Pregnancy

25 Things About Me [TAG]

Now that my following is growing, I thought I’d introduce myself, so there really was no better time than this nomination for another tag! A simple ’25 Things About Me!’

1) What is your middle name?
Victoria – Named after my Dad’s first crush/girlfriend.

2) What was your favourite subject at school?
Art and English.

3) What is your favourite drink?
It’s so boring, but water. Although, I love a good tea and coffee… and apple juice!

4) What is your favourite song at the moment?
It has to either be Father, You don’t do it for me anymore, Tell me you love me or Sexy Dirty Love – Demi Lovato. OR, Say Something – Justin Timberlake.


5) What is your favourite food?
Sushi and Lasagne.

6) What is the last thing you bought?
A mini version of a big toy Harlow has.

7) What is your favourite book of all time?
P.S I love you or CUT

8) What is your favourite colour?
Green. I love it!

9) Do you have any pets?
Not anymore ūüė¶

10) What is your favourite perfume?
Daisy or Ghost.

11) What is your favourite holiday you’ve been on?
Lanzarote. My first holiday travelling on my own. Or Ireland.

12) Are you married?
Nope!

13) Have you been out of the country? If so, where have you been?
Spain about 6/7 times, France, Ireland and America.

14) Can you speak any other language?
Only a tiny bit. Spanish and Welsh.

15) Do you have any siblings?
I have a brother who is 12 years older than me and a sister who is 10 years older than me. I don’t speak to either of them though.

16) What is your favourite shop?
Primark, H&M and Asda Living.

17) What is your favourite restaurant?
TGI Fridays.

18) When was the last time you cried?
The other day.

19) What is your favourite blog?
Mine ūüėČ

20) What is your favourite movie?
I love anything Disney – Wreck it Ralph and Princess and the Frog.

21) What are your favourite TV shows?
FRIENDS, Greys Anatomy and any documentary.

22) PC or Mac?
Mac.

23) What phone do you have?
An Iphone 6.

24) How tall are you?
5ft 8inches.

25) Can you cook?
Pft, I can try.

 

Emily.

Pregnancy

New Baby Checklist

You find out you’re pregnant, and the next 9 months become crucial. You feel as if the whole world is on top of you and you try to think of what you need to buy. It’s difficult! I’m such an organised person, and definitely a worrier, so as soon as I found out at 5 weeks, I felt as if I was already in a rush to get everything in. Now, I’m not really superstitious, and I know that people say you should wait until your first scan to ensure everything is all okay before you go out buying things. Well, not me. I was out on my 6th week buying a travel system, crib, bouncer, clothes, the lot! So, when it came to my 12 week scan, I was bricking it! Even though I bought all of the big items very early on, I was 35 weeks pregnant and still hadn’t sorted any of the essential stuff – nipple pads, maternity pads, changing mat etc. I’ve devised a checklist, if or when I have another one, and obviously for other first time mums!

  • Car seat.
  • Moses basket or crib – although, Harlow could’ve slept in a cot bed from day one if I let her!
  • Travel system – usually consists of a carrier and pram in two settings.
  • Sling or carrier. Mine was amazing and bought for me when Baby H was one month old!
  • Cot and mattress.
  • Changing mat¬†– I don’t really use mine but I know I may do when Harlow starts on solids.
  • Changing bag – always good to get one just in case, but I just put everything in a backpack!
  • Nappies (& lots of them!) – Harlow started at size 0, and by 4 months she was in size 3.
  • Baby bath – I only used mine a handful of times because it felt awkward for me.
  • Bath seat – So, when I invested in a bath seat, Harlow would happily sit in the big bath without any issues.
  • Nail scissors or files – Babies may be small, but their nails sharp and deadly!
  • Towels – I got hooded ones.
  • Baby grows (long and short sleeved!)
  • Vests.
  • A couple of hats. Harlow literally only wore three or four different ones as she’d usually cry with them on.
  • Scratch mits – I never used them. Mainly because, I know babies nails can be sharp, but I just hated the thought of her hands being trapped and her not being able to touch things. Plus, she learnt not to try and gorge her eyes out! (P.S My child has never been seriously hurt by her nails!)
  • Cardigans – Again, I still haven’t really used these.
  • Snow suit – Harlow only had one, and she was born in November. Came in handy but wish I had a selection.
  • Socks – A lot of Mum’s say there isn’t any point, but I love the fact she has mini socks, plus it keeps her feet extra warm as Harlow’s get cold quickly.
  • Dummies – Personal preference but Harlow only wants hers when going for a nap/to bed or when she’s upset.
  • Bibs – Only started using them when Harlow started teething properly and I presume will continue to when going onto¬†solids.
  • Muslin squares – Never used but know Mum’s that do/did.
  • Nursing bras – Never needed but would advise just in case!
  • Nightgown – I bought one specifically to give birth in, but instead ended up giving birth in my favourite tshirt so would advise to get a couple and wear around your due date.
  • Breast pads – I didn’t need that many, but I know someone women leak a lot.
  • Breast pump – If you’re able to.
  • Steriliser – I have the cold water one. I just find it easier and it gives me something to do.
  • Baby monitor – I made the mistake of buying a monitor when Harlow was about 2 months old – best decision EVER!
  • A light that isn’t too bright but bright enough for night feeds and nappy changes.
  • Bouncer – Harlow LOVED hers from day one.
  • White noise machine. – For Harlow I use my bluetooth speaker and an app on my phone. Connect them up and I can still use my phone while Harlow listens to white noise. Although I am looking to invest in an Ewan the Sheep.
  • Swaddle Blanket – I came about the swaddling when asking for advice from another Mum. Honestly, best thing. Harlow doesn’t sleep properly without it now.
  • Play mat – Perfect for tummy time and keeping your baby occupied while you have some time to do some chores!
  • Bottles – The mistake I made was buying loads of the same brand. Don’t be fooled. Your baby may have a preference!

I think that’s everything, although if you think of anything, let me know and I can add it in!

Emily.

 

Pregnancy

All about 2017

I was going to do this post in January, but then I thought, well, I enjoy answering questions, and people seem to actually care about what I have to say. So, here’s what happened in 2017!

1. What did you do for your birthday in 2017?
I didn’t do much. It was my 21st and I was 5 months pregnant, so I went to Cardiff with my Dad and just had a bit of retail therapy and then ordered food from GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen).

2. Whats the biggest thing to happen to you in 2017?
The biggest thing to happen was obviously finding out I was pregnant. Also the fact that when I look back now, I only spent 3/12 of 2017 not pregnant, which is crazy!

3. What was the biggest thing to happen for your child/children in 2017?
I mean, the fact she was born was a pretty big thing. Apart from that, maybe her first Christmas – even if she didn’t have a clue what was going on!

4. Could you pick a favourite week of the year? 
Probably the week building up to Baby H’s due date. There were so many emotions!!

5. Do you have a favourite photograph of yourself from 2017? 
17021460_966411233494758_7561280801928267560_nI don’t even know why I like this picture, but I do! It was short of 2 days before I found out I was pregnant.

6. What was your best day out? 
When I went to Birmingham to go and see Lilly Singh with my best friend was the best. We just had such a good time and I’ll always remember it.

7. What is the best film you saw in 2017?
Only one film really stuck in my head when I saw this question; Kidnapped. I love Halle Berry and I thought she played the character really well. Plus, it had a good storyline so 10/10.

8. Is there anything you wish didn’t happen in 2017?¬†
I’m not really sure. There are things I wish I wasn’t a part of this year, but other than that, I don’t really know.

9. What did you want to achieve or improve for 2018?
To be honest, I just wanted to be a good mum. I decided not to make any new years resolutions because I feel as if I always fail, so I just chose to be happy.

10. How did you celebrate New Years Eve?
I had Megan over, and we ended up going to sleep at 9:30pm. We slept through the New Year and Harlow slept from about 8:30pm-3am.

Emily.

 

 

 

Pregnancy

Tips for Moving Home with a Baby

As some of you may know, I’ve very recently moved home. It was very short notice, and I did panic a little, but I managed (with the help of amazing people) to get it all done within three short days.
I went to view a house on the 5th March, and due to there being such a high demand of viewer (someone had posted it on Facebook so the interest was endless) it took the landlord a lot of thought and hard work to choose the lucky person to get the house.
When I first stepped into the house at 3pm on 5/3/2018, I fell in love almost instantly. As someone who’s been in the worst of the worst, shipped from pillar to post, having that feeling was incredible. I never even knew I could feel it. I’ve heard people go on and on about this feeling of ‘just knowing’ when you walk into the right house, and that’s exactly what it was. As soon as I walked in, I knew it was the place I wanted to bring Harlow up in, and I wanted to create a forever home in and to be honest, I would’ve been devastated if I didn’t get it.
It all came about when a really good friend of mine (I didn’t know her at all when we first started speaking at the beginning of the year) had messaged me about her landlords having a place to live. The problem was, it was a 3 bedroom and what I thought was way out of my price range. Little did I know, that actually, the price was pretty much perfect, as was the location, and the 3 bedrooms? Well, I finally had a chance to have an official office space. I put it off for a while, and then I had an overwhelming feeling of ‘it feels so right’, so I went for it.
I did message the landlords a few times within the next two weeks somewhat ‘selling’ myself and letting them know that I had the money for the bond and first months rent, was ready and prepared, and had the funds to keep the rent payments up to date and also the bills paid too.
On Sunday 18th March, I had a phone call when myself and Harlow were in the middle of a nap from one of the landlord’s wife. She asked if I was available to meet with the one landlord I didn’t see when I went to view the house (they’re brothers). I agreed, of course, but was a bit standoffish when they asked to come into the current house, not because it was a mess or anything, but my Dad suffers from bad anxiety and didn’t realise they’d want to come in. They accepted it and so we had a chat in a Tesco Express car park – very classy on my behalf! They left with saying ‘We won’t keep you waiting, but we’re letting everyone know tomorrow’. An hour later I had a phone call. Expecting them to either tell me I hadn’t got it, or they just wanted a bit more information, I casual answered the phone.
“When’s your next rent payment due?”
“21st”
“Do me a favour and don’t pay it. When can you pay the bond and when can you move in?”
Well, I burst into tears, so did my Dad and so did the others that were in the room with the landlord that rang me. It was so emotional. The place I was in was a place that gave me so much anxiety and made me ultimately feel depressed. There were so many issues that I honestly couldn’t wait to be out of there, and I’m so glad I have a place that I can make a real home.

Moving Day
I ended up paying my bond and first months rent on the 20th March and was then able to move in on the 21st. So, I had two days to pack and get everything ready. If I could go back, I would definitely be more organised and would 100% label the boxes. Instead, I just shoved everything in random boxes, and it has ultimately left me baffled with unpacking. I’m so thankful that my really good friend offered to look after Harlow for me, so I didn’t really have much to worry about. Although, I didn’t even make sure that I had her toys etc. in one box, and instead left myself searching for things that I just threw in random boxes. It took about 4 hours all in all to move into the new place, and I was so thankful when that van drove off for the last time.

All in all, my tips for moving would definitely be; grab someone who can take care of your baby for a few hours, and make sure you pack things properly – in labelled boxes.

In my defense, I had such a short space of time. If I can do it, so can you! GOOD LUCK.

Emily.

Pregnancy

My Changing Bag Essentials

To be honest, I need to sort out Harlow’s baby bag; mainly because I don’t think I’ve been doing it right. Sounds so crazy, right? Well, not for me. It’s not as if I need much, right? Wrong! I’ve decided I need to ensure I have teething gel, nappy rash cream, infacol, calpol, and hand sanitizer. So, baring in mind, this is what I’ll be packing altoghther!

-Bibs (2)
-Wipes (1 pack)
-Nappies (usually about 4)
-Blanket
-Dummie (and a spare)
-Soothing toy (Harlow has an adorable teething elephant rattle)
-Spare clothes (vest, sleep suit, socks)
-Nappy rash cream (Metanium)
-Teething gel (Anbesol)
-Calpol
-Hand sanitizer

Obviously as Harlow gets older, the contents will become less.

Emily.

Pregnancy

Laundry Hacks for a busy mum

To be honest, I’ve always been known to have a lot of washing. I was getting into the habit of wearing clothes only once, and then putting them down to wash; even if all I’d do all day was stay in the house. I had to remind myself that not everything needed to be washed after being worn once. So, now I know that, my washing has gone down extremely. Then, I had a baby. I like to wash Harlow’s things after she’s worn them once. Mainly because, I feel that she dribbles a lot – yet sometimes refuses to wear a bib, and she moves so much, surely her clothes don’t smell fresh!

Plan your laundry schedule. 
I like to do all of my washing on a Friday, but sometimes it does go into the Saturday. I only have two clothes horses at the moment, and obviously there’s only so much room on them. So, on the Friday, I may only be able to do two washes due to the clothes horses being full. Some of the clothes might be dry on the Saturday afternoon, especially if I have the back door open for a little while or the radiators on, so I can manage another wash on the Saturday. The clothes will then all be dry (hopefully!) on the Sunday, or Monday at the latest.

Plan your ironing schedule. 
I will admit, I’m not as much of a fan of ironing as I used to be. I actually will probably only iron something maybe once a month – if that! Although, I’m definitely the type to iron things as and when I need them instead of all at once. I would like to change that. If all of your clothes are dry by the Sunday/Monday, plan to do your ironing the very next day! Remember; it will take a few hours so make sure you have plenty to watch on TV or Youtube.

Keep your socks safe. 
I feel as if you put a load of socks in the washing machine, and by the time the load is completed, you sort out the wet clothes and you’re down by about 10 socks – all mismatched, ironically! Instead, make sure you have all of your socks in pairs before you put the wash on, that way you know you definitely had them beforehand.

Emily

Pregnancy

Saving for your child’s future

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that it’s hard enough saving any amount of money for anyone’s future. Whether it be your own future, or your child’s. As a parent, we have and somewhat crave a good future for our children, and we wish that they have a better life than we possibly had. I think we have to do that to the best of our ability and as soon as we can. Here’s how:

1) Set up a savings account.
Obviously the most common of ways to save. If you go to a bank or building society on behalf of your child, you’ll get one set up in no time. A lot of these accounts are accessible until their 18, but you can choose an older age if you think 18 is too young. To be honest, when I decide to set up a savings account for Baby H, I’m going to keep the age at 18, but not tell her until she’s 21. I know some that can be accessed at an age as young as 7 so it teaches children to save from a young age.

2) Set up a junior ISA.
If your child was born before September 2002, or after January 2011 and under 18, you can set up a Junior ISA. You’ll be able to put as much or little money as you’d like. This can’t be accessed until their 18th birthday.

3) Set up a target.
Whether you decide to tell your child at the age of 18 or 21, think back to when you were that age, and what you’d want to have done with that money if you had it. Set yourself a monthly target of how much you’d put in there, and then every month, you’ll be a little bit closer to the goal.

4) Start early!
It’s common sense, the earlier you start, the higher the savings in yay many years. You could have thousands by the time your child is 18!

5) Save your Child Benefit if you don’t need it.
I always make sure I put the ¬£20.70 away at least once a month. Even though I get paid that every week, I may need it some weeks just to buy nappies or Harlow’s milk (which is ¬£11.50 a tub!). If I’m able to do it, I’ll save it for two weeks out of the month. It’s a great start if you don’t technically need it.

6) Stop spending on irrelevance.
I have a major sweet tooth, and there are weeks where I could buy ¬£20/¬£30 worth of sweet items. It’s ridiculous when I think about it, and to be honest, quite embarrassing. So, I’ve decided to take a stand and keep it down to ¬£5 so I can put ¬£15/¬£20 into the savings account.

Emily.

Pregnancy

Getting into shape after having a baby

To be honest, Harlow is 18 weeks old and my body still isn’t in the shape I know it could be, and what I want it to be. I was still 2 stone lighter before pregnancy, and I’m getting to the point where I’m fully determined to get back to the starter weight. You need to give yourself credit if you haven’t bounced back to your pre-pregnancy body. You have a little baby who is demanding, along with any other commitment you have in your life.
I’ve decided to share some tips on getting back into shape after having a baby. Even though I’ve said I’m not in that state yet, I will write what I will be doing.

1) Exercise with baby.
I know it’s obvious that you won’t be able to do this when your baby can’t hold their head and is very small, but as they get older (and heavier) who’s to say you can’t exercise with them. Do some squats while holding onto them and pull some funny faces so they get something out of it too.

2) Green tea. 
Even though it tastes disgusting, and can essentially give you a dry throat, once you get over that, the benefits are incredible. Not only does it help with weight loss, but the benefits it has on the heart and with certain medical conditions is amazing. 2-3 cups per day is all that’s needed. I make sure I have one cup in the morning, one in the afternoon and I take one to bed with me.

3) Walk, walk, walk!
It’s simple. A walk a day, even for 30 minutes, or around the block. You get to bond with your little one and you can get some fresh air while walking. As mums, first time, or not, we tend to stay inside a lot more because it’s convienient for us, when really, there isn’t anything stopping us walking a little bit.

4) Exercise during naps.
When your baby is napping, that gives you a window of 15 minutes-2 hours to do what you want to do. What I tend to do is plan each nap. I make a list of the things I want to achieve while Baby H is napping.

5) Cardio and muscle workouts!
Cardio, such as walking and jogging to remove fat from areas where it isn’t needed, and muscle workouts to tone your body. Mix both together and you’ll be at your goal weight or goal measurements in no time.

6) Apps!
There are so many exercising apps. Most of them are free, and are very effective. You can also log your diet in some apps, and in return, it will give you the calorie intake for each day.

7) Youtube.
There aren’t only muscle and cardio exercises on Youtube, there is also pilates and yoga that you can follow which is also meant to be highly effective.

8) Don’t diet straight away.
You’re learning the roles of being a mum, you don’t need to diet straight away. The stress of having your favourite food taken away as well as the potential stresses of a complete readjustement of your lifestyle could cause more bad than good. Give yourself time before jumping into a diet.

9) Water is the best remedy.
Water really is amazing. Not only will it help you lose weight, but it will give you better skin and will keep you hydrated and energised through the day.

10) Don’t be lazy – as much as you probably want to be.
I know how tiring it is attending to a baby, and a lot of days, you repeat the exact same routine. BUT, don’t be lazy. Keep active! If it’s your first baby, you’ll probably want to relax as much as possible, it’s definitely hard to adjust to. You’re more than likely to lose the weight if you’re active throughout the day.

Emily.

Pregnancy

Do’s and Don’ts of Pregnancy Shopping

Do’s

Embrace your baby bump! I know being pregnant can be very daunting, especially on your style. Thinking you have to change your whole wardrobe to fit your forever growing bump. The best thing, is that all you need to buy are a few pairs of maternity jeans (if you don’t want to end up living in leggings like I did), and some tops. Okay, so you realistically need a full 9 months – maybe longer – worth of new maternity clothes. You can have as much fun buying and trying on maternity clothes, that you would buying your pre-pregnancy clothes.
Accept second-hand clothing from your friends and family. Honestly, the best thing I accepting. I had Baby H’s clothes completely sorted up until 3-6 months, and even had a few outfits for 6-9 months. I am constantly looking on Facebook Marketplace for bundles of baby clothes in the older months so I’m organised and prepared. Highly recommend accepting second hand. Cheaper and so fun to go through!

Don’ts

Sacrifice¬†your fashion!¬† Just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you need to wear rubbish¬†clothing. Do not change your style because you have a bigger belly! There are so many good maternity clothes out there and you can definitely work with it instead of sacrificing the way you originally¬†look.
Rush into buying maternity clothes too soon. The only piece of maternity clothing I bought was a pair of jeans. My tops still fit me due to being stretchy and I was so small, and I spent most of my time in either leggings or pajama bottoms.

 

Emily

Uncategorized

Money Saving Tips | Single Parents

It’s it just crazy we’re at the beginning of March! I hope you’re having a good 2018 so far.
If you know me, or even if you read my blog, you’ll know that I’m a single parent. I have been since day one, and it isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it’s the best thing for me at the moment. I have never known what two wages felt like though, so I don’t really know what I’ve been missing out on. So, living within my means has been a breeze for me. It was, when I was working. Not so much now. It’s harder, fending for two, and I’m at the point of trying everything to earn just a little bit more money.
Failure is no option for me, and I will try my very hardest to provide Harlow and I with the best possible life. It might take me a couple of years, but I’ll get there eventually. I’m sure of it. I’ve decided to show others who are struggling how to save money, and live comfortably.

1. Track every single one of your expenses for the month. 
When you’re aware of what you need to pay out (and when) every month, you’re more than likely going to know how much you’ll have left over. I know in some cases it might be a bit difficult – if you’re self employed, or if you get paid at different times of different months – but there is always a way in saying how much you’ll roughly have left over. Write it down on paper, put it in your phone, have it somewhere where you’ll remember. I have a bullet journal, which ultimately lasts about 2/3 months, depending on how much I want to track, and that’s how I remember what I’ve paid, when it needs to be paid and what I have left to pay.

2. Always look for deals or coupons online. 
If you did this for everything you purchase, guaranteed you’ll have some spare money every month. If I was to do this, I’d definitely put what I’ve saved into my savings account. That way, you can’t be tempted to grab it for something pointless.

3. Use cashback sites when shopping online. 
I’ve never done this, and I keep getting told to. From people who have done it, they seem to get along great with it, and I think it can be done with food and clothes shopping.

4. Check your bills and switch if need be. 
There are great websites to compare, such as Uswitch and Money Super Market. If you really look into things, you’ll probably be able to knock some money off your monthly bills.

5. Switch to supermarket brands. 
I honestly LOVE supermarket brands sometimes more than top brands. Or, I just can’t tell the difference (Sorry!). The thing is, I’ve lived with barely anything, and I’ve had to buy the cheapest of things because otherwise, I would’ve ended up 6ft under, so it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

6. Go through your things. 
In 2018, I think overall, I’ve probably earned about ¬£200 (maybe more) from selling things I no longer need, and I’m not even done yet. If you go through your things and (thanks Tracy!) really think to yourself “Have I used this within the past 6 months” and if the answer is “No”, you don’t need it. Throw it.

7. Save money!
This one is the most obvious, but the hardest. Actually saving money is tough! We end up thinking of what we want instead of things we actually need. I ended up putting odd change straight into my savings account. If I have ¬£7.63 in my bank account, I would transfer ¬£2.63 into my savings, and then I’d have a rounded figure of ¬£5 left. I know people who have done the 52 week savings challenge, and they’ve loved it (especially at Christmas time!).

Emily.