. I’m already dreaming of warmer spring days with less layers and being able to leave the house without a coat on. Thanks to the sick bug that graced our house last week, I spent most of the time in my comfies with my hair chucked up in a mum bun on top of my head to try and avoid it coming into any contact with puke. No one wants sick in their hair now, do they? So by the time the weekend rolled around I was desperate to get dressed into something nicer, to do my hair and make up properly and just get out of the house!

    I opted for my favourite ‘mom’ jeans paired with a black lace cami tucked in and my huge chunky pink cardigan thrown over the top to keep me nice and cosy. I definitely should have thought more about my shoe choice before leaving the house though as those ballet pumps left me with frozen cold feet! Eeek. As I was going out with the children in tow I took my new Skiphop Greenwich Convertible Backpack which is in the shade Portobello.

    I’ve had a few different change bags since becoming a Mama but this in hands down he best one I have ever owned. I think the thing I love the most is how stylish it is and how it really doesn’t look like a change bag. The bag is made from vegan leather which means its easy to wipe clean which I think is a huge bonus. It’s incredibly roomy and has plenty of space for nappies, wipes, spare clothes and even drinks and snacks. Which makes it so much easier than having to take a a separate lunch bag out for those things too.

    It has a long shoulder strap which is super comfy. I also don’t find it slips down like others I have had before. But what makes this bag unique is you can covert the straps into two shoulder straps so that the bag can be worn as a backpack too. Which is perfect if like me, you have an older baby that’s walking as it means you can wear it on your back and still have your hands free to chase your crazy toddler around!

    I totally wish I had this bag when Hugo was a newborn as it would have been perfect. There’s two pockets for bottles, nine different compartments and there is a padded change mat included. It also has super handy clips so you can attach it to the pushchair too. Overall it’s a super versatile change bag which I think grows with your baby. I have really enjoyed using it over the last few weeks and received so many compliments on it! The Skiphop Greenwich Convertible is available to purchase from Amazon here.

    *The Skiphop Greenwich Convertible Backpack was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. As always all thoughts, opinions and photos are my own*

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  • InLifestyle, Mama

    What I Eat In A Day On Slimming World

    If you follow me on social media you may have noticed I’ve mentioned Slimming World a few times recently. I have followed the plan before in between babies, but never found it worked for me. Or so I thought. Looking back I think the main problem was that I wasn’t 100% committed to the plan. And I took advantage of the free foods a bit too much perhaps. Anyway, I digress! We made the decision to rejoin just after Hugo’s first birthday. Josh has now lost a stone and I’m just a couple of lbs away from reaching a stone too. It’s taking a bit longer than I had originally hoped but I’m okay with that this time around. Slow and steady wins the race after all, right?

    I definitely think changing your eating habits and losing weight is just as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one. This time around it’s like something has clicked for me, I think maybe it’s knowing I won’t be having any more babies. So if I want to lose some weight, now is the perfect time. I am feeling much more determined this time and I would love to be closer to my goal in time for the festive season. But at the same time, I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself.

    So in this post I am sharing an insight into everything I eat in a day whilst following the Slimming World Extra Easy Plan. I love reading this type of post myself as I find it gives me inspiration when I get stuck in a bit of a rut. I really hope this is helpful and if you’d like to see more posts like this then do let me know!


    Breakfast – I had a bowl of porridge (healthy extra B choice) made with 175ml of whole milk (healthy extra A choice). Which I then topped with 1 tbsp of honey (2.5 syns), half a sliced banana, some fresh blueberries and a good sprinkle of cinnamon. I love this breakfast, it’s like autumn in a bowl!

    Lunch – I made a two egg omelette with bacon, mushrooms & tomatoes! I added 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup (1 syn). This was lovely and very filling.

    Dinner – I had some sausages that needed using but really didn’t fancy the usual sausages and mash. Instead I made a spicy sausage and pepper pasta dish instead which was so delicious. Hugo wolfed his portion down! I served this with broccoli which I totally forgot to serve up before I took the photo! Oops. This worked out at 7 syns per portion for the sausages used, everything else was syn free.

    Snacks – Normally I would have a few snacks throughout the day, usually fruit or a yoghurt. But I was super busy on this day so I didn’t have anything between meals.

    Total Syns: 10.5

    Overall a pretty good day on plan. I always use about 7-12 syns a day. I prefer to use them on ingredients in meals rather than on snacks! But that of course is just my personal preference. I think it’s really important to find what works best for you. I hope you enjoyed this post!

    Harriet XO

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  • InMama

    A Capsule Wardrobe Fail & My Autumn Style Staples

    I have seen so much talk in the online world lately about capsule wardrobes and how ‘less is more’ when it comes to clothes. So I did some research on it and it was ticking all the boxes and quite frankly sounded like the answer to my regular wardrobe related melt downs. I loved the idea of only having items that I really LOVED hanging in my wardrobe. And how that would of course make choosing what to wear each morning a hell of a lot easier.

    So on Sunday evening I set myself the challenge to give my wardrobe a complete detox. I had planned to cull any items that I either didn’t love, didn’t fit anymore or were maybe just a bit too loved. In my head I was going to be left with a pinterest perfect minimalist capsule wardrobe.

    The reality was in fact, I had a bloody lot of clothes. And most of which I still quite liked and didn’t fancy getting rid of. I very quickly (like two bastard minutes in) realised that the capsule wardrobe life is not for me! I did however remove a huge bag full which I have let my sister have a look through and the rest will now be donated to charity. So that makes me feel a bit better about my failed capsule wardrobe situation.

    My wardrobe is still pretty full, but it’s much more organised now and therefore easier to see what I have in there. I was also hoping that by having a proper sort out of my clothes I might suddenly have a sort of light bulb moment and find my ‘personal style’. Spoiler; that definitely didn’t happen either. So that one is still a bit of a work in progress I suppose.

    I have however, vowed to push myself this season to just where what I bloody want to though. I so often will put an outfit together that I love but then chicken out at the last minute as I don’t have the confidence to wear it, convincing myself that I could never pull it off. Hopefully I can change that though and actually start wearing more of the clothes I already have hanging in my wardrobe!

    So I thought I’d share a little round up of my Autumn style staples. A few of the things I find myself reaching for every single Autumn along with a couple of new additions too. I will of course include links where I can!

    One – Black Trainers

    TwoBlush Oversized Cardigan

    ThreeMAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick

    FourMustard Jumper

    FiveLeather Look Jacket

    SixDenim Skirt

    SevenCoat

    Eight Black Dungarees

    What are your Autumn wardrobe must haves?
    Harriet XO

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  • InBrand Collaborations, Hugo, Mama

    Getting Prepared For Breastfeeding The Second Time Around

    I’m not sure why, but I have never really shared much about my breastfeeding journey with Bella on the blog before. I suppose this is probably because by the time I started this blog, she was approaching two and we had finished our breastfeeding journey many months beforehand. Although if your nosy like me and want to read more on it, I did actually write a guest post all about it for the lovely Emily’s blog which you can read here.

    To cut a long story short, I managed to successfully feed Bella until she was 11 months old. Overall we were super lucky as we had a pretty easy ride. We never had any problems with her latch, she always steadily gained weight and I never suffered with mastitis or anything. The decision to stop was pretty much Bella’s and it was the right thing for us both at the time. I really am so grateful to have had such a positive breastfeeding experience as if I’m completely honest, I really wasn’t expecting things to go as smoothly as they did.

    As I approach the end of my second pregnancy I have been thinking a lot about how I am going to feed our baby boy once he arrives. I am hoping (& praying!!) that I will be able to successfully breastfeed him and hopefully have a similar experience to my first. Although I am not that naive and I know full well that things may be completely different this time around. No two babies are the same and I am preparing myself that things may not be quite as straight forward. And that is totally okay too.

    My plan is to pretty much do things exactly the same way second time around. Although I do intend to try and express a bit more this time too. This is mainly in the hope that baby boy might take to a bottle a bit better than his older sister did (she flatly refused one until she was six months!!). My sister has kindly lent me her electric breast pump. Fingers crossed I will have more success with this one than I did with the manual one I used before.

    I’ve also been getting myself prepared with some other breastfeeding essentials. We probably have enough muslins to sink a battle ship, the breast pads and nipple cream have been purchased and I have dug out my trusty feeding pillow. And I have also fiiiiinally made the transition over to nursing bras. Why I waited so long, I don’t know! As my normal ones were seriously uncomfortable. When I was feeding Bella I had the ugliest nursing bras EVER that didn’t even fit me very well. I mean, yes they did the job. But I vowed to myself that this time I’d go for something a bit prettier and more flattering!

    I currently have a few different ones but my favourite by far is this amazing Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra from Bravado. I have it in the limited edition Dove Heather colour which is super pretty. It is hands down the most comfortable bra I have EVER worn. It’s perfect for everyday wear but also ideal for low impact activities such as yoga, pilates and walking too.

    The bra is super soft as well as being seamless and wire-free for added comfort. Comfort aside, some of my other favourite features are;

    • The easy open and close, one-handed Bravado ‘B’ nursing clips
    • It has convertible criss-cross straps (perfect for the summer!)
    • Full drop away bra cup design for maximum skin-to-skin contact
    • There is a Bra Conversion Kit included. So you can convert your nursing bra to a ‘regular bra’ once your nursing journey comes to an end!

    If you’re on the hunt for a maternity or nursing bra then I would highly recommend giving this Bravado one a go. I honestly couldn’t fault it! I am even considering getting a second in a different colour as I really do love it THAT much.

    Harriet XO

    *Bravado very kindly sent me the bra mentioned in this post in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are of course my own*

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