Lily

Lily
Lily Tessa

Photography

Photography
Photography

Archer

Archer
Archer Leo

2015 From Start To Finish


2015 has been busy busy busy and I've loved every second of it. Looking ahead to 2015 this time last year I think I was expecting it to be a lot more peaceful than it was. Well as peaceful as it can be with a toddler by your side. I spent 2014 working hard at Uni and graduating and I remember thinking 2015 would be a year to relax and spend one on one time with Lily before getting back into full time work for 2016. 

I was right in some ways - the quality time me and Lily have had this year has been amazing. From breakfast dates to more walks in the woods that I can count, we've had so many adventures the two of us. But it's been far from peaceful let me tell you!

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33 Week Update


So at the time of writing this I'm 33 weeks +5. I say this every week I know but the weeks are flying by, its scary! Nesting has kicked in and I've been making lists of everything that needs sorting out around the house and I'm hoping to get it all done when Lily starts back at nursery next week.

I'm so heavy and achy this week I've honestly been wondering how I'm going to manage being pregnant for another 4 or more weeks. My bump is absolutely huuuuge. I wish I'd done measurements with Lily's pregnancy so I can compare the size but I'm sure I'm the same size now that I was full term with Lil. I'm really thinking along the lines of a 9 or 10lber this time eek! 
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Christmas Day 2015


Christmas has been about family more than ever this year which is exactly what I wanted. Christmas day was spent with everyone - grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncles, nephews and nieces, siblings in law..and to me that's what Christmas is all about. Lily is just at my favourite age right now, especially for Christmas, she's been so excited by it all and that made it so special for me and James.  
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The 52 Project - 51 & 52


And so the 52 Project comes to an end. It's been such a fun project to be part of - Thankyou Jodi at Practising Simplicity. I'm so glad I did it and I have a whole years worth of pictures to look back on. I plan to put them all together into a collage so I can see how much my little girl has grown over the past 52 weeks so look out for that. 

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Weekend Watch - The Last Days Before Christmas


Lily finished nursery on Wednesday and James finished work on Friday and has two weeks off so over the past few days we've been getting lots of family time in during the run up to Christmas. 
I thought I'd post a few pictures of what we've been up to over the past few days as (like always) I've been a bit snap happy!
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Sundown Adventure Land at Christmas


We go to Sundown every christmas, it's become a bit of a tradition. Sundown go all out at christmas which is what I really like and I always come away from it feeling really festive. Last year when we took Lily she was excited yes, but still a bit too young to understand the whole christmas theme. This year though she absolutely LOVED it and was in awe at everything she saw and it made for the most magical day.

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Our Experience With The Peugeot 2008


We were recently given an opportunity to review a car; the Peugeot 2008 to be exact. Marketed as a 'stylish crossover' that is 'perfectly at home both in the city or the great outdoors' the Peugeot 2008 sounded right up our street and we were more than excited to try it out. 

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George at Asda Newborn Wishlist



I love shopping the George at Asda toddler range for Lily and now that my due date is hurtling ever closer I've allowed myself to start looking at their newborn bits too. I love how affordable George at Asda's clothing range is and yet the quality is just as durable as those from the more expensive shops so it's win win. 

I've compiled together a wish list of my favourite newborn bits but because we don't know the gender of this little one I've done a separate boys and girls list below. It's been so much fun shopping for both genders!

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Friday Favourites #7


Of course this weeks Friday Favourites is going to be a christmas based post, it just has to be! With christmas just 7 days away I'm feeling so christmassy now - I can't believe how fast it's come around this year!
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31 Week Update


My gosh has this week been stressful. So much going on eek! This week all my plans, especially those regarding labour, have been turned on their head and I'm panicking slightly that I have to make new decisions regarding everything.

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The 52 Project - 47-50

Why is it that I keep getting so behind with these photos? My un-organized self can't keep up! I'm about 4 weeks behind so for the sake of not picture spamming I'll be splitting it up into 2 posts over this week until I'm caught up again. 
I've said this already but it's so weird to think that the year is nearly over. I'm so glad I've kept up with this project though, even if I have been behind a few times, as it means I have all those photos of my lovely little girl growing up over the year to look back on. 

47.
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Our Last Getaway As A Family Of Three


So our little getaway before baby arrives was only a week ago but strangely enough it actually feels like 6 months ago! It's been such a hectic week since being home, with so much pregnancy drama, that I'd do anything to go back to that lovely little lodge for a few more days. 
It was really important to me that James, Lily and I got to spend some time away together before the craziness of having a new baby kicks in. I'm really concious that Lily only has a limited amount of time left as an only child and I really want her to enjoy her last few weeks of having mummy and daddy to herself. I also wanted us to enjoy being able to put all our attention on her before we have to start dividing our time up between the two of them! 
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Putting Up Our Christmas Decs With Ocean Loans


Our Christmas decs are finally up! I swear I've been waiting for this day since we took them all down last January haha. I'm a huge fan of this time of year and love embracing all things Christmas so when Ocean Loans offered to fund my Christmas decs spree this year I absolutely jumped at the chance! 
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Our Time At Natural Retreats Lodge


Last week we stayed at a Natural Retreats lodge in the Yorkshire Dales and we had the most amazing time. Natural Retreats provide award winning self catering family log cabins across a number of beautiful destinations in the UK (as well as Ireland, Scotland, Wales and even the US). It really was the most peaceful place I've ever stayed and we couldn't have picked a better choice for our last getaway before baby #2 arrives. 

I've decided to split our getaway into two posts. One post reviewing the lodge itself so I can give it the justice it deserves and another talking about what we got up to during our time there, so look out for that post in a few days! 

Plus if I'm honest, I took too many photos to fit into one post haha. 
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Our Struggle With Choosing A Baby Name


Choosing a baby name can be really stressful for any couple as it's such an important decision and to be honest I'm finding it so much harder this time around. We were very lucky that with my last pregnancy we had Lily's name picked from the very start and it always felt right - there was just never any question that Lily wouldn't be her name. So this time around not to have that perfect name come to us like Lily's did has been difficult. 

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Friday Favourites #6


I've been so busy recently that it's been a while since I've done a Friday Favourites post but now things have calmed down a bit I'm hopefully back on track! This weeks FF features a mixture of candles, printed toddler leggings and (what will hopefully be) a good read 
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28 Week Pregnancy Update


It's official, I'm 28 weeks pregnant and feeling about 58 weeks pregnant! I was honestly so naive to think that a second pregnancy would be easier because 'my body's done this before.' No. No no no! Everything hurts this week, seriously! 
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Weekend Watch - 14.11


It's been a really wet and windy weekend this weekend, ugh. The rubbish weather combined with my severe lack of sleep recently and of course the events in Paris has left me in a sombre mood for the entire weekend. 
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27 Week Update


1 more week and I'm in the last trimester! Second trimester has gone SO fast compared to the first and it feels strange to think that I'm heading into the last stretch. This week I had my first midwife appointment since 16 weeks
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The 52 Project - 46/52


  A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015

Autumn lyf.


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Weekend Watch - Fireworks & The Best Autumn Walk


Like most weekends these days, this one has gone by so fast. Again it seemed to be the perfect mix of relaxing and hectic - I'm glad we seem to have found that balance. I once read a quote somewhere along the lines of 'Saturdays are for adventure and Sundays are for cuddling' yet it seems to be the other way round for us. 
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The 52 Project - 43/52, 44/52, 45/52


A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015

Forever playing catch up but here's weeks 43-45. 

43 - Birthday shoot
44 - I just adore this picture. Party girl
45 -  Feeding the ducks, who got a bit too close for comfort!


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Pastel Party Decor


So organising Lily's party decor was very last minute this year thanks to my scatter pregnancy brain. With a little (okay a LOT) of help from online shops and the fact that I still had a box of decorations left over from last year I was able to put together a cute little birthday spread for her.

I thought I would show exactly what it is that we used incase anyone else is planning a pastel themed party too! 
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How We Spent Lily's Third Birthday



So last Thursday my beautiful girl turned three. THREE! It sounds so much older than two doesn't it?

I think Lily's second year went a lot faster than her first and I have no doubt that her third will go even faster actually - especially with a new brother or sister around. She no longer has any essence of being a baby or even a toddler really and whilst that makes me a bit sad I'm so proud of the funny and clever little girl she's grown in to. 
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Losing The Baby Weight + XLS Medical Giveaway


During my pregnancy with Lily I put on over 3 stone and naively thought I'd lose it as soon as I had the baby. Imagine my surprise when after having her I only lost 10lbs and the rest of the weight wouldn't budge! I wasn't happy with the way I looked and through sheer determination I managed to lose the entire 3 stone and more but my gosh did it take a long time. Two years to be precise. 
I tried a mixture of everything to lose that weight - from Slimming World to smoothie diets, cycling and the 30 day shred and to be honest it all got rather stressful, doing that much for such a long amount of time. 

With this pregnancy I'm piling on the pounds again. I'm a little over half way and have already put on a stone and a half so it's looking like I'll gain about 3 stone in this pregnancy, just like with Lily's. Of course it's not a massive deal - I'm fine with it as long as the baby is growing healthily but it's making me think about the ways I want to try and lose the baby weight this time around as I don't think I can go back to two years of constant dieting and exercising just to get back to my pre pregnancy weight. 

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25 Weeks Pregnant


Not much to update on this week as not much has changed from last week symptom wise. The most exciting part of this weeks update is that we've booked a 4D scan for the 22nd of November and I can't wait! I had one with Lily as-well and it was seriously the most amazing experience - the pictures were so clear and so true to herself so I'm hoping we'll get that lucky again. 
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Half Term Issues


Ugh. I'm writing this post on a whim. Because its freezing and rainy and foggy and not much we can do outside yet me and Lily are both going a little stir crazy inside the house. 
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24 Week Update


24 weeks ...how has that happened!? 24 weeks means the baby is officially 'viable' now which is nice to know (as much as I hate that term)
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Lily's Third Birthday Presents


This year I may have gone sliightly over the top for Lily's third birthday. I wasn't going to, I swear!  I was actually planning on getting her less for her birthday this year as christmas is right around the corner but the toys she's playing with nowadays are so much more fun than the toys she was playing with around her first and second birthday and so I may have got slightly carried away with the shopping, it was so much fun! 
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The 52 Project - 41/52 & 42/52

41/52


42/52 


The 52 Project - A portrait of my daughter once a week, every week, in 2015. 
A cold October morning. Stopping for a rest against a tree at Forbidden Corner. 


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Our Weekend At Forbidden Corner (Picture Heavy)


This weekend we went to visit 'Forbidden Corner' in Leyburn, North Yorkshire and I really wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. 

I didn't know much about the place before we went but coincidentally we actually picked the perfect time to go what with it being near Halloween because it's spooky as! 
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Update On Lily's Transition To A Toddler Bed



About a month ago we made the decision to transition Lily to a toddler bed, (You can read about that here) and I thought I would do an update - a month later - about how the transition has gone and whether it worked for us. 
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Friday Favourites #5



This weeks Friday Favourites features products from Ellie's Beautiful Mess

I discovered this girl and her website a few months ago and I've been obsessed ever since. Ellie creates perfects bits and bobs for your children's rooms. From mobiles and garlands to hair clip holders and more. Her style of decor couldn't be more spot on and the love she has for her creations shines through.

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22 Weeks Pregnant



I've not done a pregnancy update for so long. Infact I think the last update I did was this one at 14 Weeks. In some ways lots has changed but a lot of things are still the same too. 

I dont have much of an excuse of for lack of updates other than the fact that I've just been so unwell this entire pregnancy and it seems never ending, blogging in general has been put to the side a little bit.
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Weekend Watch - 3.10

OCTOBER!? October already!? Whaaat! 

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The 52 Project - 40/52

How are we at week 40 already! I can't wait to put all these photos together at the end of the year and see how much she's changed. 


A portrait of my daughter once a week, every week, in 2015

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Friday Favourites #4



This weeks Friday favourites are all things to make me feel better after sh*tty week. Bubble bath, flowers and chocolate - who doesnt want these things in life!
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Weekend Watch - 26.09

A few pictures from our weekend...

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Weekend Watch - 19.09



We were all so under the weather last weekend. My sinuses have been killing me and still are now, Lily's had a cold and has been generally grumpy and James has damaged his kneecap. Ugh! Between us we've been a right miserable bunch.
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Hassle Cleaning Company Review




Before having children the thought of having a cleaner never crossed my mind. However after having Lily I used to joke to James about getting a cleaner in all the time – It was definitely much needed. After a while I started to think well why not!?

 I looked at cleaning prices online and found most of them to be reasonable and I eventually booked a team of cleaners in to come to our old flat and work their magic. However that experience was not a good one.

I wont go into too much detail but they were rude, did the bare minimum and charged more than they’d ask for on the website and I came away from the whole experience feeling annoyed and wishing I hadn't bothered.

When Hassle cleaning company contacted me and offered for me to review their services my first thought was actually thanks, but no thanks. It’s not worth the (if you’ll excuse the pun..) hassle.
However I did decide to go with it as the house has been in desperate need of a clean and I've been neglecting it a lot lately because of how ill I've been. It felt like the offer had come to me at the perfect time.
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Lily's first day at Preschool


Lily's first day at preschool was emotional.. more emotional for me than her I think.
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Zoflora Lavender Scented Disinfectant Review


I'm such a mum but I love a good and effective cleaning product!

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The 52 project - 36/52 & 37/52


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GroClock Review


When The Gro Company contacted me to review their GroClock I was over the moon. I love their products having previously used others such as the Gro-Egg Room Thermometer when Lily was a baby. As you can tell by my other post we have just recently converted Lily’s cotbed into a big girl’s bed. Without hesitation the first thing on my list was going to be a GroClock as I had heard such positive things about them online, so when The Gro Company offered me the chance to review one it was perfect timing.
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