Monday, 31 August 2015

What the Ladybird Heard Next - Book Review

We were lucky enough to be asked to review 'What the Ladybird Heard Next', the latest book by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. It is the sequel to the bestselling 'What the Ladybird Heard'. The book is due for release on September 10th. I absolutely adore every book I've ever read by Julia Donaldson so I couldn't wait to see what this next one was all about.





The book is a hardback (always a bonus I think for young children) and is a good size. The illustrations by Lydia Monks are very cute and as always eye catching for children. Eva immediately loved the book based on the front cover alone seeing as it was bright, bold and it had a lot of glitter on it. There is actually glitter on every page of the book which Eva loves. She is very drawn to anything sparkly. 

The story is written in rhyme which I think children love to hear. It allows them to become more captivated with the story. I suppose this comes from it sounding more song like when it is being read. 




The story is about the ladybird overhearing that those pesky robbers Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len are planning to come back to the farm and steal the fat red hen. They have already been stealing its eggs but now they are setting their sights higher and wanting to kidnap the hen. Luckily, the farm animals have a plan of their own thanks to what the ladybird heard and they work together to fool the robbers about a mysterious snuggly snerd bird who is far more superior than all of the other animals. You can view a trailer for the story here, Book Trailer.

The story is fantastic. It had me and Eva laughing from start to finish. It really is quite comical for both an adult and a child. Eva particularly enjoyed the pages that included all the animal sounds. 



Overall, I would highly recommend this book for any family. It is destined to be another bestseller for Julia Donaldson. The illustrations are perfectly suitable for young children. The book is sturdy and a good size to hold. The glitter on every page make the book a sensory read. The brilliantly funny story is easy to read all thanks to the very clever rhyming. It will make a perfect addition to any book collection and with christmas around the corner it would be a great present. You can pre-order it here, Book.

There is a great question and answer video with Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks available to watch here, Q&A video

Have you read 'What the Ladybird Heard'? What is your favourite Julia Donaldson book?
MamaMummyMum
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Sunday, 30 August 2015

#ABloggersChristmas new linky

Welcome to my new christmas linky. Now for a lot of you this is probably far to early and the mention of the c word may have just sent you over the edge. However, school holidays are almost over and the X-Factor started last night which means christmas is coming whether we like it or not. 

This year I have to be really organised with baby number 2 due mid November. Christmas is my favourite time of year. I have always loved it and now I have a family of my own, I find it even more magical. 

I've set up this linky as a place for us to share wonderful ideas and experiences and to help us be prepared and organised.

#ABloggersChristmas encorporates everything about Christmas so you can share any posts relating to Christmas. I want to see days out, travel, shopping lists, crafts, recipes, traditions and much more. 

The linky for now will run fortnightly and you can share 2 posts old or new. Please make sure you comment on at least 2 posts including the one directly above your own. When commenting please use #ABloggersChristmas so we know where you have found the post. Also please tweet me at 'amininorrisblog' so that I can retweet your links.

I am honestly very excited about this linky and cannot wait to read your posts.

The rules:
1) You can share up to 2 posts per linky
2) You have to comment on 2 other posts including the 1 directly above your own and comment using #ABloggersChristmas
3) Add the linky badge to the bottom of your post
4) Tweet the link you shared to me @amininorrisblog



All about a mini Norris


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Friday, 28 August 2015

A meltdown at Antenatal clinic

Today I had an appointment at antenatal clinic which was for new bloods to be taken as i've changed hospitals and also another check up with the midwife there. Now today started as a good day and I can't work out where it all went wrong.

I got to clinic and I had my bloods taken which was all fine. I then got to hear babies heartbeat and I had my bump measured. I was a bit shocked to hear that the head was engaged, in fact I almost had a heart-attack. At 29 weeks and 1 day that is way too early for baby to be making an appearance. However, I was assured by the midwife that this is very common in a second pregnancy and that the head will quite regularly pop in and out. She then started to talk about how I didn't have long left. I had thought this myself already but I suppose it's not until you hear someone else say it that it really sinks in. At this point I was rather quiet and pensive.

We then went to the delivery suite so that I could be shown around. I have swapped hospitals so that I can be consultant led by the person that operated on me after my last birth. He is based at a different hospital to where I had Eva. Up until this point I haven't been on a labour ward since having Eva.

I was first taken to the birthing pool room which all seemed lovely. I was engaging in conversation with the midwife but I was distracted and distant. We then went on to a delivery room and I was shown everything. She started talking about incubators and delivery trolleys, visitors, emergency buttons and all of a sudden I just burst into uncontrollable tears. What an absolute plonker I must have looked. I really couldn't hold it in. The look on this poor midwife's face. She tried to comfort me but I couldn't stop. I felt like a prize idiot.

Once I'd calmed down I realised that I have been hiding a lot of my feelings about experiencing childbirth again. I had a terrible delivery last time and I ended up extremely unwell for months after, resulting in me needing an operation. I think walking on to a delivery suite again brought back memories of labour and delivery with Eva. I became scared, petrified in fact. I was having visions of the terrified look on Arwyn's face when it was going wrong. I was remembering being in a room and within seconds there was about 10 people in there. It made me realise that I wasn't prepared to face it all again.

This all seems very silly as I work in an operating theatre. I am very familiar with hospitals and even with emergency situations. In fact normally I would be very comfortable in these environments. However, when it comes to having a baby, perhaps my previous experience along with my working experience goes against me. I technically know too much information. I know what can go wrong. I understand every word people are talking about. It's getting me all worked up and emotional even writing this.

I'm worried that I won't be physically and emotionally strong enough to do it all again. I don't want to let myself, Arwyn or bump down. I need to overcome this silly fear or I know I will have a terrible time again.

I honestly can't describe or explain what on earth came over me today. Perhaps it was my pregnancy hormones? All I know is that I have got to work out how to control my anxiety about the whole thing and I need to do it quickly. As the midwife said it won't be long. I have an appointment with my consultant in a couple of weeks time so I am hoping he will give me lots of encouragement. 

Has anyone else felt this emotional about delivery 2nd time around? Did your hormones make you this emotional during pregnancy? 
Mummascribbles
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Pregnancy fitness with Joanna Helcke

If you've been reading my bump updates you will know that I have had all good intentions of exercising this pregnancy but as the weeks go by I just haven't seemed to have the motivation or energy for it. So you may now start laughing at the fact that at 28 weeks pregnant I have decided to exercise. 

I was approached to try out and review a new online fitness programme by Joanna Helcke who is a multi award winning pregnancy and post natal fitness expert. You can find out more about her here, Joanna Helcke. It seemed an obvious solution for me due to the fact that it's an online programme and therefore I could do it from the comfort of my own home. 

The programme can be started at any point in your pregnancy as it is completely tailored to your needs (which is why i've started at 28 weeks). It is £12 per month (you'll get your first 2 weeks free) and you aren't tied into any contract, so you can cancel your membership whenever. This covers a new video which is unlocked at each week of your pregnancy, meal planning and recipes to help you with your nutritional needs, constant support and access to all of what is available in her online community.

Signing up to the programme is easy and stress free. It's takes about 5-10 minutes. There is a lengthy medical/health questionnaire for you to complete but this is so that your videos can be tailored around any medical issues that you have.

To complete a workout you need a yoga mat and pillow although these are not essential. The workouts are between 20 minutes and half an hour which is a good recommended amount to try and exercise in a day. I have to say that I have found it difficult to get some alone time every day to complete a video. I find I am having to exercise at night and therefore I am quite tired. I am also finding it very difficult to do something every day. 

I've only completed the weeks 28 and 29 programmes a handful of times due to chasing around after my toddler and having some very long shifts in work. I am hoping that over the next few weeks I will be able to get more time to exercise as I know it will be beneficial for me.




I have found that the videos are more of a relaxation/stretching exercise routine as opposed to active fitness. I can't decide at the moment whether I think that's a good or bad thing. Before I was pregnant I used to enjoy high intensity forms of exercise such as kettlebells etc so for me I almost don't feel like I am exercising. On the other side of that, I do feel like I am having a very good stretch and I am enjoying how calm and relaxed the videos make me feel. I am having difficulty with my hips at the moment so the workouts are definitely helping me move and stretch those. 




I will give you another review in a week or so to let you know how i've been getting on and whether I feel it has been beneficial or not. I will also bring you a post on some tips from Joanna about the do's and don'ts of exercising during pregnancy so keep your eyes peeled for those.




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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Creating happy memories with Snapfish UK

This year I turned 30 in April and as a family we decided to celebrate by going on a very big holiday to Dubai and Australia. My mum, sisters and stepdad live in Australia and i'm lucky if  I get to see them once a year. I knew with baby number 2 on the way that trips as far as Australia would be very difficult soon so for my 30th I wanted one last big, family holiday, with just the 3 of us. We had a fantastic time. Eva was the happiest i've ever seen her and we have so many wonderful memories. As you can imagine we took hundreds of pictures.

As per usual we were wondering what to do with all the photos that we had taken. We'd decided to redecorate our living room and ended up with an empty wall. Our living room is now beach themed so it seemed the ideal opportunity to do something with our holiday photos. 

Snapfish have a new slim canvas range and we were asked if we would like to review some. I jumped at the opportunity as I knew our holiday photos would be perfect. There are lots of different sizes in the canvas range to choose from which make them perfect for a feature wall. It took us a while to decide on which photos to choose but once we had creating the canvases and ordering them were very easy.




They arrived quickly which is always great. We were really happy with how they turned out. Most of the pictures we used were actually taken from a mobile phone and sometimes the quality of the picture isn't as good as an actual camera so I was worried this would effect the way the canvas looked. Luckily it didn't.



The slim canvas prints are exactly what they say and are slimmer than normal canvases. I think this allows you to be more creative with the layout and the way you feature them on your wall. We had a few different sizes and therefore we were able to play around with different layouts to find which 'pattern' looked the best. We were spoilt for choice. There are endless ways that you can display these canvases and they still give your wall a modern, clean, look.



I love the fact that every time I look at my beautiful wall, I am reminded of so many cherished memories. I think this is one of the major benefits of actually putting your pictures onto a canvas. I can't stop smiling when I see them. They are also a great talking point for our family and any other members of the family. It allows us to reminisce about happy times and whenever friends and family members comment on them we get to tell them all the wonderful stories behind the images. 



Overall, we are extremely happy with these canvases. I can't recommend them enough. I love how easy they are to order and create. I think the slim style allows you to become more creative with how you can display them on a feature wall and I think that they are very reasonably priced. They certainly have made our living room a lot more appealing.

Have you ordered slim canvases before?






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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Eva's blogger style

As soon as I saw Next's new in section online, I knew I had to get this amazing top for Eva. It had her name written all over it. Next has always been a front runner for me when it comes to children's clothes and this type of t-shirt really shows that they are spot on with what the market wants. Being a 'blogger' may be a niche market but I can assure you these tops will fly off the shelves. 

The Blogger t-shirt is either £4 or £5 depending on the size you are after and it ranges from 3 months to 6 years. I absolutely love it and as you can see from Eva's face she does too. The colour is fab for autumn/winter and I think the simplicity of it is perfect. I just wish they had it in my size! Next take note, all the mummy bloggers want a matching top.


I'd recently bought some clothes for Eva in H&M which I knew would be an ideal match for the top. They've got some great clothes in there for girls at the moment and some amazing deals (will tell you more at the end of this post). 

I bought these pink 'treggings' (trousers/leggings for anyone that doesn't know) which are normally £6.99. They fit really well and tend to look a little bit smarter than leggings but they are still comfy enough for Eva to run around in. View them here, Treggings.



I also bought her this cute alice band from there which cost £1.99, Alice Band. She currently loves the idea of having pretty things in her hair but doesn't seem to tolerate clips and bobbles well so an alice band was a great alternative.







Below is a picture of the mini haul I did at H&M. I could've bought so much more. They had a fantastic deal on their trigging and tops which was buy a top and trousers for £6.99. The trousers are that much on their own so it really is worth buying. Their website shows you more of what's available in the deal.



As you can tell from the pictures Eva was very impressed with her outfit that day. She thought she was absolute chocolate and even though i'm biased I have to say she looked adorable too. 

Have you bought any children's clothes from Next or H&M lately?

A Slice of My Life Wales
The Knott Bump & Us
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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Childrenswear at the Next Christmas Press Day

A few weeks ago I attended the Next christmas press day which was at the Waldorf Hilton in London. I couldn't wait to go and view everything that was on offer. Christmas is my favourite time of year so I just had to have a sneak peak at what was going to be released from one of my most shopped in stores. 

This post will focus on childrenswear  I'm afraid I took limited pictures of boys things seeing as I have a daughter and another on the way. I was slightly preoccupied with making lists of what I wanted for them!! 
If you would like to see a preview of the womenswear then head over to my fashion blog by clicking here, Womenswear Preview. I'll also be writing a separate post on gifts, decor and homeware, so keep your eyes peeled.

Newborn and Babies:

First up is the adorable newborn and baby wear. I was immediately drawn to these rails as everything looked so cute.

                                    

There were plenty of christmas themed items on offer and let's face it we love them. We all love dressing our littles one's up in some sort of christmas outfit if we can and when the catalogue comes out we are going to be spoilt for choice. 


I adored the elf hat which you can see above. I'm sure my baby will never forgive me for dressing it in that!!



I loved the above baby grow too. It's suitable for a baby boy or girl and really captures the spirit of christmas.


My ultimate favourite item from the christmas themed range and one that is at the top of my list for my upcoming baby girls arrival is this amazing headless baby grow. I absolutely love it. It screams christmas and cuteness all at the same time. 


These amazing wizard of oz style shoes caught my eye too. They will make any baby girls christmas outfit burst with colour. They will look great amongst a taffeta dress for christmas parties. 



I also fell for this christmas themed dress and cardigan. It can be worn all through the festive period. I think the cardigan is fab. It's so quirky and looks very cosy.





Animal prints seemed key with a lot of the babywear items. I got the feeling the clothes were based around fairy tales as there was something magical to be seen in all these gorgeous prints.


These were my favourite items from the baby boy range. I loved the colours and print. 

Younger girls:

As with the newborn collections animal prints and reds were key styles on the collections. 


This outfit is an absolute must have for my daughter. The animal print blouse is ideal for the whole of the winter period and teaming it with the red tartan skirt and red wooden coat make it a festive masterpiece. 



I also liked these 3 pink items. There was a lot of pink seen in the womenswear and it's lovely to see that there is colour in the childrenswear too. More often than not winter clothes are in dark colours. 

Shoes and accessories:  




Here's a sneak peak of some of the shoes and accessories that were shown. 

Overall, I had a fab time and I cannot wait to see the catalogue when it is released. From what I saw on the day the newborn collections for both boys and girls were by far my favourite out of the whole childrenswear collection. I can't wait to dress bump in them when she arrives.

What has caught your eye? Do you buy anything for your children from Next?
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10 amazing things about pregnancy

I thought i'd write this post as I'm always talking and moaning about pregnancy so I decided to focus on the positives for a bit so here's my 10 amazing things about being pregnant!

1) Your hair

Oh my goodness do you feel like you could rival Cheryl Cole on one of the loreal adverts. You have the most amazing hair. It's thick, it's glossy, it's growing, it's all around fantastic. You can go days without washing it and it still looks healthy. You wake up in the morning looking like you've just had a professional blow dry. You want to wear it straight? Not a problem, in fact you don't even have to apply any straightening balm or wax. You want to wear it curly? Easy! Says your new well behaved, will do whatever you want hair.
My god am I gonna miss this once the baby arrives.  Honestly my hair is normally a nightmare.

2) No periods

Unless you're on some sort of pill where you don't get periods then you will really welcome the fact that for 9 months (possibly longer) you will be period free. I don't think any man will ever understand how wonderful this is!!! The thought of not having to deal with that monstrosity for 9 months is amazing. 

3) Having someone who will always listen to you

I don't know what it's like in your house but more often than not I am not listened to in my house. I'd like to say my daughter is the worst culprit for not listening to me but in fact it's the hubby. I could be telling him a story or some important piece of information and he will swear blind i've never told him. 
Anyway, for once you will always have someone that is listening to you and is fascinated by your voice. That little baby growing and learning inside you loves the sound of your voice and if you're lucky they will even kick you to show they are listening. I love to talk to my bump and when I sing to my daughter at night before bed, bump loves it. It's so reassuring to know that you're never alone and that you are already creating a bond that will last a lifetime.

4) An approved shopaholic

I love to shop. I am a self confessed shopaholic. Since i've had my daughter though I like to buy things for her more than me. When you're pregnant you have lots of excuses to become a shopaholic as there's lots of things you need to buy. If it's your first pregnancy you get to buy loads of new things. Annoyingly on my 2nd pregnancy I am having another girl so there's not so much I need to buy but I can still use it as a wonderful excuse for a trip into town. Also let's not forget about all the maternity clothes you must have!



5) Having an excuse to be ditsy

In work more often than not I say silly things or forget things! Well now I have the perfect excuse! It's my baby brain. Apparently it's a well known fact that we become ditsy whilst pregnant. Finally an excuse for my doziness. 



6) Everyone is nice to you

People will treat you differently when you are pregnant. They become more sympathetic and a lot more helpful. Unless they are some sort of moron you will always manage to make people smile. That smile is probably coming from them watching you waddle like some sort of penguin or admiring your basketball shape belly but it's always nice catching a glimpse of someone smiling at you. 


7) You have a built in table

From your last trimester onwards you will always have your own personal tray or table. You'll always have somewhere to pop your plate, book, mug etc. 



8) You have an excuse for everything

Got an event or something planned that you really don't want to go to, not a problem at all as when you're pregnant, you're too tired or you just don't feel like it become totally genuine excuses as to why you don't have to go anywhere! Hallelujah!


9) Your boobs

As with point number 1 about your hair you will become a total knockout when it comes to your boobs! Boy do they grow. They become full and huge. You get to feel like some sort of baywatch star for 9 months. No one will ever tell you off for showing too much cleavage because lets face it, you can't help it. It's not your fault. Flaunt and enjoy it while you can. It's also a great excuse to buy new bras. Again this ties in with point number 4 where you get to become a shopaholic! 


10) Stretchy pants!!

Finally there's an excuse to wear loungewear all the time. In fact it becomes socially acceptable to live in the biggest pair of maternity leggings you can find. You can wonder around in comfy clothes and have an excuse for it. 


A Cornish Mum

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Monday, 17 August 2015

When In Wales Linky (number 2)

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to my #WhenInWales link up. I have to first apologise as I didn't realise I hadn't scheduled this to go live yesterday so for this link up only it is starting today (Monday). It will normally go on a Sunday so the next will start on Sunday 30th August.

The posts have to be about anything in Wales. All bloggers can join in as you can write about fashion and beauty brands, food, lifestyle, days out, hotels, restaurants etc. Along as it's in Wales please feel free to add it. You can link up to 2 posts a fortnight old or new. I will retweet all of your posts so make sure you let me know on twitter at 'amininorrisblog'.

I will be picking favourite posts each week in each category so keep an eye out for yours. As there weren't many posts last time I have only picked one favourite this week. It came from Becster who wrote about 10 things to do in Snowdonia. I didn't realise there was so much to do other than climb the mountain.

The rules:

1) You can add up to do posts per linky old or new

2) You must comment on at least 2 other blogs including the one directly above yours. Unfortunately this was not adhered to on the last link up. I am monitoring it. The link up is to help support each other so please do. Make sure you add #WhenInWales on your comments so we know where they came from.

3) You must tweet me your link 'amininorrisblog' and use the #WhenInWales. Again not everybody did this last week. Please do!

4) Please add the badge to the bottom of your post
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