Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

Paige's 2nd Halloween... I can't believe it has come round so fast. She has changed so much since her first halloween.

This year I decided she would have a proper costume, not that we are doing anything special :)

So here she is... My Little Witch!

Thanks for reading,
Nicola Xx

Bodywrap Bride Review & Competition *CLOSED*

When you think about your wedding day you probably won't think of shape wear straight away but shape wear can dramatically change how your dress looks. It can smooth out your figure, hold in any problem areas and make you feel more confident.

''Body Wrap Bride is a shapewear collection exclusively designed to smooth and shape all image conscious brides on their special day. The bridal collection features distinctive cuts and beautiful lace panelling to slim strategic points on the body. The bridal line is designed to enhance natural curves and smooth the silhouette for that once-in-a-lifetime big day.

How Does it Work?
The panelling within each piece allows for areas to be either slimmed down or naturally lifted. Cleverly designed ‘lifting zones’ in the derriere and softer pockets ensure the buttocks are not flattened, while the tummy and waist areas house a firmer panel to help flatten and slim. Fabrics are breathable and provide moisture management so the bride won’t feel constricted or uncomfortable.''

I was lucky enough to be sent the Bodywrap Bridal slip in ivory to review. I've never worn shape wear before and to be honest I was nervous. My pre pregnancy body isn't the same as it was before I got pregnant and I do still feel a little less confident than I used to particularly around my stomach area. Don't get me wrong it isn't huge but it isn't as toned as it could be and I am to blame for this, I haven't done anything to try help it.

I tried the shape wear on the same night I received it. I was excited to see how much difference it made. My first impression was that it was tight, not too tight that I couldn't breathe but tighter than anything I wear. Next I tried a dress on over the top. The first thing I noticed from that was how smoothly the dress went on. It glided over the top of the shape wear perfectly. Making it easier to fasten and just more comfortable. Obviously there are items of clothing that you can't wear over the top of the slip because you can see it underneath.

It gave me support in all the right places and held my figure well. I was going to put a picture of me wearing the slip but I don't think you want to see that! So here is a lovely model wearing the slip instead.

Unfortunately I don't think I will be able to wear the Body Wrap Bridal for my actual wedding. Although the straps come off which is great, the back of the shape wear is the same height as a normal bra strap and my wedding dress actually comes lower than a regular bra strap. So if you are wanting a slip for your wedding think about your dress design and if you will actually be able to wear it underneath. You can of course pick from different styles and don't have to have a full body slip.

I also got a size small in the Body Wrap and to be honest the cups are a little big on me. I must admit that I don't have much to fill them but it is a little noticeable under clothes. I'm sure if you had a bigger bust than me it would be fine.

Overall I think the Body Wrap Bridal is a fabulous product and would be a great addition to anyone's weddings that felt they needed that little bit more support than normal underwear can give you.  The prices for the Body Wrap are below...

High Waist Thong £35.95
High Waist Panty £41.95
High Waist Long Leg £46.95
Bodysuit £64.95
Bra-Slip £61.95

I now have a great competition for you... a chance to win your own Bodywrap Bridal slip in white. The size is a medium and fits a size 10-12.

Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win and good luck!! UK only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading and good luck!!

Nicola Xx

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Wedding Reveal - Part 2

I was excited when we first started looking for wedding rings.We didn't want anything too fancy just simple wedding bands to symbolism that we are married. Mark isn't a big jewellery wearer and I wanted something simple to go with my engagement ring.

The first time we went looking I started to panic. Mark found a ring he liked straight away. But all the rings I tried I hated. They just didn't look or feel right. It felt so strange. How could a plain ring not feel right?

I decided to trust that when i'd found the ring I would just know, a bit like my wedding dress. Unlike my wedding dress I tried on a lot more than one.

We went looking again a couple weeks after the first time. I was a little worried as it was now less than 6 weeks to the wedding. I've always had to ave my rings adjusted as my fingers are small so they don' always stock my size. The second shop we went in and I found the ring! It did have to be re sized but luckily only took a week.

So now we have our wedding rings. I love how they look together. I can't wait to wear mine proudly on my finger in less than 4 weeks!!!

How did you feel about your wedding ring?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Guest Post - Kayleigh's Story

Next up in my wedding guest post series is Kayleigh. Kayleigh doesn't blog but you can follow her on Twitter HERE. I defiantly think that after this post she should be brave and start her own blog. What do you think? 

Nicola Xx

I (we?!I often forget it wasn't just MY wedding) got married on Saturday 30th July 2011. It is literally a date, and day I will never forget.

Simon asked me to marry him in April 2009. I was insistent I didn't want a 'long' engagement, so we decided on giving ourselves 2 years to plan it (and spend lots of money!). I would have loved to have got married in May or September, but as a primary school teacher, summer holidays were the best time so we decided on July. We'd met at the end of July in 2007, and ended up getting married exactly 4 years and 2 days after we'd met. 

Our wedding was a double celebration as it was the same year as my wonderful parents 25th wedding anniversary, so we made sure they got their own dance and own special mention too! 

The planning of our wedding was the best.thing.ever. and I could easily do it over and over again, and again and again and again. I still sift through my wedding scrapbook every once in a while (if Pinterest had been around, I'd of been allll over it!). There were stressful points at times,but it really did go very smoothly.

We booked the beautiful Priston Mill in Bath as our venue about 6 months into our engagement, and the rest just followed! Choosing the little things that made it special to us was the best part-the bunting that set off our vintage theme (that now hangs in our beautiful daughters bedroom), the dusky pink and cream cupcakes with 'I do' flags,our amazing (and I mean UH-mazing) music playlists, the tiny picture of my Nana (who sadly wasn't with us) in my bouquet and so many more...And that has to be my one piece of advice-its YOUR day,so make it your day! 

Do things that make you happy and include the little things that you will remember,not the things that will make your guests happier! At the end of the day, they will go to lots of weddings but you will only get to be the bride and groom once! (hopefully!) 

 Our day was beautiful, and amazing, and by far exceeded all our expectations. By 8 o clock I was dancing like a maniac to the 5ive megamix and N-trance without any shoes on (I did tell you the playlist was immense didn't I?!) with all of my favourite people around me. Perfect! 

There were bits I would have changed slightly - id of eaten breakfast (I was so hungry by the time the photos started!), I'd of tried to keep my shoes on for a bit longer (slash bought more comfortable shoes!), and id of at least tried to spend a few minutes alone with my new husband to try and take it all in, it goes so fast! 

Nicola - I hope you have an beautiful day, and that it is everything you wished for. I'm off to try and convince Simon we should renew our vows so we can do it all again!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Baby Eczema - Update

I have titled this baby eczema but in fact Paige isn't a baby anymore. She still has her eczema and has now for over a year. Its hard to believe that she still has it. I never imagined it would last this long but it is very common. 

During the summer Paige's skin was amazing. The sun helped so much. Don't get me wrong I didn't sit her in the sun for hours on end but even a 10 minute play in the park helped so much. 

Winter always brings the worst out in Paige's eczema. I think that's pretty common too. The cold weather and change in temperature can irritate the skin. The worst thing for Paige is the itchy. We have started our morning and night skin routine again and this helps to clear and flare ups a lot. I also apply her Aveeno throughout the day whenever I see her itching.

We've come a long way with Paige's skin
Her eczema has also progressed. Before it was mostly on her face. Now it tends to be in typical eczema places, behind the knees and elbows. She does still have it on her hands and feet. Her face rarely gets flare ups but when it does I can normally get on top of them pretty quickly. 

I hope that by next winter she has grown out of it but if not we will be even more prepared then!

How is winter for your child's eczema?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Project 365 - Week 43

Monday 21st October
Tuesday 22nd October
Book Worm

Wednesday 23rd October
Love this face

Thursday 24th October
Snuggle Bug

Friday 25th October
Meeting Daddy

Saturday 26th October
Autumn Walk

Sunday 27th October
New PJs

I have loved this week!
Thanks for reading,
Nicola Xx

Friday, 25 October 2013

Wardrobe Staples*

Every woman should have some staple outfit pieces in her wardrobe. No matter what season you can use these items to create some lovely outfits.

I try to spend a little more money on staple pieces to make sure they last and wear well. Buy cheap, buy twice!

One of the biggest wardrobe staples has to be shoes and boots. Yes if you have read my blog before you will know that I'm not a shoe person but I do wear them, we all do. I think I may look a bit strange if I didn't And when I do buy shoes and boots I would rather pay a little bit more money on a pair that I know will work with every single outfit that I own and last.

Cavells have some lovely staple pair of shoes and boots which, for me have to be black. They go with anything and can be easily worn with many outfits. 

Flat boots are perfect for autumn/winter. They keep you dry, warm and being flat they look cute but are still perfect for me to run around after Paige. Something which is a must for any parent. 

Heels are the perfect night out accessory. The time I get to let my hair down and spend time with friends. I'm actually wearing a pair of black heels to my hen do. Another staple doing there job well.

What are your shoes staples?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Whats In My Bag - Toddler Edition

I love reading and watching what's in my bag videos on YouTube. I posted about what's in my bag a while back and thought i'd change it up a little by doing a toddler edition. 

Paige loves bags, she gets that from me! She has two so far and loves them both. This pink hello kitty bag is her newest and biggest. Her grandma got it for her. 

She also loves to carry her bags around and I always see her putting things in so I thought we could take a look inside. 
Now although I took all the pictures for Paige I didn't touch anything in her bag and I made sure she didn't empty anything :) 

The first thing out of Paige's bag is her panda teddy. In fact she normally has a different teddy each day. She loves teddies but defiantly has her favourites and this is one. It was actually mine but she has now claimed it. It's from Edinburgh zoo when we visited the giant pandas when Paige was in my belly. 
Next up is her Aveeno. Paige knows that she needs to keep her skin soft and itch free and this works wonders for her eczema. 
Delboy is up next. This is actually Marks but Paige loves to carry him around and kiss him. The lovely little weirdo :)
Then we have the 3 of hearts playing card. I'm guessing because it's the best of the bunch. I'll have to have a word with her on that one. The queen of hearts is defiantly my favourite. 
Second to last we have a mega blok. Paige loves her bloks and clearly needs to carry one wherever she goes, just in case! 
Last up, MY house keys because Paige is only 1 she actually doesn't have house keys yet so is using mine for now. The other day she actually hid mine in the oven glove. Thanks sweetie. 
You may also notice the camera. Now this isn't in her bag but it's always close at hand so she
can capture all the amazing things in her life! Mainly me, daddy or Millie.

  Paige also wanted to demonstrate some of the ways she likes to hold her bag. I hope it gives your toddler some inspiration 
So there you have it. What's in my bag toddler edition. 
If you have a toddler who likes bags we tag you!!! 
Thanks for reading, 
Nicola and Paige Xxx 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Review - Nonabox October box

I was very excited to receive this months Nonabox. This is the second ever box following on from the September box last month.

Again the packaging for the box is lovely and the same as last time. I still love it! I opened my box with excitement waiting to see what was inside. It was hardly staying shut so popped open. Inside the tissue paper I saw more Cloud B goodies. This was a little disappointing as I had expected different products from different brands. I got two Cloud B items. One being the Sheep on the Go and the other a sheep and burp cloth gift set.

We also got a Pasito A Pasito dummy holder, some Halos n Horns baby lotion, an Ella's kitchen food pouch, a Pebbles Pedi Wand and some animal biscuits. Also included were 2 bonus samples, another pack of water wipes and some tea.

The prices for everything are below...

Pasito A Pasito dummy holder- £15.90 
Halos N Horns Baby Moisturizing Lotion- £4.07
Ellas Kitchen Stage 3 Thai Curry- £1.89
Cloud B Sheep on the go- £16.20 
Pebbles Pedi Wand- £2.99
Cloud B Burp Cloth and Sheep pack- £31.50
Leibniz Zoo Animal Biscuits   - £1

A total of £70.56

The box is still good value as you only pay £25 but this box isn't suitable for a toddler at all. If you took away the food items added a dummy and some stretch mark cream it would be the perfect late pregnancy/new baby box.

Paige won't use half of these things. Giving a parent of a 17 month old a burp cloth set is a bit silly in my eyes. And that set is priced at £31.50 which I think is a lot of money! Paige doesn't use a dummy so has no need for a dummy holder. We won't use the lotion as Paige has eczema and although it is hypoallergenic which is great but I still wouldn't use it on her sore skin.  The pedi wand may get some use by me but the leaflet does say it helps tired, pregnant legs and mine aren't. She will eat the biscuits and maybe use the Ella's kitchen pouch although the Ella's kitchen meal from last month is still sitting in the cupboard. As are the water wipes from last month too. Paige may carry around the sheep on the go just because she loves teddies so much. She already has a soothing animal that plays music when she sleeps though.

I am sorry to say I am disappointed in my box this month. It would be perfect as a pregnancy or new baby box with a few items changes but sadly isn't a good toddler box.

Next month I would love to see some more toddler aimed products.

Have you tried Nonabox?

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - I was sent this box for purpose of this review but all views and opinions are mine*

Monday, 21 October 2013

17 Months Old

Only 1 more month until Paige is 18 months old. That's 4 little weeks. That will also be the month that her mummy and daddy get married. November will be a big month for us :)

I say it all the time but I really can't believe how fast it is going, crazy.

This month Paige has come along quite a lot.The main thing is her speech. She hasn't said a whole lot of extra words in fact she has only learnt one more which was more. But she tries to copy us now when we say something or make a noise. She was also watching a cartoon and it had a lion on which roared and she actually roared back at the tv! It was so cute.

Since we started weaning Paige she has refused to eat banana. She would laugh at me while I was eating it and never wanted to touch it never mind eat it. This month that all changed. Its now her new favourite fruit along with plums. So strange how their likes and dislikes can just change. Not liking something for 10 months and then loving it!

She also kisses a lot this month. She will kiss her teddies and toys and us. She even makes us kiss her teddies. She loves nothing more than cuddling up with them and us. I have to say I am loving it. She is also very much a mummy's girl.

Paige is also getting very good at dressing herself. She normally puts things on the wrong way or on the wrong body part but she will get there. She has almost figured out trousers and tops end up just on her arms.

She loves feeding Millie treats and has learnt how to nicely stroke her this month. There getting such a strong bond now.

She got her 4th molar this month and now has 11 teeth. I'm sure she has her 4th bottom tooth coming in. A lot of screaming and finger chewing. Poor thing :(

Her sleep as been ok this month. Some good nights and some bad. The bad ones result in a 2-3 hours wake up around 3/4am.

I think that's about everything for this month.

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Project 365 - Week 42

Monday 14th October
Someone didn't want to get out the bath

Tuesday 15th October

Wednesday 16th October
Cuddles with Mummy

Thursday 17th October
Walking to meet Daddy

Friday 18th October
Peek a Boo

Saturday 19th October
Loves going on the bus

Sunday 20th October
Obsessed with making us pretend to eat from her kitchen :)

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Darmart Cardigan Review

It's not very often that I review mummy products but when it does happen I love it. Today I am reviewing the cardigan shawl collar from Darmart. This cardigan is a long chunky knit and perfect for the autumn and winter.

I do love a good cardigan. Anything I can snuggle up in is a big hit with me. This cardigan is quite thick and warm but I do find it a little scratchy against my skin. I guess a long sleeved top would work well underneath it. 

The size I am wearing is the 10-12. I'm normally a 6-8 and as you can see it is big on me but that just means I can snuggle up more. I quite like the look of over sized cardigans especially when the weather is so cold. I don't think size of cardigans matter too much as they can be worn over sized but I think I would prefer a slightly more fitted one in this case.

The cardigan retails at £39.99 which for a thick winter cardigan isn't a bad price. I think a range of colours would be nice as I tend to wear a lot more black cardigans and find they go with so many things. 

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx

*Disclaimer - I was sent this cardigan for the purpose of this review but all views and opinions are mine*

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Guest Post - Donna's Story

Next up in my wedding guest post series is Donna from
Take it away Donna...

Hubby proposed to me back in February 2008 and I decided there and then that I wanted the big white wedding - every girl's dream - although until meeting my Husband I hadn't even thought about marriage, I never thought it was for me. But Hubby changed my opinion of marriage and asked me to marry him during a weekend away in Hampshire.
After Hubby's proposal I went full steam ahead with the wedding planning. We set a date - 29th May 2009, and had 15 months to prepare. I gave myself Christmas as a deadline to have everything except the invitations done - and somehow I got everything booked! I had a spreadsheet with the cost of everything, suppliers details, name and phone numbers - that spreadsheet was my bible for those crazy months of planning. Having everything done by Christmas meant I then had 5 months to focus on relaxing, growing my nails and not doing much at all - it was lovely! 
We got married in Hubby's family church in Sandhurst, Berkshire and then had the reception in a country house in Wokingham. It really was the best day of my life - everything came together perfectly, I wasn't stressed at all and the sun shone. It really was incredible!

We had a three course sit down meal, a three tier traditional cake, I wore an ivory dress complete with veil, tiara, garter and heels. We had a white Rolls Royce as our wedding car, a burgundy colour scheme and roses everywhere - a burgundy rose bouquet for me and ivory roses for my bridesmaids. Two friends were bridesmaids and I had my little Brother and Sister as Page Boy and Flower Girl. There were around 60 guests at our wedding, everyone that was important to us at the time was there and it meant so much that people came, stayed overnight and really enjoyed themselves.
Most of our guests stayed overnight in the reception venue. We had a bar until late along with our wedding band - who happened to be Hubby's old school teachers, random but perfect. The band learnt our unconventional first dance song - Yellow by Coldplay and I had a dance with my Dad 'I Loved Her First' By Homeland. We aren't really 'disco' kind of people and had spent our whole relationship going to as many concerts as possible so a live band was very fitting for us.
Our whole wedding cost just over £15k including the honeymoon - Mexico, one of the first flights allowed to fly there after the swine flu outbreak! Fifteen thousand pounds. Such a huge amount of money - a deposit on a house! But it is money that I would spend again tomorrow! The biggest expenses, aside from the venue and catering were the photographer and videographer. You only get married once (or you should anyway!) and having photos and video to remember it by are so important to me, I really think they are worth investing in.
Hubby and I have now been married 4 years and I still remember the whole day as if it were yesterday - getting my hair and make up done in the morning and relaxing with my bridesmaids, stepping into my dress, getting into the wedding car with my Dad and sitting round the corner from the church for a few minutes because we were slightly early, standing outside the church ready to go in, my heart pounding in my chest walking down the aisle as the organ played, my voice cracking as I said my wedding vows and kissing my Husband for the first time. I remember the relief when we sat down to listen to the vicar speak and the tears pouring from my eyes where I'd been holding in the emotion during the vows - my Dad passed me a hanky to compose myself! I remember the signing of the registers, our choir singing 'You Raise Me Up' and 'Ava Maria', walking out of the church to the sound of the church bells ringing and having a couple of moments alone with Hubby before the guests came round to congratulate us.
The whole day went so quickly. It was the best day of my life yet one of the quickest. I'm glad that during the day Huby and I took a moment or two to find each other, have a hug and share a moment - you find that on your wedding day you don't spend much time together at all and instead get swept along in trying to talk to all of your guests.
My advice to anyone planning a wedding - Plan everything as soon as possible and then relax. Spend a chunk of money on the things that you are going to keep and look back on - the actual day goes by so fast that the money is better spent on maintaining the memories. Take a moment to find your Husband/Wife during the course of your wedding day - hold their hand, have a hug, just be. Lastly, enjoy every single minute of it. It goes far too quickly!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wedding Reveal - Part 1

I thought i'd do a little post showing a few little things that we have got so far for the wedding.
I don't want to give too much away so sadly you won't be seeing dresses or that type of thing until the big day.

Here is Marks buttonhole and Paige's flower wand. I wanted to keep their flowers quite neutral. They are ivory and simple but still cute. They are fake flowers as I wanted some that we could keep forever. This also means that they were of course a lot cheaper than real flowers. I have no idea if Paige will even hold hers. I think she will as she has a princess wand that she loves :) But if not it was only a few pounds and doesn't really matter. I do have my flowers too but I want them to be a surprise :)

Next up is part of our wedding favors. The date is blocked out as that is still a surprise for now but as you can see it defiantly is in November. The idea is for us to have a little sweet station that guests can help themselves too hence 'take a treat'. We kept the bags quite simple as you can see. What are your favourite sweets? We haven't yet decided on which sweets to use. 

Next up my wedding shoes... I'm not a huge shoes person. In fact I hate shoes. Yes I said it. I'm much more of a handbag person. But I did need some shoes to go with my dress. I did have a few requirement one being a small heel. I didn't want to have sore feet half way through the day and for the heels to work with my dress they couldn't be a high heel. These were £22! A bargain in my eyes.

Last up is my tiara. I'm still not 100% sure that I will actually wear it but I do love it. I need to find a hair style that works with a tiara and veil. I defiantly want to wear my veil as I think its completes the look. Check out my wedding hair thoughts so far HERE.

We do have other things but want to keep them a secret until the big day. We still have a few other things to get... the rings, my jewellery, Paiges outfit and some cuff links for Mark.

Only around 5/6 weeks to go now.

I'm so excited!

Thanks for reading,

Nicola Xx
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