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A Letter To My Baby's Daddy.

Sunday, 18 June 2017


We have been together for almost 9 years and I always knew you were somebody special.

I've loved you for a long time, but nothing can compare to the love I have for you now.

Watching you love our son is the most amazing thing to witness. As soon as you first held him, my love for you multiplied by an infinite amount. Hearing the joy in your voice when you told me that I had given birth to a baby boy is something I will never forget and seeing the instant love in your eyes. A love you only have, especially for him.

I know you will do everything you can to provide for him and give him the best life he can possibly have. I know that you will show him everyday just how special he his and how much you love him-- even on days when he drives us completely crazy! I know that as he gets older you will help me celebrate all his quirks and the things that make him different. I know you will always give him 110%, even when you don't feel like it.

Because of you I know that Teddy will grow up to be a good man, a good person and eventually a good father. He'll have learnt from the best.

Because of you I am a better Mummy. On the days when I am feeling at my lowest and i'm doubting my abilities as a mum, you are always there to tell me what an amazing job I am doing and how proud you are of me. You are exactly what I need.

I just want to say thank you. Thank you for giving me the greatest gift I could ever imagine.

Our beautiful little Teddy.

You will never know how grateful I am to you for giving me the love of a child for a lifetime.

I love you.

Happy Fathers Day.


Teddy's One Month Update.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Teddy is now one month old and I honestly can't believe how quick it has gone. It's hard to remember a time when he wasn't here. My first month of motherhood has had it's ups and downs for sure. Don't get me wrong I absolutely LOVE being a Mummy and wouldn't change it for the world, but it is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. It feels like your life has gone from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye. You are suddenly responsible for this tiny human being who is completely dependant on you! I know people say your life will never be the same but I just kind of shrugged it off, little did I know. One day last week I sat sobbing to Aaron whilst feeding Teddy for what felt like the hundredth time that day, just because I felt smothered and suddenly overwhelmed by how much our lives had actually changed. With that being said no matter how crappy I am feeling, just one look at our gorgeous little boy and I am hit with an overwhelming love and happiness.

Teddy's First Month


When Teddy was born he really struggled to latch on which resulted in me having to hand express the colostrum and syringe it into his mouth. We stayed in hospital for two nights where we were visited by a breastfeeding support worker every three hours to encourage him to feed. I was so determined all through my pregnancy that I was going to breastfeed so when he wouldn't latch on I remember feeling really upset and like our breastfeeding journey had ended before it had even begun! Little did I know, he was just being a lazy boy and suddenly at around 12 hours old, he latched straight on and he's stayed there ever since..

Jokes. Although that is what it feels like sometimes!

He is now exclusively breastfed and loving life! We got him weighed last week at just over three weeks old and he weighed 9lb 8oz, (his birth weight was 7lb 11). The health visitor was really complimentary & told me what an amazing job I am doing! It gives you such a boost when you know your baby is gaining weight and feeding well. It's hard when breastfeeding as you can't judge how much milk they are getting, so hearing that he's gaining lots of weight is just what I needed to hear for piece of mind!


Sleeping was a struggle at first! He would only sleep in my arms during the day, throwing himself awake if we tried putting him in his moses basket! We eventually purchased a Poddle Pod on the recommendation of other mummies and my god! What a revelation. He now sleeps during the day like a little trooper, giving Mummy chance to do things around the house & write this blog post!
At night time he co-sleeps with us and I know it isn't ideal & trust me it isn't what we had planned for him. He has a lovely crib right there to use, but he spent the first week screaming for hours whilst we tried settling him, until finally falling asleep on me around 5 in the morning. I have done lots of research on co-sleeping and spoke to so many other Mums who are in the exact same position. I've had the obvious comments about it not being safe and how we're making a rod for our own back. Fuck em'. Teddy is happy and sleeping 3 hours at a time, only waking for feeds, from 10 until around 8 (although one day last week he went back to sleep until 10 which resulted in a very happy Mummy and Daddy). We have just purchased a PurFlo Nest to use for an even safer co-sleeping experience and once he is used to it being in our bed, we will move in to his crib and fingers crossed he'll begin to sleep in there. If he doesn't, that is fine. There are worse things that could be happening than my little boy wanting to sleep with me!


Teddy Loves:

One of Teddy's favourite things is his bath time! The first time we bathed him he screamed bloody murder and I have to admit, I never wanted to bath him again. We left it a few days and on my Sisters advice we made his bath water a little warmer than recommended (only by a few degrees) and he now absolutely loves it! He smiles away whilst having his hair washed and when we use a small jug to pour the warm water over his belly. We only bath him two times a week for the time being just to get him used to it and we don't want to use too many products on his baby soft skin.

Teddy Dislikes:

I took Teddy out in his pram around town and at first he was absolutely fine. Then suddenly something switched and he was screaming in the middle of Primark, until my Mum picked him up and he instantly stopped and went to sleep. Little bugger. He loves sleeping in his car seat and when that is attached to the pram he's fine, but as soon as he is in his carry cot.. he hates it! I'm going to persevere and keep putting him in it, hoping he will get used to it.

10 Tips For Surviving An Overdue Pregnancy.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

*I wrote this post on the day I went into labour and never got around to posting it. This is why I am still talking about being pregnant, little did I know that Teddy was on his way!

D-Day has officially been and gone! I am currently 41+2 weeks and it doesn't seem that Baby C is going to be making an appearance anytime soon. I'm taking comfort in the fact that it must be because I have an extremely comfy womb. I saw my midwife on Wednesday when I was 5 days overdue and she did try to perform a stretch & sweep but my cervix was too far back for her to do anything. TYPICAL. I asked if this meant that I was going to be waiting a while for Baby to arrive and she said definitely not and that your cervix can move forward very quickly.

I am also officially booked in for an induction at the hospital on Wednesday the 17th, taking me 12 days over (which is how far they let you go over before inducing you). At first I was really disheartened at the idea of being induced but since taking time to think about it and talking to other women who have been in the same position, I am now completely fine with it and accepted that it will probably will be the case. If I happen to go naturally before then, then that is a lovely little bonus. Either way by next weekend, my gorgeous baby will be here!

Here are some tips and tricks that I have been using since going overdue and they've really helped me deal with it a lot better than I thought I would. I'm not the most patient person usually...

1. Do something nice for yourself, whether that be getting your haircut or getting a pedicure. Enjoy these extra days. If Baby isn't playing ball and keeping you waiting, you deserve an extra little treat!

2. Keep Busy!! This is something I have been doing a lot of and it also makes the days go a lot quicker than they would if I was just sat at home feeling sorry for myself. Go out shopping, go for meals or just sit and read a book. I've also been giving the house a really good deep clean in preparation for the new arrival!

3. Try natural labour inducers if you really want to. I've been going for walks and also spending an hour or so in the evening on my gym ball. I also tried the ol' hanky panky but we will NOT go you know how hard it is to get comfy with a 9 month pregnant belly in the way? VERY. Just remember that none of the natural inducers are proven to work.

4. Sleep & rest as much as you can! Labour could come on any day and the last thing you need is to be absolutely shattered. I know how hard it is to get comfy at the end of pregnancy, constantly tossing and turning, waking up for pee breaks. Even if you are awake at daft o'clock in the morning. Lounge in bed, read a book. Relax. When the baby is here, you will wish you had taken advantage of lazy days with your feet up.

5. Look out for signs of labour. Whether that be losing your 'show' or mucus plug, period like pains coming on at more of a pattern rather than just sporadic or pelvic achiness. These are all signs that your body is getting ready for labour. Some women find comfort in experiencing signs of labour and knowing it's close. I got to the point where I was fed up of second guessing every ache or twinge.

6. Remind yourself that being overdue is completely normal. It is so hard not to get caught up on your 'due date' especially when you are feeling completely over the back ache, constant toilet breaks and swollen cankles..but just remember it will all soon be over and you'll have your baby in your arms. Only 4% of babies arrive on their actual due date!

7. Spend as much time with your other half as you can. Go to the cinema or go out for a lovely meal, it'll be the last time for a while that it will just be the two of you! Soon your whole life will become about your new little baby, so spending some quality time with your partner, in the run up, is so important.

8. Don't be scared to ask for help, whether that be physical help or emotional. Talk to your partner, family or friends. Even your midwife! It's perfectly normal to feel fed up and disheartened when your due date has been and gone.

9. It's okay to be fed up. I am. You've waited for this baby for so long and it has the cheek to keep you waiting even longer! I remember one day feeling really down and absolutely shattered due to no sleep & eventually I just had a little cry to Aaron and instantly felt better.

10. Remember, it's just a date! You have your whole life with your baby. In hind sight, what is an extra two weeks? Easier said than done, trust me I know, but whatever the wait is, just remember it's completely worth it!

My Labour & Delivery Story.

Saturday, 10 June 2017
After a very hectic and completely surreal (almost) 4 weeks, it's time to share the story of how our little Teddy arrived in the world. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I became obsessed with reading everyone's birth stories and their experience. They all the shared the same piece of advice which is not to have your heart set on a certain birth plan and I wish I had taken that on board a little more. I definitely didn't have the birth I imagined and had planned. At the time I was really upset about how Teddy entered the world, but looking back now I would do it all again. He arrived perfectly safe, happy and healthy which is all that matters! (The pictures aren't the greatest because they were taken on my phone. I was too busy trying to push a human out of my vagina to take decent pictures, haha!)

When It Started...

On Saturday the 13th May I was having a lazy morning in bed, catching up on YouTube videos when I noticed that I was getting quite bad period pains every 40 minutes or so. I was 8 days overdue at this point so didn't really think anything of it. I was booked in for an induction on the 17th and had kind of accepted that I would be waiting until then for Baby C to arrive. I decided to get up and start scrubbing the kitchen from top to bottom to keep myself busy and distracted! At about 10:30a.m I noticed the pains had increased to every 25-30 minutes and were gradually getting worse, especially in my back (nothing unmanageable at this point) and text my Sister to tell her that something was beginning to happen but not to get her hopes up. Aaron was at work but only on a short shift until 12p.m so decided to wait until he got home to let him know that anything was happening, I knew he'd be really distracted otherwise. 
Once the kitchen was scrubbed within an inch of its life, I decided to get onto my birthing ball and watch some telly. However as soon as I got a contraction I had to literally jump off the ball as it made the pains so much worse. Being sat down was the worst, as I noticed through the whole labour! Every time a contraction came I would stand up and walk to the kitchen, breathing through the pains. I also downloaded a contraction timer app just to monitor how close together they were and how long they were lasting. Aaron was home at this point, encouraging me to eat plenty and drink lots. 
This went on until about 6p.m, when my Sister text to say she would come around and keep me company for a little while and also help distract me as the pains had got quite intense! Having her there definitely helped, especially with her having three children of her own, she knew exactly how I was feeling and the right things to say or do. We eventually phoned the hospital once the contractions were every 5 minutes or so and they told us to come in!

To The Hospital...

The drive to the hospital was fucking horrific. Being sat down and confined to a seat was the worst part of the whole labour. We only live about 20 minutes away from the hospital, thank god, but it was possibly the longest 20 minutes of my life. I was literally gripping the handles on the roof of the car and pulling myself up off the seat with every contraction. We went straight through to Triage and luckily got examined straight away. I was 2cm!!!! I felt so disheartened and it was a massive kick in the teeth. The pain was almost unbearable and I still had a long way to go. Longer than I thought possible..
The midwife told me that because I wasn't in established labour I would have to go home and come back when they were closer together. My community midwife had told me to go to hospital when they were 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute, which I did, however I quickly came to realise that every midwife has their own set of rules and completely contradict each other. Which for a first time mum, isn't ideal! The midwife at the hospital said to come back when they were every three minutes, lasting a minute OR my waters broke. She then offered me some codeine to 'knock me out and help me get some sleep'..I popped the little bad boys like smarties. I don't know why I bothered because they did absolutely nothing!!!! We then had to make the dreaded drive home and just wait it out. Aaron managed to get some sleep whilst I spent the whole night pacing around the bedroom, breathing through every contraction. At about 4a.m on Sunday morning I went to the bathroom and suddenly felt a popping sensation and a trickle of water. I wasn't 100% sure if that was my waters going, as I always imagined a huge, dramatic gush but I woke Aaron up and we rang the hospital back. They told us to come in and get examined just to double check whether it was my waters or not.

I love Baths...

After being examined again it was confirmed that my waters had gone but I was still only 2cm, ALMOST a 3. I remember bursting into tears and telling Aaron how fucked off I was. It had been almost 24 hours since the pains had started and I felt like a failure that I hadn't progressed at all. The midwife was really lovely and said that I could stay in and have a bath in one of the birthing suites for four hours (when I would be examined next), she brought us some juice and toast, turned the radio on and left us to it. I absolutely LOVED being in the water and it helped so much. Every time I had a contraction, Aaron would use the jug to pour hot water over my bump and it felt amazing. I had planned for a water birth and knew it was the best decision! Flash forward four hours and as I got out of the bath...I experienced the gush that was my waters breaking! It went everywhere! I also didn't know that once your waters go, they just keep on bloody coming! The midwife re-examined me and I was ALMOST a four. Still not established labour! Baring in mind that it was 10o'clock Sunday morning now so I had been in slow labour for over 24 hours. Aaron rang my Mum and updated her on what was going on and asked if we could come round to use her bath as we don't have one yet in our house. I reluctantly got dressed and they told me to come back in two hours. 
As soon as I saw my Mum I just burst into tears, telling her I couldn't do it and it bloody hurt! Who would willingly do this to themselves?! Who thought this was a good idea?! Who wanted a baby anyway?!! 

Four hours later (about 3p.m Sunday afternoon), resembling a prune, I dragged myself out of my Mums bath and headed back off to the hospital. I was still not QUITE a four. I literally cried to the midwife telling her I couldn't do another car journey home, I also realised that I really wanted my Mum and wanted her there at the birth as well as Aaron so we rang her and she came straight away. Turns out that because my waters had gone in the early hours, they wouldn't let me go home anyway and I was booked in for an induction on Monday morning. The worse part of this was that Aaron and my Mum would have to leave until the morning when I went downstairs to delivery. Little did I know my plan of a water birth in the birthing centre were now out of the window. I honestly didn't think I would manage the pain without Aaron there for support and getting me through it. I burst into even more tears, which set him off because he felt so guilty. However looking back, it was the best thing to do so he could get some sleep ready for the next day when Baby would be making their appearance.

All By Myself...

At 9p.m I was taken through to the ward where I would be spending the night until it was time for my induction, which they said would be about 3a.m MONDAY morning, due to my waters having been broken for 24 hours and the risk of infection. Luckily there was only one other woman in my room so it was really chilled. They also offered me some Pethidine which I originally didn't want but at this point, I would do anything for some sleep so eventually said yes. Yet again, it did absolutely NOTHING. My body must be immune to pain relief! I spent the whole night pacing around the room whilst the woman opposite me snored her little head off. Lucky cow. As soon as it got to 3a.m I was buzzing, waiting for them to come and get me. Only for them to come and tell me that there were lots of emergencies happening downstairs so I would have to wait, which I really didn't mind knowing their were women who were having a much rougher time than I was. I remember at the point I was feeling lots of pressure down below and it didn't feel right, but I continued to breath through the contractions and walk around my little section of the ward, also mooching up and down the corridor a couple of times. At 7a.m it was finally my turn! I rang Aaron and my Mum and told them what was happening and where I would be. When I got to the room I would be giving birth in, I was greeted by a lovely midwife who hooked me up to the monitors which I would be on for half an hour to see how Baby was doing, before they would start the induction. Unfortunately the midwife was finishing her shift and would be changing over. I was dreaded her being swapped for some sort of battle axe midwife! However I had absolutely nothing to worry about! The midwife and student midwife who arrived were absolutely amazing and so lovely. Once they took me off the monitors it was time to be examined and get the induction process started. 

Or not...

I had somehow got to 8c.m overnight, after being stuck at 2cm for two days, and would no longer be needing the induction! Hooray. I can't tell you how happy I was and it literally gave me a massive surge of energy. I went into the bathroom and had a shower, brushed my teeth and got my nightie on. All of a sudden I felt the urge to push, I shouted for my Mum and told her that I felt strange and something wasn't right. Obviously it was fine, but when your body suddenly takes over and you have no idea what is going was the most surreal feeling ever. I spent the next god knows how many hours in every position you can imagine! Squatting, on all fours, legs in stirrups. You name it, I tried it. Pushing was the strangest feeling ever. My body literally took over and pushed for me and the sounds I made were like weird grunts. I thought I would be a screamer but I hardly made a sound! I also pooped. A lot. People said I probably would because your pushing into your bum so it's natural that it would make you poo. I did warn the midwives in advance. "I think i'm going to poo, i'm definitely going to poo, i'm pooing. Oops, I've pooped!" They were very professional and cleaned me up. Which I honestly didn't give a shit about. Pun not intended. Honestly, you leave your dignity at the door. Turns out Baby's head was slightly tilted and was not for coming out. I was dilating to a 9 & a half cm, but that last half cm was not for budging. Before I knew it the surgeon and doctors arrived to figure out a plan of action. All the while Baby was being monitored and stayed happy as bloody Larry! They decided that I would be going through the theatre to try for a forceps delivery and if that wouldn't work they would be going straight into a C-section. Before I knew it I was signing consent forms, being changed into a gown and being wheeled the theatre. I was disappointed that my Mum wouldn't be there to see her grandchild being born as I had hoped but was also unbelievably excited that our baby was FINALLY on the way. My mum worked out that I had been in labour for 55 hours! I know they say your first can take a while but bloody hell, I expected 24 hours at most. Silly me..


Whilst Aaron was getting his scrubs on, I was being prepped in theatre. I was having a spinal anaesthetic and they explained how it works and what would be happening. By this point i'd kind of presumed that I would the forceps wouldn't work and i'd be having a section which I had accepted and was fine with. I was adamant that I wanted Aaron to announce the sex to me, skin to skin as soon as possible and also delayed cord clamping. These are the only things on my birth plan that I was determined to have. I had kissed my relaxing water birth goodbye, I wasn't giving these up as well. 
The theatre was soon full of people, my midwives stayed with me up near my head on one side, talking me through what was going on and Aaron was sat on the other holding my hand. The spinal anaesthetic was an absolute godsend and I remember asking where it had been for the last three days!? At 16:43 with a FORCEPS delivery, our baby boy finally entered the world! Hearing him cry was the best sound in the world. When Aaron told me we had had a boy, I was completely shocked and didn't really take it in. Teddy was taken away to be weighed and checked over due to his long ass delivery and then brought straight over for skin to skin. it felt so surreal to finally have our baby in my arms. I had to be cut to get him out and bled quite a lot after but I didn't really take any of it in, I just couldn't stop staring at his face. Not quite accepting the fact that our baby was here. After 9 months of pregnancy, 10 days overdue, 55 hours of labour, having to go into theatre.. It was all completely worth it. It had all led to this moment. One that I'll never ever forget. 

Now It's All Over...

After we came out of theatre I was taken to the recovery room, just to keep an eye on my bleeding but luckily it calmed down straight away and everything was fine. We tried to get Teddy to feed but he was having trouble latching on, I think it was down to him being so tired! You and me both kid...

I was then taken back through the room where I had gone to be induced and it honestly felt like a million years since I had last been in there. I was back there as someone's Mummy! My mum came back in, followed by my Sister & Dad who I had rang on the way to recovery to share the news. I was so happy to see everyone and for them to finally meet our gorgeous son! I had to stay in overnight due to my waters having been broken for over 24 hours and the fact that I had had the spinal anaesthetic and couldn't feel anything from my boobs down *praise the lord!*. I was taken up to a private room but unfortunately Aaron couldn't stay (visiting for your designated person is 9a.m-9p.m) so we said our goodbyes which I did feel a little wheepy about as we had not long been a family! Then it was just the two of us, we had the loveliest snuggles and skin to skin. I had to hand express my colostrum as he still wasn't latching and then the midwives would syringe it into his mouth. We wanted to make sure he got all the good stuff! The midwives were so lovely and came in every three hours to help try and get him to latch. I remember panicking in case he never got it and our breastfeeding journey would be over before it had even begun. Little did I know that he would become a little milk monster and feed just fine! We ended up staying in for two nights just to make sure that he was feeding well and i'm so glad we had those nights in hospital with the midwives support.

After Thoughts...

We are almost four weeks on and it feels like a lifetime ago. I can't remember life before him, what did I do with all my free time?! He has slotted so perfectly into our lives and whilst I do sometimes feel like a milk making machine, I wouldn't have it any other way. There is honestly nothing that I would change. My midwives were so lovely and the doctors & surgeons in theatre were incredible and really put me at ease. Talking about our love for Harry Potter and how much our partners don't appreciate it. Actually, the only thing I would change is the length of my labour! Hopefully baby number 2 won't take as long. Fingers crossed. I can't believe that Baby C is actually here and we made something so unbelievably perfect. 

Theodore Atlas David Cope//7lb 11oz - 15th May 2017

Welcome To The World.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

On May 15th 2017 at 16:43, 10 days overdue and after 55 hours of labour..

Theodore Atlas David Cope made his entrance into the world weighing 7lb 11 of pure love.

He is a milk guzzling, co-sleeping Mummy's boy and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The past *almost* two weeks have been a complete whirlwind, we are finally starting to find our feet and beginning to feel a little more human. 

I can't believe how much he has changed already in two weeks! When I look back at photos on my phone of the day he was born, he has grown so much already. 

I can't wait to see what life has in store for our little family. 

Honest Thoughts On Becoming A First Time Mum.

Friday, 5 May 2017

 30 Weeks.
Our 12 Week Scan.
36 Weeks Pregnant.

Today is officially Baby C's due date! Clearly they are far too comfy and settled in their little home and don't want to make an appearance just yet. I have accepted the fact that Baby will come when they are ready and not a day before *If you could start to make an appearance at some point today, that would be great*.

During the last couple of weeks of pregnancy it has really hit me that I am about to be a mummy! I'm not just having a baby. I am going to have a son or a daughter. I will be a mother. I know that might sound strange but it's not something I really thought about in depth but this past week, it has really hit me how much of a responsibility I am taking on. I wake up throughout the night thinking and worrying over every tiny little thing. Do we have everything? What if I can't breastfeed? What if Aaron can't handle it? What if my anxiety gets worse?

So many questions that I won't know the answers to until Baby arrives.

Labour and delivery doesn't bother me in the slightest. I will deal with that when it comes and I know no matter how much it fucking hurts, it will be worth every single second of pain when I finally hold my Baby in my arms.

The fear I have is when Baby is here. The unknown. The amount of stupid questions I have asked Google at 3 in the morning. 'Do you change a Baby for bed?' 'How often do you change a nappy?' 'Do you apply nappy cream before they get a rash to prevent the rash, or just when they have the rash?'

There have been nights were I have sat and cried to Aaron because I don't know what the hell i'm doing. People say it will come to you naturally and you'll just do it. But what if it doesn't? No matter how many pregnancy books I've read or classes I have attended, nothing will prepare me for when we first bring that baby home and it's just us and them. The three of us. I see people like my Sister who is the most amazing mum to her three girls and it makes me feel quite intimidated. What if I am never the mum she is? She makes it look so effortless and I feel like i'll never match up.

People tell you to expect sleepless nights, shitty nappies and general chaos but they don't warn you about all the little things. And it is the little things that build up & up in my mind until I can't deal with them anymore and i'm sobbing quietly in the shower wondering if I made the right decision.

And then i'll feel my baby move.

And I remember that this tiny human being who started as nothing more than a wish, is the best thing that has happened to me, and they aren't even here yet. Despite the fears and the questions I might never get the answers to, I am so ready to start life with our newest member of the family and get this show on the road.

Baby C, i'm ready when you are...

Pregnancy Diary: Nursery Sneak Peek.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Baby C is officially due this week! It's only three days until my official due date. I know, I know, only 4% of babies are actually born on their expected due date and you can actually go 2 weeks overdue, which I am expecting. That way it will be a nice surprise if I go earlier! When I found out that we were expecting a new addition one of the first things that got me really excited was decorating the spare room and turning it from the dumping ground (which it had become) to a gorgeous nursery for our baby.

We completely gutted the room from top to bottom! Cleared it out, stripped the walls and ripped the carpet up. We wanted a completely blank canvas that we could really go to town on. We had the room re-plastered, new skirting boards and new laminate put down, we opted for a pale grey laminate with white skirting boards. As we have kept the gender of the baby a surprise, we decided on a really pale mint green colour for the walls. Even if we did know the gender, we still wouldn't have gone down the pink or blue route. We've kept the decorations and little trinkets to a minimum until the baby is here and then we can add more personalised/gender specific bits to the room to really add some colour and finish it off.

The nursery is definitely my favourite room in the whole house! It is so bright and calming. I really Baby C loves it as much as we do.

How To Save Money When Having A Baby.

Friday, 28 April 2017

I knew baby's required a lot of things ready for when they enter the world, but nothing QUITE prepared me for just how much stuff they actually need and obviously all that adds up. Very quickly.
We all want to provide our baby's with the best of everything which is natural, but you can still do that without breaking the bank. Here are my tips for saving money when expecting a baby..

Don't be afraid to accept hand me downs! My sister has three children of her own and I was lucky enough that she had put most of their baby things in storage. She had a gorgeous wooden rocking crib that we have put in our room. She also had new born toys, play mats and a sling that are all in perfect condition. I'd only accept second hand from people I knew and trusted. Just make sure if anyone gives you clothes ect that you give them a wash first. 

Join Baby Clubs/Advantage Cards:
As soon as we had our first scan I signed up to so many baby clubs. Boots is my favourite as you can collect your Boots points like normal (4 points for every £1) but we also get sent so many vouchers especially for their baby/pregnancy section. Whether it be nappies, nipple cream or clothing, there are vouchers for everything. We also received a voucher for a free Maam bottle and soother which will come in really useful for when I begin expressing. When you go for your first appointment you will also receive your first Emma's Dairy pack which is full of useful information, vouchers and also a card to fill in that you can hand in at your local Boots, Argos or Tesco and you will receive a large packet full of samples of nappies, wipes and non-bio washing liquid.

I've always known I want to breastfeed and although the main reason behind my decision is the health benefits for both baby & me, money also does play a small part. Formula can be really expensive and soon adds up over the months. Breastfeeding is free! Obviously if for some reason I can't breastfeed I will pump my milk and have to maybe think about formula but until then we aren't buying any. We only have our Maam bottle that we received free from Boots and I've bought a Nature Bond Silicone Breast Pump ready for when I do decide to start pumping. We aren't buying any bottles or bottle feeding accessories until we know for definite we will need them as at the minute they are just a wasted expense. 

Bulk Buy:
Our house is literally full on nappies and wipes that we have bought in bulk! There are so many baby events going on throughout the year that all do amazing deals on the essentials. It works out so much cheaper to buy a box of wipes than it does to buy the individual packets. Don't buy all your nappies in one size because baby's grow very quickly and they'll soon grow out of new born so we have bought sizes ranging from 1-4! We've also picked up a variety of different wipes from different brands due to the fact that your baby's bottom might not agree with a certain brand. Whatever you don't use though, you could always pass on or sell! There is always someone out there who can make use out of the things you can't.

Baby Events:
I never noticed as many baby events as I have done since becoming pregnant. All the major supermarkets do them sporadically over the year, usually every 4-5 months, so no matter when you get pregnant you can take advantage. Asda has been my favourite for their baby event, we bought our moses basket from there, bedding, baby toiletries, nappies, changing mats. They also do car seats, high chairs, rockers and so much more! You can pick uo some amazing bargains. Sign up to their websites and you can get reminders of when baby events are coming up and even get a sneak peek into what will be in the event.

Think Before You Buy:
Before we went and spent our monthly wages in Mamas & Papas (easily done, trust me) we wrote a list of all the essentials we needed. They are obviously the priority. Anything else you can buy afterwards when you know you already have everything you NEED, so everything else is a little bonus and treat for baby (and you). We looked online and Pinterest for lists of the absolute essentials and read reviews on what worked for people and what was a gimmick. Does a baby really need a wipe warmer? I don't think so. A cold wipe to the ass never did me any harm. It's so easy to get sucked into the baby world and especially when you are a first time mum, you have no idea what's an essential and what you can do without. 

Hold Back On The New Born:
It's so easy to pick up hundreds of little new born sized vests and sleep suits, but thinking practically, baby's grow so quickly that they'll soon outgrow them! The majority of our baby's wardrobe is 0-3 months. At least that way you know they will fit in them for a slightly longer amount of time. For my baby shower we were bought quite a lot of newborn clothing so we went out the next day and exchanged them all for 3-6 months. It isn't being ungrateful, it's just thinking logically. It would be such a shame for them to never get worn and be wasted when people have taken the effort to buy you lovely outfits.

These tips have really helped us when it comes to saving money and I hope some of you guys find it helpful as well! 

Pregnancy Diary: What Is In Our Hospital Bag.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Baby Cope is due next week and the last thing we had to do was pack our hospital bags, which we finally did last week after being mithered by our midwife and my family to get it done! I don't know why I was putting it off, I just felt like we had plenty of time. Forgetting that Baby can arrive from 38 weeks, Oops. 

We have packed two main bags. One gym bag for use during labour and a small suitcase that will hold all mine and Baby's things for after the birth. I also have a carrier bag full of sugary sweets and Lucozade sports drinks that the midwife and my sister both swear by for during labour. It's so important to keep your sugar levels up so any excuse to buy a multi pack of Moams and Jelly babies! I might even share with Aaron...

Labour Bag:
  • Bikini (I am hoping for a water birth so a bikini was essential. I have packed the bikini bottoms although I can't see me wearing them much...)
  • Large nightie for birthing in, just in case I decide a water birth isn't possible or isn't working for me. I picked mine up from Primark as I know it'll probably get ruined so I will just throw it away once I get cleaned up after the birth.
  • Maternity notes. I have written a very brief birth plan just covering the basics and the things that are most important to me for the birth. 
  • Lip balm. I've heard gas and air gives you the worst dry mouth so I've stocked up on lip balms ready to apply whenever I need to.
  • A travel pillow. As I said, I really want a water birth and I've read other peoples experiences and the one thing I noticed was them mentioning taking a travel pillow to rest their head on when leaning on the side of the pool.
  • I-pad, magazines and kindle. Labour can be a very long experience and there isn't just me that is going to be at the hospital. Aaron will also need something to keep him occupied and awake. Thank god for Netflix installing a 'download' feature so you can download your favourite series or films to watch without the need for Wi-Fi!
  • Snacks & drinks.
  • Hair bobbles, large headband and water spray. Hospitals are very bloody warm, mix that with contractions and pushing, and you'll have a very hot and angry Rachael so I have packed the water spray for Aaron to spray on my face throughout the labour.
  • Phone charger and camera.

Post Birth Bag//For Me:

  • Pyjamas that are suitable for breast feeding. I've just picked some up from Primark that can be thrown away once we leave the hospital if they get ruined. 
  • Large black knickers that can hold my maternity pads in securely. Again from Primark so they can just be thrown away if needs be.
  • 2 x nursing bras.
  • Maternity pads. I've packed three large packs just to be on the safe side.
  • Breast pads. I probably won't have much use for these as your milk doesn't actually arrive for about 3 days after birth but I have packed a few just in case.
  • Large towel.
  • Toiletries; Shower gel, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, face wipes and Tangle Teezer. I have bought all these in the little travel sizes you can pick up from Boots on 3 for 2.
  • Slippers and flip flops. I'll use the flip flops when I go for a shower after the birth. I also picked up some really thin slippers, mainly for a home comfort than anything else.
  • Large zip up hoodie. I'll throw this on after the birth and I will also wear it home. The main thing is just to feel as comfortable as possible.
  • Maternity leggings, baggy t-shirt and comfortable shoes for going home in.
For Baby:
  • 3 x vests.
  • 3 x sleepsuits.
  • 2 x scratch mitts.
  • A hat to put them in after the birth.
  • Baby blanket
  • 3 x muslin squares.
  • Going home outfit.
  • 10 x Nappies, water wipes and cotton wool.
  • Their first cuddly toy which is a little penguin from The White Company.
  • Car seat ready for the journey home!
Packing our bags has definitely made it seem more real that we will soon be a family of three! 

Life As We Know It.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Everything is about to change. Our Baby is officially due next week and I am more than ready. I feel so relaxed and ready for the changes that are about to happen. I know there will be things happening that I can't control or predict, but I will deal with those issues as they occur. 

"My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice."- Newt Scamander.

During my maternity leave so far we have managed to declutter the house of all the crap we have accumulated. I didn't realise how much stuff a small human being needs so every bit of space is essential! We have also managed to get on top of all the odd jobs that needing doing around the house and in the garden, the last thing you want to be worrying about when looking after a new baby is the fact your garden looks like a jungle or your clothes washing has piled up and that's BEFORE you add all the baby's washing on top of that. 

I've also been using my maternity leave as a way to do all the things I love to do, that may be a little harder when Baby first arrives. Reading is such a huge love of mine and something that I do a lot of in my free time, however I think that managing to pick up a book is going to be nigh on impossible, especially in the first few weeks. So I have been taking the time to sit, even if it just for an hour a day, to read a book. 

Myself and Aaron are also enjoying going out for meals whenever we can. I know we will still do that when Baby is here but we're really making the most of our last trips out with just the two of us before the craziness that is parenthood starts!
I also went out for a meal with my girlfriends last week to a lovely Italian and my god it was good. It was nice to all get together and have a catch up. I am the first of my friends to have a baby so it's exciting to think that my baby will be joining us for our next meal! The girls are just as excited as me!

Baby C's nursery is all ready and raring to go! Although they won't be sleeping in there for the first 6 months or so we wanted to make sure it was all ready and it's one last thing to worry about when baby is here. I have taken some little sneak peek photos of their nursery and will be doing a blog post about them at some point this week! Their room is definitely my favourite in the house, I feel so happy and content when I go in. 

It's just a waiting game at the minute and we are more than ready to welcome our latest addition! I can't wait to finally have our baby in our arms. Change can be a wonderful thing and the best change is coming...

Why There Is No Place Like Home.

Monday, 27 March 2017

As much as I love going on holiday and travelling to new places. I am also a complete home bird. My home is my safe place and I love all my little comforts that I've created.

These are all the reasons I love coming home from holiday..

1. My bed. My glorious wonderful comfortable bed.

2. Don't get me started on my duvet. Those thin, papery duvets you get abroad just don't cut it for me. Nothing beats coming home and wrapping yourself up like a burrito in your duvet.

3. Your television. It sounds so pathetic but nothing beats finally getting hold of your precious tv remote and being able to switch on ITV or Netflix. Who knew the news in your area could be so riveting.

4. After spending the past week or two completely out of the loop, you can finally catch up on current events! Who's pregnant?! A Kardashian did what now?!

5. Being able to drink tap water from your own tap and not having to be worried about dying a slow & painful death.

6. Home cooked food! By home cooked I mean pizza. By pizza I mean a takeaway. But hey. Life's little pleasures.

7. Being reunited with your pets. Those mithering little fluffy bitches that couldn't give a shit whether you ever came home or not? Yeah. Those.

8. People. My people. Family and friends. You don't realise how awesome they are until you've been away without them.

9. Lying on the sofa for hours doing F all and not having to feel guilty about it. There's no culture to experience, no missed opportunities. Your home, you've seen it all before. It'll still be there when you've finished watching six hours of Pretty Little Liars.

10. Having full access to your wardrobe again. Your beloved jeans, jumpers and the comfiest pair of jogging bottoms ever created. HALLELUJAH!

Pregnancy Diary | Pregnancy Books & Apps.

Friday, 24 March 2017
One of the first thing I did when I found out I was pregnant was order a pregnancy book. I know some people don't agree and say they are a waste of money but I've really enjoyed flicking through different books and reading about people's experiences through pregnancy and labour. I thought I would give you a run down of all the books I've read throughout my pregnancy so far and which apps I have used.

Truly Happy Baby//Holly Willoughby
This is the first pregnancy book I bought as I absolutely LOVE Holly and it does have some really useful tips and facts in. One thing that I really loved about this book was the detailed pictures showing the different breastfeeding and winding positions. As I am planning on breastfeeding I found this section really helpful. However, I got the feeling that this book was written as a way to please lots of people and not what Holly herself found helpful. Like she was afraid of being slightly controversial and rocking the boat. I also didn't particularly like that she recommends 'controlled crying' from 6 months old. I just can't imagine leaving my baby to cry themselves to sleep. Everyone is different though I suppose and may feel comfortable giving it a go.

My Baby & Me//Sam Faiers
I really enjoyed watching Sam's 'The Baby Diaries' so when I found out she was releasing a pregnancy & baby book, I instantly pre-ordered. I love that Sam is such a strong advocate for breast feeding, it's really helped me feel more confident and ready for what it will entail. I also love her opinions on co-sleeping, which I know isn't for everyone and that's fine, but it's nice for a celebrity mum to finally hold their hands up and say 'actually yes I do co-sleep'. If you are after an experts point of view, then this book definitely isn't for you. However I found that I could relate to this writing style much more than Holly's.

How To Grow A Baby & Push It Out//Clemmie Hooper
I absolutely love Clemmie's Instagram page (@mother_of_daughters) and was so excited when I found out she was releasing a pregnancy/labour/baby book. Clemmie is actually a midwife so she definitely know what she's talking about when it comes to birth in particular. Tips on how to prevent tearing during labour and what you REALLY need in your hospital bag. I loved Clemmie's humour and wit throughout the book. My favourite thing about this book was the different birth stories written by lots of different women. It just proved that everyone's labour is completely different and not to always believe the horror stories that people throw at you!

Happy Mum Happy Baby//Giovanna Fletcher
Giovanna is one of my all time favourite authors and I instantly buy any book she writes. She usually writes lovely fiction books but when she announced that she would be writing a book on her experience through pregnancy, labour and motherhood, I knew it would be amazing and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! One of the things I love about Gi is how honest, witty and open she is. She really tells you how it is and doesn't try to sugar coat anything.  That really reflected in Happy Mum Happy Baby. Some parts of this book were really heart breaking and so raw that I definitely cried a few times. This is different to all the other pregnancy books I've read as it's Gi's own personal stories and experiences. It's like having a hot chocolate and cake with a friend.

Ovia Pregnancy & Baby Tracker App
Before I got pregnant I used the Ovia Fertility Tracker and Ovulation Calculator as a way to track my periods and also when I was at my most fertile, so as soon as I found out we were expecting I upgraded to the pregnancy and baby tracker. I love this app so much! I check it every week to see how Baby C is growing and developing and also see what changes I can expect from my body. I always send little updates to Aaron, just as a way to keep him involved. You can compare the size of your baby to fruits & veg, animals, toys. It's really funny and interesting to see what your baby is being compared to each week!

Bounty Pregnancy- Pregnancy Birth & Baby App
The best thing about this app is definitely the step-by-step developmental 3D views and estimated foot size as baby grows. I love checking every week and seeing their little foot and wondering how accurate it actually is. It also updates daily with different articles about a variety of different topics, from healthy eating tips, different travel systems and special articles dedicated to the dads-to-be. You can also use the app to claim your free bounty packs, which has loads of amazing samples in and leaflets. I have collected all the new born nappies and wipes, ready for my hospital bag as they are such a useful travel size!

Sixteen Things I Wish I'd Known About Being An Adult.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

When we are little all you want it to grow up. Becoming an adult sounds like the best thing in the world. You get to spend all the money you want, watch as much television you like and stay in bed all day. If only we had known exactly what we were in for...

1. You've actually got to EARN the money you want to spend. Aint' life a bitch.

2. Putting the bins out is possibly the worse household job ever. Add all the shit you have to recycle on top of that and it's even worse. Black bin for this, cream bin for something else... the responsibility and pressure to get it exactly right is horrendous. You leave a lid on a pop bottle, you're really in for it!

3. Nobody is going to wash that pile of clothes for you. I literally have washing coming out of my ears and I don't know where the hell it all comes from. There's only two of us! God help me when the baby arrives and we have shite stained baby grows thrown into the mix.

4. You dream of the days you could go back to school hours. Finishing at 3p.m every day. Having the weekends to do as you please. All those holidays! I don't know what kids these days are bitching about. So damn ungrateful.

5. Ironing? What's that? It isn't an essential task. I think I've ironed about six things since I moved out almost four years ago. The creased look is totally in.

6. You'll hate the majority of the population. And that's okay.

7. Everyone and their dog wants to offer you a loan or a credit card. Do these people not know that I can't be trusted with money?! Just throw those letters straight in the bin. I mean recycling..god damn it!

8. That owning a oh so grown up Jamie Oliver cookbook may feel great, but the fact that you have to buy half of Waitrose to actually make the damn meals, is ridiculous.

9. You'll spend the majority of your day slagging off 'the youth of today'. Because when we were kids, we were saints.... NOT.

10. You think owning a pet is a wonderful idea and so grown up. When in actual fact, they can be a real bitch!

11. Television shows will go completely down the drain. If you think you'll be spending your Saturday nights watching Stars In Their Eyes and Blind Date, you are sadly mistaken.

12. That you'll actually miss the days when Heartbeat was a Sunday night ritual and you'd give your first born to snuggle up on the sofa and hear that god awful theme tune.

13. You'll actually have to show an interest in political debates and current affairs, now you are an adult, you should know things about this and looking at people blankly with a 'who the fuck?' expression on your face is not the right way to go.

14. Going to bed early used to be a bitch. Now you count down the hours until you can get into bed. You then spend the first five minutes working out how much sleep you'll get before your alarm goes off. Anything less than 7 hours sleep and I literally go into meltdown mode. I WON'T FUNCTION.

15. Everyday you'll pray that the postman will post a letter through your door that contains a cheque from a really wealthy relative who has taken pity on you. Instead it's bills and an explanation as to where your council tax is being spent. Which wasn't a fun letter to read I assure you.

16. You'll realise that laying in bed all day is actually a waste of a day. Why lounge around in bed when you could be cleaning the house or sorting through paperwork...said no adult. Ever.

My Top Six Netflix Recommendations.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

I'm not gonna lie. I spend the majority of my free time binge-watching tv programs online. Especially since being pregnant. I spent the majority of my first trimester in bed or lay on the sofa watching repeats or browsing for something new to watch. Now i'm in my third and final trimester (can I get a hell yess!?!) i'm back to doing the exact same. I spend all night tossing & turning, and all day lay on the sofa with my pregnancy cushion a.k.a the greatest invention. 

I love the way you can completely lose yourself and switch off from everyday life, when watching TV. If i'm having a particularly *can't be arsed doing anything, pregnancy sucks* kind of day, TV is exactly what I need. 

I thought i'd put together a list of my all time favourite TV series or documentaries that are currently on Netflix.

1.Pretty Little Liars
I couldn't list my favourite tv series and NOT mention PLL! This show has been a huge part of my life for the past...five years and unfortunately it all comes to an end this year (sobs uncontrollably) with it's last 10 episodes! If you don't already know, Pretty Little Liars follows the lives of a missing/dead girl and her four high school friends, who are harassed and stalked by the anonymous 'A'. It follows all their dramas/relationships/fights/deaths. It's effin brilliant.

2. Amanda Knox
I am a huge lover of anything 'real life crime'. Whether that's in book form, a film or in this case a documentary. This one off documentary focuses on the 2007 case in which Meredith Kercher was killed whilst studying in Italy and what makes this documentary so intriguing to me, is the huge part that Amanda Knox plays. Giving first time interviews and insights into her version of events. It had me completely hooked. 

3. Shadowhunters
I am a HUGE fan of Cassandra Clare's 'The Mortal Instruments' series and when I found out it was becoming a TV series (exclusive to Netflix) I honestly couldn't wait. It's basically a tv series about demon hunters. It can be slightly cheesy and the dialogue is sometimes a little cringe, but it's perfect for when you just want to pig out in front of the telly, and not really have to concentrate 100% on what you are watching. Also..Magnus & Alec are life.

4. The People V O.J Simpson: American Crime Story
Another true life documentary that I really enjoyed! This series revolves around the infamous O.J Simpson murder case. I was only three when the actual crime took place so I don't remember any of it and have only heard bits of information throughout the years, so I was completely gripped by this series. You get really sucked in and even though you know how the trial ends, you still can't help but watch the verdict, holding your breath.

5. Gossip Girl
I've watched Gossip Girl for years and still miss it! I must have re-watched it via Netflix at least 4 times. Mainly to drool over Chuck Bass. I also like to channel my inner Blair Waldorf every now and then. This is the perfect series to completely lose your self in. A bunch of insanely rich, upper-east siders whose lives and secrets are constantly splashed over a website 'Gossip Girl' for everyone to see. What more could you want?

6. Me Before You
I fell head over heels in love with this book when I first read it about 4 years ago and when I heard it was being made into a film, I was a little sceptical. I had really high hopes, but low expectations. I was left really pleasantly surprised. Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin were the perfect Lou & Will. There chemistry on screen completely mirrored the chemistry that was in the book. I know the film is never as good as the book, and where there were parts missing that I really wished they had managed to put in, I still really enjoyed the film! It is about a quadriplegic, Will, who was injured after a motorbike accident and is in need of a carer. Lou takes on the job after losing her and although she has no previous experience, Will's mother loves her positive energy and really thinks she will help Will. I don't want to spoil too much as it is better going in, now knowing much. I will tell you one thing though. You are gonna' cry. A lot.

Pregnancy Diary: How To Get A Better Nights Sleep During Pregnancy.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Since the end of my second trimester, insomnia is well and truly kicking in. I thought I was tired during the first couple of weeks of pregnancy, but there is nothing more infuriating than waking up every two hours, every single night. It's not even like I wake up and can instantly go back to sleep, when I wake up, I am literally wide awake for a good half hour to an hour. Which isn't ideal when you have to be up for work at 4 a.m. However over the past couple of weeks I have finally nailed a sleep routine that works for me and I only wake up once to go to the bathroom (woohoo me!) Here are some of my top tips that have really helped me.

1. Stay Hydrated
 I know this may seem a little, *what the fackkk* when staying hydrated is the reason you pee twenty times a day and there is honestly nothing worse than waking up numerous times through the night to make a mad dash to the loo. However, it is so important to stay hydrated, especially during pregnancy. I always take a drink to bed with me, (it doesn't HAVE to be water, Vimto is my beverage of choice..) drink half before I go to sleep, go to the bathroom and then save the other half for during the night. I don't know about anyone else but I always wake up in the middle of the night with dry mouth.

2. A Pregnancy Pillow
 Now you don't have to fork out a fortune for one of these, they all do the same thing! I actually picked up my pillow from Sainsbury's baby event for a tenner, it's one of those V shaped ones and boy oh boy has it been a godsend! I place one end between my legs (this helps to take pressure of your hips) and use the other end under my head as an extra head pillow. The middle part perfectly supports my growing belly. In your third trimester it isn't recommended that you sleep on your back, so the pregnancy pillows help you stay on your side. I also use mine on the sofa to support my back as I have been getting horrific back ache, especially in the evenings after I have finished work.

3. Keep Bedroom Cool & Tidy
 Tidy Space, Tidy that the saying? I have always slept much better when our bedroom is tidy, I just feel much more relaxed and comfortable. Having a tidy space helps you feel less stressed and less distracted, which is going to help you fall to sleep much easier. As for keeping your bedroom cool, you body heat increases during pregnancy so if your room is too stuffy, it's going to wake you up during the night. I can't tell you the amount of times I have woken up to kick the covers off and strip down out of my pyjamas. Don't set the temperature too low, so you wake up freezing your bollocks off, but just setting it a few degrees lower will make all the difference.

4. Avoid Eating Late At Night
 Especially if you suffer from heartburn or reflux as eating snacks or meals late on can trigger these. I am lucky enough that I haven't YET suffered from either of these but I know from other people how horrible it can be. In particular, avoid acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, greasy or fried foods, spicy foods and drinks such as coffee or pop.

5. Shut Down Technology
 This goes for anyone who wants a good night sleep. I am so guilty of diving into bed and instantly picking up my phone to peruse Instagram or Twitter, but this actually stimulates your brain and wakes you up. Instead turn your lights down low, and pick up a book or take a few minutes to just sit and practice some relaxation.

What are your top tips for a good nights sleep? Did you suffer from the dreaded 'Third Trimester Insomnia'?

Seven Ways To Spring Clean Your Life.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Over the past few days, Spring has definitely sprung. Winter is a thing of the past. The days are staying lighter for longer, the need for thick winter coats & scarves is pretty much over and the Easter eggs are out in force. If that isn't a sign of spring, I don't know what is.

Everyone knows the term 'spring clean'. It's usually just a word we apply to getting our houses in working order, finishing any odd jobs and embracing our inner Kim & Aggie, although after watching CBB..more Aggie than Kim..This year however, I have decided to apply the term to all of my life. I don't whether it's because I am going to be becoming a Mum this year but I feel I have a responsibility to really get my shit in order, along with re-evaluating and organising my life. Here are the ways I intend to do that..

1. Straighten Out Your Finances
Money can be a huge worry for some people and really take a toll on them mentally and emotionally. Whilst it may be scary to really sit and assess your financial situation, it will really help give you peace of mind. Pushing the problem away and staying oblivious will only make it worse and increase your stress. Try setting yourself a budget every month, after bills and all your essentials, budget what you spend on luxuries. By luxuries I don't mean a designer pair of shoes (a gal can dream..). Your morning Starbucks or shop-bought lunches can really add up over time and they aren't essentials.

2. Clean Up Your Relationships
I am really guilty of clinging on to relationships just for the fact that I don't want to admit defeat. Over the past year I have let lots of friendships go as I realised they weren't making me happy anymore. They were dragging me down and turning me into someone I didn't want to be. Someone I wasn't proud to be. If you think it's just a rough patch then hell yes try sorting it out but sometimes there isn't a resolution and you're just trying to hold on to something for the sake of it. I've come to the realisation that it is definitely quality over quantity. Focus on the people that make you feel good and bring out the best in you.

3. Declutter Your Mind
It's time to let go of any negative feelings you might be holding onto. Jealousy, anger and hatred can have such a impact on your mental health and harbouring onto this feelings for an extended period of time isn't good for anyone. These feelings aren't adding anything positive to your life. Instead of sitting and dwelling on the negative feelings, find an outlet for them. Whether that be going to the gym, cooking or watching your favourite tv program..focus your energy on things that make you happy.

4. Cherish The Quiet
With so much social media around these days and with how technology is, it's hard to just be quiet. I myself am guilty of always needing to be doing something online. Whether that's perusing Instagram or finding a new TV show to binge-watch. One of my favourite times of day is when I get into bed, turn my phone onto 'Do Not Disturb' and pick up my current read. It's so rare to have a quiet moment these days. So enjoy it. 

5. Productivity
With so many things going on personally at the minute; having a baby, trying to get the house in order..I have been starting to feel really overwhelmed. Like I don't know where to start. Lists have become my new best friend. Whether there are twenty things on the list or only three, having the tasks written down in front of me make it so much easier to manage. Prioritise your list and cross off all the tasks you complete. There is nothing more satisfying than putting a big scribble through a task that has been bothering you for weeks.

6. Get Rid Of Clutter
I have spent the fast two days getting the house organised and throwing out anything and everything that I have no need for. I went through all the food cupboards, throwing things away that are past there sell by dates or haven't been used in a few months. My cupboards are now in much better order..
I also went through my wardrobe, mainly for the fact that I have been on a 'breastfeeding friendly' shopping trip and needed to have somewhere to put away the new things i'd bought. I got rid of things I haven't worn in months, but kept hold of 'just incase' and also clothes that I know won't fit me for a while. I suppose that's also an excuse for going on a shopping trip after the baby is born..

7. Organise
I am possibly one of the most unorganised people you will meet. I envy the people who have their shit together when it comes to organising their households, spending time with their family & friends and working full-time. I could never find a balance between them all. I am holiday from work this week so i've spent the past two days giving the house a really good clean from top to bottom, getting on top of all the clothes washing and finishing off all the odd jobs we needed doing (finally putting our new curtains up in the bedroom, putting up picture frames and shelves..all that fun stuff). I already feel so much more relaxed and feel like once you get on top of it all, it's easier to manage and won't take you as long. So you have more time to spend with your loved ones. 

I'd love to know how you organise your life and whether you plan to take advantage of a really good spring clean?!