Monday, 19 March 2018

Ginger Ray Wedding Haul

Ginger Ray Wedding Accessories with flowers

I like to think of myself as quite a creative person, I love making things, I love diy projects and I knew straight away that although I would want a professional to decorate our wedding venue for the most part, I also knew that I would want to pick up some selective pieces for the wedding as well as creating some pieces of our own. With the main decor booked, I decided to purchase the first few items that I'd had my eye on for a while from Ginger Ray and I thought I would share them with you all incase you're in need of a little Inspo or you just fancy a nosy, either way, let's get started...

Ginger Ray Wooden Guest Book with flowers

As soon as I saw this gorgeous wooden guest book, I knew I had to have it! With our wedding having a rustic theme, I knew it would fit in perfectly and the rose gold detailing is just so beautiful! I found a cute little idea on Pinterest where you have a table with a polaroid camera for people to take photos of themselves for the guestbook, were having a frame for people to clip their photos onto, so I think I'll place this on the same table and then it can either be used for people to write in or pop extra photos in.

Ginger Ray Giant Polaroid Sign with flowers

Ginger Ray Photo Booth Props with flowers

Best Day Ever Photo Booth sign £12.99 & Photo Booth Props £7.50

I absolutely love this polaroid style photo booth sign, I think it makes a great cheap alternative to the actual photo booths you can hire and gives your guests something fun to do. Our venue has a little conservatory that leads out to a little outside patio so I think I'll pop this in the conservatory for people to entertain them whist they're on their way out for some fresh air and the lighting will probably be best there for it too.

We picked up these photo booth props to go with the polaroid frame as we thought this would add a little fun for our guests and I'm sure they will make for some amazing photos, especially when everyone has a few alcoholic drinks down them.

Ginger Ray MR & MRS Wooden Bunting

We have a few crates that will be next to the welcome sign when people first walk into our venue, I plan to have a few vases of flowers on there and then I thought this bunting would look lovely on there too, I haven't yet got it out of the packaging though for fear of damaging it so I'm not sure how big it is but if it's too big I'm sure I'll find a place for it.

Ginger Ray Wooden Mr & MRs Wooden Cake Topper with flowers

Going with the rustic theme, I originally bought this cake topper to go on a naked cake, I'm sure you know what one is but if you don't....Pinterest! Though I have now fallen in love with another cake that I'm not sure this will go with, so maybe I'll just have two cakes so I can use it anyway? I mean I'm sure we'll need two to feed everyone right?!

Ginger Ray Hanging Glass Tealight Candle Holders with flowers

Ginger Ray Hanging Glass Tealight Candle Holders with flowers

 I wanted some cute tealight holders to go on my centrepiece and when I saw these ones for only £4.99 for four, I couldn't resist them so I ordered a few packs so I have enough for each table plus a few extras. I love that they have wire handles on them which would be perfect for an outdoor wedding hung from trees and that's exactly what I plan to do with them after the wedding. The handles are easy to take off for use on a table and I think the heart embossed sides make the sweetest touch.

I still have my eye on a few things from the Ginger Ray website such as the White Floral Backdrop and the Large White Confetti Balloons which I think will make for some amazing photographs. What do you think to the Ginger Ray Wedding accessories and decorations? Have you ever ordered any from them?

Love Abbie x

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The Childhood Tag

My lovely friend Megan from recently tagged me in The Childhood Tag which was created with Mulberry Bush and I thought this tag was a fab one to take part in, you can see megs post here, so let's begin mine...

1. What were you not expecting or not prepared for before becoming a parent?

Like many other first time parents I expected Emme to fit into our lives and not the other way around, I was not prepared for a very unhappy baby, thanks to colic and reflux, she most definitely called the shots!

2. What is your main advice for new parents?

Enjoy the baby days and don't wish them away, looking back I feel like I was always waiting for the next milestone to arrive instead of enjoying the one we were in, now I wish I would have just enjoyed my baby being a baby but I think we all do it and if we have another, I’ll probably still do the same.

3. How do you encourage family time?

Family time to me is so important, having that quality time together is what keeps us strong as a family and making time for that as often as we can is important. We try to do this by eating our evening meal at the table together so that we have no distractions and can just enjoy our meal together and catch up on our days. We also read books all together before Emme's bedtime when Dan is home for bedtime and we try going for a walk most days, even if it's only a 15 minute walk to the pond to see the ducks around the corner from our house and back again, it's still time spent together catching up and can make all the difference to our day.

4. How do you balance being a blogger with parental duties?

I don't think this is a question I really qualify to answer as I have really struggled to blog on a regular basis since I had Emme. Even though I am a stay-at-home mum, I find that blogging requires a lot of time online, not only typing up posts but promoting them and staying connected on social media, so I try to type up blogposts when Emme goes to bed or on the rare occasion that she naps and then I'll interact on social media and promote blogposts either in the evening or while she I’m encouraging her to play alone, though she is usually still at the table next to me with something like play dough or painting.

5. What was your favourite toy growing up?

I had to ask my Mum about this one as I honestly could not pinpoint a toy that I remember loving and my mum said as a child that I wasn't too interested in my toys and was far more interested in clothes, I remember reading a lot too and I loved designing, mainly clothes but I was never that child that went to sleep with my favourite toy tucked under my arm. I did have a Barbie house and Barbie dolls which I would say was probably my favourite but I used to set up their house, cut them clothes out of my old clothes, style them and their house and then move onto the next thing.

6. Have you kept any toys from your childhood?

One toy I do still have from my childhood is a Playskool Ladybird doll with a matching baby carrier, it's at my parents house and Emme absolutely adores it, its so lovely seeing her enjoy a doll that I enjoyed as a child and has been enjoyed by generations of our family already.

7. What are your child's favourite toys?

Emme is currently into her imaginative play at the moment so her favourite toys are her doctors set, dressing up outfits, cooker, dolls house, farm and figurines. Is that too many to choose? She just loves imaginative play and my favourite thing to do is pretend to be busy in the next room and then watch her play from afar because she has the sweetest imagination and I could genuinely listen to her play all day long.

8. Do you actively limit the amount of screen time your kid has?

This is something I wouldn't usually talk about, with so many people having such diverse opinions on the topic. I get such guilt about screen time, even when Emme has been to Ballet, on a long walk and has played all day, if she then has screen time, I feel guilty when she does. However I have found that Emme learns a lot from what screen time she does have so as long as she has had a lot of activity and exercise I'm happy for her to have a little screen time and sometimes I don't see the harm, we want to just chill out and watch tv sometimes, so it's understandable that they do too.

9. How do you reduce plastic waste in your home? - Reusable bottles, buying wooden toys, avoiding excessive food packaging, etc?

We do try our best to reduce plastic waste in our home, we recycle where possible, I also have reusable water bottles and coffee cups and I love wooden toys so if I can get Emme a wooden version of something rather than a cheap looking plastic version, I will always try to go for the wooden one.

10. What advice would you give parents that want to start blogging?

Just got for it! Do your research, choose your platform and go for it, the worst that can happen is you realise that it's not for you and that's ok, you have nothing to lose! For me, it's the one thing I can be creative with, put my mind to and be proud of, it’s something just for me and sometimes as a parent I think it's good to have something like that and maybe it could be that for you too!

Mulberry Bush created this tag and Megan tagged me, so I tag Simone from but please do join in if you would like to also!

Love Abbie x

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Aurelia | Toddler Bedtime routine with Little Aurelia Sleep Time Discovery Collection

Little Aurelia Sleep Time Discovery Collection Samples

I first fell in love with the brand Aurelia when I discovered their award winning miracle cleanser in a Latest In Beauty box last year, not only is their packaging luxurious, the kind you want to display on your bathroom shelf but they are also 'one of the first to innovate probiotics into skincare' which immediately intrigued me, especially with how beneficial probiotics prove to be internally, I wanted to discover how well they could work externally too.

So of course when I discovered that Aurelia had recently launched a skincare range called Little Aurelia for little ones too, I knew we had to try them! Luckily I managed to sign up for their introductory offer and received the sweetest set of very generous samples for just £5 which included samples of the Sleep Time Top To Toe Wash, Sleep Time Top To Toe Cream, Comfort and Calm Rescue Cream and my personal favourite Sleep Time Bath and Massage Oil, all beautifully presented in a velvet grey bag.

One thing I've realised since becoming a parent is that babies and toddlers go through phases all of the time, their habits change and what works for them will always change too, what works for them one week may not necessarily work for them the following week but Emme has never been a great sleeper no matter what we have tried and we have tried it all, or so it seems. It's not often that Emme will go down to sleep without a fight, she often has very restless nights and she varies with her wake up times but I don't think it's a fluke that since using our Little Aurelia Sleep Time Discovery Collection that we all seem to have been getting much more sleep around here. Although she has still had to be coaxed into going to sleep, overall our nights have been so much better since we introduced the products into her bedtime routine, something that had fallen by the wayside after a couple of stressful months and incorporating the collection into our routine couldn't have been simpler.

Little Aurelia Sleep Time Discovery Collection samples with bag

Our current bedtime routine with Little Aurelia...

After tea we head upstairs and run a bath, Emme gets so excited about bath time that she throws all her toys into the bath and has a mad five minutes running around whilst I gather her pyjamas, put her towel on the radiator and attempt to create a calming atmosphere ready to start winding her down for bed. We start by adding a couple of drops of the Sleep Time Bath and Massage Oil into Emme's bath, swirl it around gently to allow the oils to disperse evenly and get Emme undressed ready to get into the bath. Once she's in the bath, we play for a while, sing some nursery rhymes and then I wash her hair and body with the Sleep Time Top to Toe Wash, which she loves to help with, so I'm glad to see the full sized products have a pump on top. Once I'm soaked from all the splashing, I wrap her in a warm towel and take her into her bedroom, gently massaging her skin once dry with either the Sleep Time Bath and Massage Oil or the Sleep Time Top to Toe Cream which I alternate each night, applying the Comfort and Calm Rescue Cream to any dry areas. We then get her into some cozy pyjamas and dry her hair before retreating to her bedroom ready for the night, Dan will then bring her up a fresh drink if he's home, Emme has always woken for drinks during the night, along with her dummy and will read books to us whist we cuddle in bed, then it's lights off and cuddles in bed with mummy until she finally gives into sleep.

Little Aurelia Top-to-toe wash and cream

The Sleep Time Top to Toe Wash is a luxurious body wash which is sulphate-free and is great for both hair and body, it lathers really well and Emme is at that age now where she likes to put her own body wash on which means I have to ration it before she empties the entire contents onto herself. It smells amazing and is super gentle on the skin, Emme has always reacted to mainstream bath products so its lovely to find a product that I don't have to worry about bathing her in.

I absolutely love the Sleep Time Top To Toe Cream, from it's calming fragrance to it's nourishing ingredients, this lavender infused cream is most definitely a bedtime staple here. The cream glides onto skin with ease, helping to soften the skin, leaving you feeling relaxed and ready for bed.

Little Aurelia Comfort and Calm Rescue cream and Sleep Time Bath and Massage Oil

The comfort and calm rescue cream is a miracle multi purpose balm, its one of those products that you need one of in every room and every bag because it comes in handy for so many things from cradle cap to bruises and itchy skin, its one for all of the family. The Cream is quite thick so it works great as a barrier cream for sore bottoms and has definitely become a staple in my bag, Emme calls it magic cream because we pull it out for the 'paw paws'.

I would have to say The Sleep Time Bath and Massage oil has to be my favourite of them all, it smells absolutely incredible and a few drops added to your baby bath is sure to calm them instantaneously. I also love to use this to give Emme a massage before bed to relax her and she absolutely loves her massage time, this is something I definitely like to include in her bedtime routine if she has been particularly restless or poorly because anything that helps to increase my chances of some sleep when the odds aren't particularly in my favour, is a winner to me.

Aurelia have a handy guide to baby massage which is amazing if you're unsure where to start, you can find it here if you're interested.

Once Emme has finally gone off to sleep, she has seemed so much more settled since we have incorporated the Little Aurelia Collection into her bedtime routine, she hasn't been restless like she usually is and she only wakes up for toilet trips but goes straight back off to sleep with the icing on the cake being later wake up times! Hooray! I think the introduction of the Little Aurelia skincare collection has definitely been the most beneficial factor in our current bedtime routine.

If you haven't tried the Little Aurelia Sleep Time Discovery Collection yet and you have a baby or young child, or heck even if you want it for yourself, I've been happily using them too, then I would definitely recommend you trying them out. Not only do they smell incredible but they are so kind and gentle on skin too, a win for everyone!

What does your bedtime routine look like?

Love Abbie x

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