Monday, 30 January 2017

Living Arrows Weeks 4 & 5.



I'm running a little late in this weeks Living Arrows, so I think I will pop week 4 and 5 together in one. 

As you'll know we had Violet's Naming Day last week and we've all just about recovered.  It was a lovely day but I was exhausted afterwards. We made it to Thursday with a pretty regular week for us, until Violet and I made the four hour round trip to Middlesbrough to visit our new baby friend. I was sensible and didn't attempt the journey in a car and we went on the train and actually had a really lovely time. V was an angel on the train and I managed to get her to nod off for an hour on the way home. 

Violet is in the midst of another "leap" according to my Wonder Weeks app, which is currently wearing me out. V appears to have forgotten how to sleep through the night and is waking regularly. So this weekend we purchased some baby monitors and gave her a night in her big girls room, to see if that would help. Quite frankly, it didn't. And I'm even more exhausted from getting up to walk to her room, let her know she's okay and then heading back to bed myself. Thankfully she's not really a cryer so tends to grunt and babble to herself until I feed her or soothe her back to sleep. 

On the other hand, we seem to be doing quite well with baby led weaning. We've had lots of firsts this week, including watermelon, apple, chicken with pesto and aubergine. I'm really trying to be creative with her meals but have discovered I need to plan a little better and start cooking earlier. V is definitely ready for her tea about 4:30pm, so I boiled a whole load of pasta early morning yesterday in the hope I can quickly whip up some sauce when she's ready for food. 

V also had her first experience of soft play this week and has actually been to two different places. I'm going to try and squeeze in as many as possible until she gets over 12 months and I have to start paying! The second photo is from Violet enjoying the slide at one of the play areas, she really enjoys watching other children playing while she chills in the ball pool!

And I think that's you all pretty much up to date. What have you been up to this week?

Katie x

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Violet's Naming Day.



If you follow me on social media, you'll know that last weekend we had a Naming Day for Violet. We chose to have a Naming Day as a way to welcome V into the world and as neither of us are religious, this seemed the right way to do things. As we picked the venue and all aspects of the day, meant we had full reign of what happened and when. We managed to organise a little ceremony held by important people in Violet's life, which made it extra special. 

The Venue - We hired out a local converted barn called Chill @ The Cow Shed. As the name suggests, it was actually used as a Cow Shed some years ago, but is now a gorgeous rustic function room. The venue held a maximum of 50 people, so it was the perfect size for an intimate celebration. It was gorgeously decorated with fairy lights and pom poms (which took forever to put up!) and we added lanterns and Parma Violet's to the tables - keeping in with the violet colour scheme.

The Dress - We bought Violet's dress from a shop just below the venue. A Step at a Time is a gorgeous little baby and children's boutique, which stunning dresses and pretty outfits. We knew this is where we wanted to pick V's outfit up from, we've popped in a few times and the service is second to none. I chose this little Sarah Louise number, which is amazing quality and just looked adorable. We were also kindly gifted a voucher from the store to celebrate Violet's Naming Day, they really have customer service down to a tee.

The Cake - This was one of my favourite things from the day. I ordered V's cake from the lovely Betsy at Betsy's Pantry, a few months back and I never expected it would be so amazing. We had so many compliments about it, even the venue owners wanted to know where we had got it from. It was huge and so delicious, with a Genoese vanilla sponge, vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam. It had a beautiful bespoke design and couldn't have fitted in to the theme more perfectly. I'm even going to book in for Violet's birthday cake!

The Ceremony - Violet's Uncle hit things off and introduced family and friends for their readings. The hubby and I each wrote a little something to read for Violet (and as you can see in the photos, I couldn't quite hold it together). We managed to get the whole thing recorded on video by our wonderful photographer too, which I can't wait to show Violet when she gets older. We couldn't have asked for a more personal ceremony for little V.

The Food - We chose to have a lovely pie and peas lunch, which was just what we needed for a cold, Wintery day in January. I was so thankful for some warm, comforting food, while it was freezing outside. The food went down a storm and we even packed people off with doggy-bags to take some home. And of course we had cake for desert!

The Photographer - We were really lucky that Jonathan's friend and colleague was available to come and take some professional photos of the day. We gave a brief of natural shots and I don't think Tom could have done a better job. We are so pleased with the photos from Violet's special day, they really are some gorgeous memories, that we get to keep. Tom was super discreet clicking away, which I think helped in getting some amazing, natural photos. Having said that though, Violet loves the camera so no doubt was posing away whenever she saw it!

I hope you love the photos as much as we do. And thank you to everyone that made Violet's day an extra special one.

Katie xx


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A Subscription Box for Mama.



Sometimes us Mama's need a little pampering. My world very rarely centres around me anymore and I even struggle to think about spending money on myself. Thankfully my MamaME Box* came at just the right time, with a little something for me as well as Violet. 

The box arrived beautifully packaged in a sort of vintage-style box and wrap, and filled with lots of lovely goodies. My first go to was the Squirrel Sisters brownie bar. I've had these in my Boots meal deal and they're pretty yummy. The bar is made from fruit, nuts and cocoa, with no added nasties (kinda like a Nakd bar). They're also gluten free so a really great snack for me! I wolfed it down as soon as I opened the box, in fact it's just an empty packet in the photo (bad blogger award!). 

The next thing that jumped out was the Kokoso Baby Coconut Oil. I've heard so many great things about this product and I was really keen to give it a go. I'm happy to report back that so far so good, Violet doesn't get nappy rash very often but this has been great on the small patches of dry skin that she does get. Plus it's gentle enough to use on her cheeks and scalp. And it leaves my hands super soft!

We also received a gorgeous candle from a brand new to me - Hobo. It's a gorgeous fig and cassis candle made from soy wax, so it's burning nicely without the awful black smoke. For a travel sized candle, this gives off a good amount of scent. I've had it burning in my dining room and I've certainly been able to smell it when walking in and out. The wick is a wooden wick, which I've never tried before. I must say I'm really enjoying the sound it makes whilst burning. I'm definitely a wood-wick convert. 

Finally the box contained two very cute and thoughtful products. A lovely bracelet from Wish Upon a string and a pack of Inspiration Cards from The Native State. I love the positive messages these contain, be sure to see more of them on my Instagram in the coming months!

You can pick up the next MamaME Box here, for £25. 

Katie xx

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Living Arrows 3/52.


Wow, I can't believe we're on week three already, January is just flying by (thank goodness!). We've had another fun-filled week and Violet hit the big 6-month milestone on Friday. Today we're having her Naming Day, which we're all looking forward to, so expect a few posts from the day over the next few weeks. 

We also met some fellow local mummy bloggers and their babies this week, shout out to Claire and Lisa. It was such a lovely day, it's so nice to connect with mamas nearby and all through the power of the Internet!

Anyway, I must get ready before the hubby has a meltdown.

Katie xx

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A Must-Have for Baby Led Weaning.



I can't believe we've been at this weaning thing for almost a week. Time really does fly when you're having fun. So far V has been exploring new tastes and textures, mainly with her hands but some has definitely gone into her mouth! We've discovered she is quite the fan of peanut butter on toast and boiled eggs (not at the same time!). But will happily leave cucumber at the moment - it's a little bit slippy for now. 

And boy does Violet make a mess. We've had crumbs in places you'd never think you'd find them. Little V has also been spending a lot more time in the bath recently after insisting on putting her hands through her hair at every meal time! 

On the upside my floor and Violet's clothes have been saved, thanks to our Tidy Tot*. The Tidy Tot sits nicely over our IKEA highchair and sticks with two suckers, to the tray in front so it can't be pulled off by little hands. It comes with a handy long sleeved bib, which velcros to the front of the tidy tray so no food can fall on to baby's lap! 

We've actually been using our Tidy Tot for a few months, well before Violet was weaning. I've found it's brilliant for stopping toys falling on the floor constantly while she sits and plays in her highchair. It's just wide enough for Violet to not be able to push food or toys to the edge and save mama from cleaning the floor. It's super easy to clean up too. The ring shape is completely wipe-able and the long sleeve bib can be hand washed or can be popped in the washing machine. 

If you're looking for a must-have for baby led weaning, then this needs to be added to your shopping list! You can find the Tidy Tot here. 

Katie x

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Our Crazy Weekly Routine.



Being a new mum is pretty tough at times. I've pretty much thrown myself into baby groups over the past six months and I'm so glad I did. It might be scary at first and totally out of your comfort zone, but chances are there is someone there in exactly the same position as you. With that in mind I thought I'd write up a typical weekly routine in our household. 

Most days start between 5:30-6am, and baring in mind V has slept through, this is fine with me. Depending on our classes that day, we can leisurely get up, have a bath and get ready for the day ahead. I'm now having to remember to squeeze breakfast in there somewhere too! Then as soon as we're fed and watered, we get out and about. 

Monday 

At the moment we do baby yoga at 9:45am on a Monday morning. This is our earliest class, but is actually really great to get us out of the house to avoid those Monday blues. We found this class on our local Facebook group (which are brilliant for finding local activities!) and I'm really pleased we did. It's a great way for me to get a little exercise in too! 

This Monday we spent the afternoon with our lovely Hypnobirthing mamas and babies and headed to a sensory room. It was so nice catching up and just chilling in the room while the babies explored. We managed to book out the room for £3 each. 

Tuesday

We have a few options on a Tuesday morning. Every two weeks, the museum runs a free Arty Babies class. It's a fab way to meet new mums and is super relaxed. We head down to the aquarium some sessions and Violet just loves the class. 

One of the local libraries runs a baby session on a Tuesday morning too, which is also a free class. We do nursery rhymes, stories and craft activities too. 

Our final option for a Tuesday morning is a sensory session at a children's centre. This one is £1 and just a drop-in class. It's also a little closer to home, so if I'm being lazy this is a good option. I would definitely recommend having a look at local children's centres for fun activities. 

Wednesday

This is probably my favourite day of the week class-wise. Wednesday is swimming day! We do a session called Swim and Sing, which is a combination of swimming lesson and play. It's brilliant and keeps Violet engaged for the whole session and I can see her confidence building every week. We're really lucky with finding these lessons as they're only £25 for 10 weeks, I know some sessions can be well over the £100 mark. Our local pool does drop in sessions called "Baby Splash" and "Swim Tots" which are both relaxed baby friendly swim sessions. 

Thursday 

 Thursday and a Friday tend to be our quietest days. Most weeks we don't have a dedicated class to attend, although I do know of another at the library. We do however, always find something to keep us busy. 

Last week we headed to Manchester and met up with some new friends from a mama group on Facebook (I found via Instagram). It's the Mama Meet UK page, they have lots of meet ups coming up, it's worth a look to see if there is one local to you. 

We also have the option of baby cinema on the third Thursday of the month. This is held in the city at a lovely independent cinema and is great if you want to catch the latest film or even an old classic that's being played. 

Friday

Again, this is a quiet one for us but I always make sure we get out. Last week I got to meet up with some of my friends and babies from our NCT classes and we headed to another sensory room which was free. It was another good opportunity to catch up and let the babies chill for an hour or so. 

This week we are meeting some new friends nearby. Social media has played a huge part in my life since being on maternity leave and the parent bloggers on Twitter are always super supportive. I've met two lovely ladies that are local to me, so the girlies and our little ones are heading to Costa for a good old chin wag this week. 

And then the weekend is full of family fun and generally spending time with Daddy!

That's our crazy week in a nutshell. I hope I've inspired you to check your local area for some new baby activities and to get out there and meet some mamas!  

Katie xx

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Living Arrows 2/52.

WOW, what a crazy week! We've been a bit naughty and started our baby led weaning journey a week early. V was showing all the signs and when she tried to pinch a brownie from my plate, I figured it was time we give it a go. So the past few days have pretty much consisted of sticky hands and messy clothes, but it is lots of fun. I'm loving seeing Violet's face every time she tries something new. Peanut butter on toast has definitely been her favourite so far. All I can say is, thank goodness for baby wipes!

Expect lots of BLW messiness and recipe ideas over the coming months as we explore the wonderful world of weaning.


Katie xx

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Parenting Pet Peeves.

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Being a mama opens up a whole new world of baby-related things. And I've thoroughly enjoyed these new things but there are a few that really get my goat. So here's my list of parent pet-peeves. 

1. Parent & Child Parking Spaces - Nothing irritates me more than seeing someone that clearly doesn't have a child with them, using a parent and child space. Or those who have "children" that are clearly young adults and definitely don't require the extra room to swing open the door. There is a point to those spaces, not for laziness cos they're close to the entrance. But for extra space to get your child and all of their paraphernalia out safely. Please don't use the space if you don't need it, you have no idea how much help that extra few feet is. 

2. Lack of Parent & Child Spaces - Sorry to keep harping on, but they're a huge help. The Trafford Centre is the main culprit I have in mind. The shopping centre is brilliant if you're looking for somewhere child friendly. It's warm, loops around in a circle so you can't get lost, plenty of spots to sit and feed and great changing facilitates. But there are about 3 parent and child spaces (okay that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but there aren't many!). So you have to be super lucky or get there before the centre opens to guarantee you bag a space. Sort it out Manchester. 

3. Trolleys - Another shop-related pet peeve, baby trolleys that require £1 to release them. Like I haven't already got my hands full, juggling Violet, the nappy bag, probably a few toys and a blanket. I have to then put everything (not Violet) on the floor to rummage through my purse to get some change. And who even carries real life money anymore? Most places thankfully don't charge, but when I rock up to the likes of Mothercare and need to pay for a trolley, I swiftly turn around. 

4.  Baby Changing Facilitates - A couple of things: firstly, why would you not provide a toilet in a baby change?  How am I supposed to have a wee in a regular old cubicle with a pram? It's all fine and dandy if she's in the sling but even then I have to make two trips, one to get V changed then another so I can use the loo. Nine times out of ten, you have no choice but to use the disabled toilet (which I hate doing) but it's either that or showing my lady bits to everyone in the bathroom. Secondly, how hard is it to keep a baby change clean and tidy? Don't get me wrong, some of the facilities we've used are amazingly clean and really accommodating. But other are down-right awful. I've witnessed dirty changing tables, nappy bins that are overflowing and stink, small pokey changing rooms that you struggle to get a pram in and I must add lack of ventilation has a lot to answer for. The last thing you want to do with your precious newborn is pop it down on a questionably stained mat in the tiny half-hearted attempt at a changing room. A quick wipe round and an air freshener could do the world of good. 

5. Comments from Other People - Yes, stranger in the John Lewis lift last week, I'm talking to you. I don't need your opinion on whether my baby is too hot or too cold. Or you think she looks like she might need feeding soon. Or "that's a tired cry". Trust me, I'm well aware of my baby's needs and you thrusting your opinion in my direction is not helping in any way. What I do appreciate is the people that offer to give me a hand when I'm struggling to get Violet off the train. Or those that offer up a seat on a busy tram. And even those people that happily chat with me or V, even if it's just to ask how old she is or to try and get her to give a little smile. Sometimes it's nice to talk to a random stranger on the bus, but it is never nice to have to explain your parenting choices to someone you've never met. 

And now that's off my chest, I'm off to Manchester, praying for a parent and child space and hoping nobody talks to me!

Katie xx

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Our DIY Baby Sensory Box.

Violet has been attending sensory sessions since she was just over a month old. She loves playing with new textures and discovering new materials. So I knew a home-made sensory box was something that would be well used. I took it upon myself to get some inspiration from sessions and good old Pinterest and start creating her bespoke box. It was so easy to do and could be as inexpensive as you would like, in fact you might have some of the items I used at home already. It's definitely worth giving a go and is fab for babies development too!
A few easy products to use are everyday household bits. This is a chiffon table cloth with glittery stars, a dusting mitt and a fleecy face cloth. All of these bits were found in Poundland or B&M and certainly didn't cost the Earth.
These were a great find in TKMaxx. I find so many brilliant items in there, it's certainly worth scouring the shelves for some bargains. It did get me thinking that tumble dryer balls would make a nice sensory toy too.
Again, something really easy to get hold of, shower puffs and sponges. Violet loves to pull the shower puffs and they make a good ball for rolling too. She is quite the fan of a sponge too, which often ends up in her mouth. I picked these up from Wilko for less than £1.
Next up is Violet's absolute favourite sensory toy, an emergency blanket. We started playing with one of these at a sensory session and V immediately fell in love. The texture and the sound all help to keep her entertained for a good twenty minutes at a time, I'm sure she would stay put if I could stand the rustling longer. This was kindly given to us from a friend, but I know they're easy to pick up on eBay and Amazon for pennies.
Finally, if you do want a traditional sensory toy, we picked this multi-coloured one up from John Lewis. It's a great shape and really easy for Violet to get hold of - this does mean she can easily launch it across the room too though! Another easy purchase was these cookie cutters, again from Wilko for 50p. They're children's cutters so have no sharp edges and make a fun stacking toy as well as coming in handy when shes's a bit bigger.

So there you have it, my simple DIY sensory box. You can easily pop in some wooden spoons or a plastic whisk to add something a little more and we do have a few additions of tinsel and battery operated fairy lights too. You can be super creative on a budget and create something special for your little ones!

Katie xx 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Alternative Gifts for Newborns.

It feels like 2016 was the year of the baby boom. It feels like everyone I know is having/had or knows someone that's having a baby. I spent lots of time thinking of baby gifts and attending lovely baby showers (not my own might I add!). I was so grateful for all the gorgeous things Violet was bought when she was born. We were inundated with brilliant toys and lots of clothes, which come in so handy (especially in larger sizes). As well as personalised gifts which have taken pride of place in her bedroom. But if you're looking for an alternative to these things, why not try a few of these idea.
The Original Baby Cards - Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll have seen these or a version of, popping up on social media. These were a gift from the hubby last Mother's Day, in prep for when Violet arrived. He picked these up from John Lewis, but they're more accessible online at Amazon. They're a few versions of them too, so you can pick a set to suit. 

Handmade Gifts - If you're a dab hand at knitting or the Queen of Crochet, why not make a gift. Handmade gifts are always personal and usually make it to the "keepsake" box. Violet was really lucky and has great-grandparents that can knit like there's no tomorrow. We've got some beautiful pram blankets and cute cardigans that will be kept forever. 

Box of Goodies - Why not make a hamper or box of baby things? It doesn't cost much and won't take too much time to pick out some nice bits and put together a selection, ready for baby to come along. Or even, make a mum-to-be box. If you are running a little low on time or need something to be posted out, check out this box from Little Chickie*. It's ready to go with all the essentials you'd need for comforting a newborn. The box contains some tiny socks, a lovely soft comforter, a cuddly duck and a teething star. Plus you can get alternative sets on their website, if you're looking for something a bit different. 

Something Special - Violet got this beautiful silver bangle for Christmas and it's just the perfect keepsake. It has hearts engraved around the bracelet and is just the sweetest thing. She will be wearing this for her naming day in a few weeks, then it'll be put away for special occasions. If you're looking for something extra special, jewellery always goes down well. 

Katie xx

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Living Arrows 1/52.

The lovely Kirsty mentioned joining in Living Arrows link up for this year, so I thought I would give it a go. The idea of the link up is 52 photos, one each week, of your little ones. I thought this was a lovely way to document the year and would be amazing to look back on at week 52 and see how much Violet has changed. Of course I update regularly on Instagram (Golddust_Katie), but I thought this could be a place for the outtakes and the ones that don't quite make it.

We've had a pretty chilled out week, hubby was still off work so we've managed to squeeze in some family time before reality hits again tomorrow. We had a cheeky trip to Liverpool to explore the museums and V started her swimming lessons. We've had a couple of milestones too, Violet is sitting up better than ever and has had a few sips of her milk from a cup, prepping for weaning in a few weeks time. So that's you all up to date, here's my photo for this week:


If you want to join in, head over to Donna's blog, via the Living Arrows badge!

Katie xx

Living Arrows


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Tips for Baby Wearing in Winter.



I've been baby wearing since Violet was only a few weeks old. I love how close you can get to your baby, plus it frees up your hands. And if like me, you have a little one that hates the pram, it's definitely the best alternative. We started out with using a stretchy wrap but V is finally big enough and has now progressed to a Mei-Tai or her Pai Papoose. I wrote a post about baby wearing a few months ago (here) but wanted to do a little update and give some tips for baby wearing in the colder months. 

It's all about layers - Remember that the sling or carrier is classed as an extra layer on your little one. So yes, it's good to wrap up warm when it's cold outside but the last thing we need is a baby over heating. This goes for snow suits too, Violet will go in a snowsuit in the pram but never in her carrier. She gets far too warm, especially in and out of shops and they pose a suffocation risk too. Your body heat also provides warmth for baby, so getting the layers right is key for comfort. 

Avoid sleep suits - This isn't a huge issue if you buy a larger size sleep suit or a footless suit for your baby, but it's just a little note to ensure your baby's toes aren't getting squished. I tend to put Violet in a vest, a top and leggings, then add socks moccasins to keep her feet warm. I know baby leggings aren't always the cutest, but I've found lots of lovely pages on Facebook and Instagram that make custom leggings that fit your baby perfectly. I adore these dinosaur leggings from Monkey Duck, they fit Violet like a glove and I love that they're unique to her. Plus it means I'm supporting small businesses which is always a bonus in my eyes!

Invest in lots of hats - We all lose the most body heat via our heads, so if babies head is kept warm hopefully the rest of them will be too. V has a whole range of cute hats, but this one that was custom made from Leopard Spots Baby is my absolute fave. 

Buy a big coat - I'm lucky that the coat I bought when I was pregnant manages to zip around us both when we're out and about. It's just an oversized parka, with a lot of extra room at the front. I have seen that you can pick up baby wearing fleeces, but any oversized jacket works just fine for us. 

Babies are like hot water bottles - So many times I've left the house with too many layers on me and ended up having more to carry. Violet keeps me nice and warm, just as I keep her toasty. Let me tell you, you don't need a vest top, jumper, jacket and coat as well as a baby keeping you warm. I find a jumper and coat is just enough and saves me from stripping off half way down the road. 

Find what works for you - Every carrier is different and it might take a little bit of time to chose the right one for you. I adored the Wuti Wrap* when V was tiny, but since she's got a bit heavier I find our Pai Papoose* a lot more comfortable to wear for long periods. The Pai carrier from We Made Me is great for winter too, it's a lot thicker than my wrap so keeps Violet warm as well as letting her have a good look around. 

I hope this was helpful and I'd love to hear your baby wearing advice too!

Katie xx






Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Best Parenting & Baby Reads.

Despite having very little time to read anything at the moment, there are a few books that I've managed to flick past the front cover of. I've always been a bit of a book worm and when I decide I want to know more about something, I will go out of my way to read up. Be that blogs, Facebook groups or a good old fashioned paper back. I thought I would share a few of my favourite baby-related reads for any mamas-to-be or fully-fledged parents looking for some reassurance.


The Unmumsy Mum

Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat as I actually had the audio book from Audible (which by the way, is a Godsend when you have a five-month old that doesn't like to be put down). This is such a brilliant, down to earth read that sums up pretty much everything about motherhood. If you're new to the game or have been parenting for some time, you'll totally be able to relate this book. Not only is it blunt and honest, Sarah is pretty hilarious too. I'd recommend checking out her blog and Facebook page for funny anecdotes too.

Baby-Led Weaning

Two books I've been going to in prep for Baby-Led Weaning later this month are these from Gill Rapley & Tracey Murkett. If you're going or considering going down the BLW route, I would absolutely recommend picking up a copy. The books cover everything from the basics and theory behind BLW to easy recipes and meal plans for the first few weeks.

The Danish Way of Parenting

This was an impulse purchase from Amazon one evening but I'm really glad I picked it up. Danish living seems to be the 'in trend' at the moment and apparently so does Danish parenting. I've learnt quite a lot about the Danish way of life from this little book and the very interesting theories for bringing up children. This is the perfect book for you if you like the idea of children learning through play or want to look at different ways to raise your gang. It's really pushed me to question the way we do things in the UK and encouraged me to try new ideas from out European friends.

Truly Happy Baby

I've never been one to pick up celebrity books, but I'd heard so many great things about this one form Holly Willoughby that I just had to give it a go. I actually picked this up before Violet was born and I'm really glad I did. I think this is more suited to the first few months of a babies life and is great for new mums. It's written in a lovely, chatty way and gives a non-biased view of all things parenting. This was my go-to book when breastfeeding was a no go and I had absolutely no idea how to make or steralise bottles. I've relied on it for a quick reference guide too and has certainly been worth the hype.

The Fourth Trimester

My final pick for this post is possibly my favourite. The Fourth Trimester is a gorgeous magazine written by real people, telling their tales and sharing ideas of parenthood. I bought my first copy when Violet was a few weeks old and reading some of the stories really supported me in those first twelve weeks. There are so many empowering pieces to read, that you can't help feeling like you're doing a pretty great job at this mothering thing.

I'd love to know if you have any other book or magazine recommendations.

Katie xx

Sunday, 1 January 2017

What Violet Got For Christmas.

Happy New Year! We brought the New Year in, in the best kind of way - sleeping. There was no way I would make it to midnight so instead we snuggled in bed and watched some of Suits, then headed to bed before 10pm. I hope you all had a wonderful evening, however you celebrated. 

I thought I'd start the year with a little nod to the end of 2016 and share some of Violet's Christmas presents. I was the mama that "wasn't going to buy anything" this year, that didn't quite go to plan but I imagine I was much more reserved than I will be in years to come. Here's a sneak peek of some of her goodies. 


My little bookworm has accumulated quite a collection of books. There are so many of my faves, like Peepo and Dear Zoo and some new reads too. I'm hoping to make a story bag with the Gruffalo, starting with this gorgeous wooden Gruffalo from Bajo. 

I'm a little obsessed with wooden toys, I think the quality is amazing and I love the idea that they can be passed down for generations. I started a little collection of Holztiger animals for Violet, which I know will grow and grow over the next few years. So far the elephant is her fave, but I think that might just be cos she can get the trunk in her mouth! This beautiful personalised wooden rattle is another hit and is the perfect keepsake for little V. 

One of my favourite gifts from us, was my DIY sensory box. I've been working on this for months and I'm so excited that I can finally give it to Violet. I put super cheap items in, as well as a few items I picked up in TKMaxx. Such a simple idea, but I know she'll get lots of use out of this. I'm kind of tempted to do a whole post on the box, watch this space. 

The ultimate find for Violet was these stacking cups, that just so happen to be in Christmas colours. We actually picked these up from TKMaxx also and my mum gave her them for Christmas. They're an American brand and made from recycled products, which I think is pretty cool. Plus they're the perfect shape for Violet to get hold of and she's been thoroughly enjoying taking the tower apart, one block at a time.

Of course this is just a snap shot of the gifts V received. She has been absolutely spoilt rotten by all our friends and family, so thank you to everyone that made Violet's first Christmas an extra special one. 

Katie xx