Thursday, 16 March 2017

32+ weeks pregnant

I can't believe I have 7 and a half weeks left of this pregnancy, potentially less seeing as I had the boy's about a week early.

I was full of energy after the weekend, the sunny spring day on Monday put me into a great mood.

I'd got James to get all the baby things out of the loft on Sunday evening so I was eager to sort through the clothes and bedding, and got all the neutral bits washed up.

It felt odd looking at all the baby bits, I think I am still a little in denial that there will be another little person joining the family!

I get quite sentimental when looking at the boy's old things, I was a teeny bit sad that the snowsuits they used to wear won't be used this time with this baby being born at a completely different time of year!

I've had to put a small pile of bits back away already as they will be too wintry.

I also always think at this point in the pregnancy, why did we not find out the sex?

It would make it so much easier when sorting out the clothes, if it's a boy then we are sorted, if not then I will have a big bag for charity apart from some sentimental items I'd expect! Although, really I am happy to have another surprise, certainly keeps everyone guessing, and I love the moment you first find out too.

Anyway after all the organising on Monday I think I really burnt myself out, I slept awful that night as had really bad hip pain, each trip to the loo was agony, and I tossed and turned all night. James' alarm goes off at 6am and I must have looked rough as he said he's take time off work.

It was such a relief to be able to rest and not do the school run that morning, I have a 2 mile walk there and back twice a day and it is starting to take it's toll now.

As bump is getting bigger and heavier, I am getting slower, and waddling more, still it's keeping me fitter I guess!

I think I have reached that hormonal stage again, as this past week literally everything is annoying me, the house is so messy where I just have no energy to sort it properly. I do the bare minimum at the moment!

There's so many unfinished DIY projects about, the downside to having a handy man hubby is that our house is always the last to be done! He's electrical business has been doing really well recently which is great, but also hard work as he's been out from 6am to 10pm some days, it's getting hard on all the family, especially this week where he's been out every evening, the boys miss him, I miss the help, and he is exhausted when he's home!

I guess, I am going to have to start asking/accepting some help more now the next few weeks, everyone keeps telling me to rest up but it is so hard to, as if I stop so does everything in the house!

Blogger Tricks

Monday, 6 March 2017

Posting handmade orders with Davpack

Now many of my readers will know that I have a small business, both on Etsy and Facebook.

With the Etsy shop especially I am often posting off orders across the country, as opposed to the Facebook page where it is more local orders.

My most popular items are the frames I make, mainly the baby name ones and the wedding lovebird ones. Since selling on Etsy I have been on the look out for a sturdy box to fit the frames as well as the bubble wrap layer too, most places I have found sell them in large numbers so I have always been reluctant to buy just in case I got the measurements wrong-especially with not ever having the biggest budget going.

So when I was contacted to try out some packing from Davpack I jumped at the chance.

I managed to find a box that fits the frames nicely, it is actually classed at a Brown Pizza box in the size 290 x 290 x 50 this is the perfect fit for the frames I use.



With the pizza style boxes I can now pack up  my orders much, much quicker. Before I was saving old cardboard boxes and cutting squares out to sandwich the bubble wrapped frame, and then covering with brown paper and lots of tape. So I now save a lot of time and also a lot of materials too!



I had a double layer of bubble wrap on the frame and as you can see the box still just about closed, ideally I could do with the box being about half a cm deeper so as not to be quite so snug but really that's just a personal preference for the items I sell.



I did cover the box with a cellophane bag, more to protect the frame inside from possible water damage, but if the product had been something else I would be confident in sending it with just tape along the open edges as the box itself is nice and sturdy.



If you have your own business and post off lots of orders I would definitely recommend Davpack, they have a huge range of products perfect for small and large businesses.

I now I have the confidence that my products will look more professional, which is always great when you have your own business and I am so pleased I have finally found something to fit my main product.

I received some of these boxes to review however all photos and words are my own








Thursday, 23 February 2017

#QuirkyFurniture

Each home has some personality even if like us, it is mainly filled with hand-me-downs from family and friends or looks much like the show room of a certain blue and yellow furniture shop!

Most people own something quirky, whether it be furniture or an ornament, maybe you are attached to something more for the story behind it rather than actually even liking the look of it?

Now although this lives at my parent's house it is something that I would want to know about it if they were ever getting rid of it! 





I know what you are thinking, how ugly is that? What even is it?

Truth be told it was part of my year 13 art project, the topic was surrealism and I had twisted a Leonardo Da Vinci drawing on photoshop and then my teacher thought it would be a good idea to make that out of clay. 

I'd never made anything much out of clay before apart from the normal small school projects which were more flat pieces. 

It took many hours of playing around, layering up the clay, wishing and praying that all the air bubbles had gone when prepping the clay. There was a hairy moment when the whole face nearly caved in on itself...cue my teacher running over slapping on extra clay for support and wedging more newspaper in the hollow areas! 

The year 12's had named him Harold in the process, so this has stuck until this day, we were all nervous when putting the head into the kiln-one downside to clay is that if there is air trapped the whole thing could explode! 

Thankfully it survived, and I then painted it all a bronze/copper colour. 

After all the exams I was able to collect the work produced over the past 2 years, Mum came to help me as there was a lot of stuff, I nearly didn't take Harold with me, as well, at 18 i wasn't really fussed with it, but Mum persuaded me! 

I'm glad she did, nearly 10 years later it is still by my parent's fire place, every Christmas he gets decorated with a Santa hat, and my boys quite often make comments on it, or pretend to pick his nose for their amusement! 

Do you have something quirky in your house?

Something with a story behind it?

Wayfair would love to read and hear about your own #QuirkyFurniture pieces or ornaments, there must be something in your home with a story behind it, perhaps something picked up from a holiday, boot sale, or inherited piece? 



Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Choosing a name

So with baby due in a little over 10 weeks we are upping the anti in terms to trying to find a name we both like.

We are pretty sure that this is another boy, although, we could be very surprised with a girl. But with that in mind we have mainly focused on boys names for the time being!

Here's a list of some of the names we don't mind, I will admit there isn't a stand out one at the moment, but then again Samuel was un-named for 24 hours and probably wasn't on our list!

I quite like names that can be shortened, I think this is good when the child is older and can choose which version of the name they prefer.

Both Alex and Sam have the longer versions of their names on paper, but mainly we have called them by the shorter versions. I think I'd like this for our 3rd baby too.

I think Reuben is the only one on our list that we could probably do that with at the moment, although I don't know if James is as keen on that name, I'm undecided! *Update, James doesn't like this name*

Some of the names we have on our boy's list are: Harry, Charlie, Max, Hugo, Rory (I haven't told James about that one yet). And well from the way James' sister reacted to Hugo being on our list I don't think we will be using that name..."you can't have that name that's one of ours!"...they aren't expecting yet or anything but I don't think it would be worth our life haha. Also as much as I like Charlie in particular there are so many of them...

Girls names, like I said we haven't given a great amount of thought, ones we liked when pregnant with the boys were Isabelle/a, and Amelie but there does seem to be lots of these names around at the moment and I'm not totally sure I still like them as much. I quite like Sophia but again it's very popular. I've just been going through the top 1000 British names this morning to try and help, I quite like Grace, Charlotte/Lottie and Imogen from the list, possibly more for middle names, I've no idea!

Our surname is Spencer so we are lucky that quite a lot of names do go with it, although sometimes I find names ending with er or a don't have quite the same ring to it though...although obviously Alex does have that.

Alexander James Spencer
Samuel George Spencer

What middle name works well with:
Reuben Spencer ?

What names did you have on your lists when expecting?

Are there any names you could recommend, I'm sick of looking through name lists at the moment!

HELP haha



Thursday, 16 February 2017

The 3rd trimester: 28 weeks

I can't quite believe I am already in the 3rd trimester of this pregnancy, the 2nd trimester seemed to fly by, and apart from the odd bit of breathlessness and a couple of faint spells it went by trouble free really.

I had my 28 week checkup on Tuesday as well as a routine blood test.

My blood pressure was fine, and my midwife told me that baby was lying breech (which explains the bad rib pain I've had of late) and for the first time found the heart beat straight away. Baby before now has moved and wriggled at any time the midwife has tried to locate the heart beat!

I have been more tired recently so when I had a voicemail from the midwife the day after my appointment it didn't come to a great surprise to me that my iron levels are low. I know definitely had iron tablets with Sam and not sure if I had to with Alex also.

So tomorrow I will be picking up my iron supply from the pharmacy and praying it gives me some extra energy!

I was really looking forward to this half term as there would be no rushing around for school runs, but apart from a bit of a lie in each morning I have actually found it much harder than a normal week.

I forgot how much attention Alex needs, he literally does not stop talking, and although the boy's have had moments of playing lovely together they have squabbled a great amount too!

I have not had ANY energy this week, we have been to 2 local parks with friends, and Mum had them yesterday afternoon to take swimming, but apart from baking some cakes we really haven't done much at all. I feel a bit guilty, but I think I'm allowed to be a bit selfish when feeling so rubbish!

I feel huge this week, not sure if I've had a spurt, but I am measuring at 28weeks, whereas with the boy's I think I was still measuring slightly small at this stage (definitely with Alex anyway). As I am bigger the joys of pregnancy have really hit this week, my ribs have been in agony and I have really struggled to work at the desk, sit down comfortably anywhere and get comfortable at night time, as well as bad moments of heart burn and indigestion!

 I guess one good thing is my skin and hair seem to still be lovely at the moment and there is a LOT of movement from baby, although it is starting to get painful occasionally, it's so lovely how excited people get when they see and feel it kick, the boys are always amazed by it!


















Friday, 27 January 2017

Preparing the house for a baby: Home improvements

With the turn of the new year the focus on our 3rd baby has ramped up.

I will admit, this pregnancy I have barely had the chance to REALLY think about it all yet, I still don't think it has sunk in that we will have a newborn in the house in May!

Before Christmas we were just so busy! Apart from scans and midwife appointments, not much thought went into what we need and names etc as I just haven't had the headspace.

But now the kids are back at school, after a week and a half we have settled more into the routine again (it has been a HUGE struggle getting back into it after Christmas) I feel I have the energy and time to start making plans.

We sat down one night and listed all the things we would like to get done in each room in the house, realistically not all the things will be done before the baby comes, but if we get most of them done it will be a bonus! DIY is always hard with children, but babies wait for no one when they need something do they :)

We actually made a start on the DIY list last week by painting our kitchen and downstairs loo white. It desperately needed a freshen up, and we can accessorise and add artwork etc as and when we have the time and money (we will probably have to paint again before that time comes haha)! We bought Leyland Trade in Vinyl Matt, mainly because it is wipeable which the paint that was in here before wasn't. James really liked painting with this paint, saying it went on really well, considering he's used a lot of brands being in the trade this is a positive!



If I do actually find the energy and inspiration I might actually see if I can make some artwork and accessories for these rooms. I have a 3 photo frame I want to get some beach photos in (that I've had 2 years and has sat empty!!!) I might also make some felt fish, or beach huts for a bit of colour, we need to get our mirror back up too! The kitchen I'm not sure what I want to do along the back wall but something fresh and colourful, just need to find something that fits our budget or something I can make quickly and cheaply.

If we paint the joint playroom/office then the whole of downstairs will have been decorated in the 2 years we have lived here, the hallway we did last Easter so that leaves upstairs, which is all still magnolia. We may paint this white or the grey that is in the hallway to save spending more money on more paint, might be a little boring but I plan on picking out some bright colours for some prints or something on the walls. This will be a pain to paint though, as although it's just a rectangle room, it has so much furniture in it, a huge desk, 2 large (and heavy) Ikea Galant storage units, an Ikea billy bookcase, and a large Ikea Kallax toy shelving unit along another wall, so we will have to rope someone in to help with this room to help move everything!



We think that we will move Sam into the smallest room, I know middle child syndrome or what (feeling a little guilty about this)! But there is a logical reason for this. Our house is L shaped and the smallest room is next to Alex's room, which both boys play in regularly, and also contains the large Lego collection! I am thinking once baby is crawling we can put a stair gate in that part of the hallway, as the boys always have Lego all over the floor so would mean I wouldn't have that worry.


This photo is Alex's room, I've changed it slightly since this was taken, but as you can the Ikea Tofast unit houses all the Lego bits, the collection grew since this was taken though as this was before their birthday's and Christmas. His room is the least likely to be decorated as the other bedrooms will have to take priority the next couple of months. We'd like to lighten it up by painting the walls, getting rid of the built in wardrobe which stops a lot of light and buy a new wardrobe system, possibly white wash my old bed too (it's done a good few years that bed)!!

At first Sam was not keen on the idea of moving room, but actually has now come around to it, he never plays in his room at the moment so that is not an issue-the issue will be trying to configure the position of his cabin bed and wardrobe. It really is a small room and the only way I think we can make it work is to have the bed across the window-which won't look brilliant! The room at the moment has become a junk room since moving the office downstairs with the playroom in October, it's currently got bits for the loft, charity shop, dump and the boy's old bunk bed to sell in it! Sam wants green in his room, we might try and persuade him to have lots of green accessories and bedding instead of the dark green he would choose for the walls! I might attempt some ninja turtle canvas paintings for him too!

The baby would then have Sam's current room, which is opposite to ours, so will be more practical in the future when it will (hopefully) sleep there well!! We have some friends who are selling a cot and few other bits so will just need a lick of paint, new curtains and setting up, to be honest this could be done after baby is born, as we are planning on it sleeping in our room a fair while like the boys did.

Sam's current room

Cabin bed we bought and painted from my mum's neighbour
That leaves our room, it needs some TLC, it's walls have been knocked about a little, the curtain pole is hanging on by a thread and our en suite needs a replacement extractor fan and the ceiling re plastered! We'd love to have some more wardrobes along the wall to get rid of the almost broken chest of drawers. We currently have some Ikea Pax wardrobes in Oak and would be able to fit at least a double one in along the same wall as the others. To lighten it all up we would probably buy the mirror doors, hopefully creating a more spacious feeling in doing so too. realistically I don't see us being able to afford that any time soon though, which is a little frustrating as it's really not working how it is at the moment!

I know it might seem like it but this is in no way a collaborative post with Ikea! We just like and can afford their furniture!


Friday, 20 January 2017

Baby product wishlist

Seeing this is our third baby we know what we will need, and we know what most likely will not be used!

Also seeing as this is our third we do have some bits still in the loft as I was never ready to get rid of anything when we moved 2 years ago....a sure sign we both were still thinking another baby was on the cards at some point!

We won't sort through the baby bits until nearer the time and once we have sorted the upstairs bedrooms in terms to painting and re-arranging.

But we do know we definitely need some new products, the main ones being: pushchair/travel system, a cot for our room, and further down the line a highchair.

Pushchair travel system
This will be our first big baby purchase as it's the one thing we will most need.

You can't leave the hospital without a carseat, and as I don't drive a pushchair is a must.

We have had travel systems with each of the boys and haven't had a problem with them at all.

With both of them we had similar Graco travel systems with the baby car seat and simple pushchair design.

As we've had no problems with these and the Graco brand I think we would be silly not to try and find something similar again, both our pushchairs must have clocked quite a few miles with the amount of walking I do!

Graco Mirage Plus Travel system
I quite like the pattern on this one, especially as we don't know the sex of the baby (although we both think it's another boy)!

As much as a like these pushchairs, there is a big part of me that would love a pram attachment, we've never had one and as I am pretty sure this is our last baby I really want one this time-I'm hoping this would help with sleeping on their back as both the boys were a nightmare with sleeping in cots at first!

This Mothercare Xpedior Pram and pushchair would be a cheaper option than many, however the completely plain colour reflects that I think, but it does have some good reviews which is always reassuring! 

I need to have a good look around at the shops and see if we can find something that fits our needs. It might mean we have to stray from Graco if we can't find one with a pram attachment, but then again we may not be able to afford one with a pram attachment anyway. 

A cot for our room

Our room is small, so fitting a full size cot would not be possible. Also if this baby is anything like the other two then they will not be good sleepers at first! Looking back I am horrified to think James used to sleep on the sofa with Alex in the first week or two, and with Sam he stayed in our bed a lot in the early days which worried me greatly and as a result I don't think I slept well at all. 

This is why I think that a crib that attaches to the bed will be a great help.

We've not had any experience with these and haven't really heard much about them from friends etc either, but as I am planning on breast feeding, planning on having baby in the same room for a while and we are limited on space I think that this would be the best option. 

There are plenty on the market and it's a bit overwhelming when you're constantly tired looking on the internet. But these two stood out for me...


This would match with our bed being white, but at just under £200 it doesn't come cheap. I like the fact it's a 3 in 1 so can be used as a stand alone, the bassinet on it's own or attached to the bed, the rocking legs may come in handy too. 


Now although this one doesn't look as nice as the SnuzPod it may be more practical as it fits into a travel bag, not that we go away much but would be better than a normal travel cot if we were to go anywhere in the early months. This can be a stand alone crib or attached to the bed. 

If our budget doesn't allow, then we may have to go for a simple crib like this one from Kiddicare which at £40 is much more affordable, but not as desirable in ease of breastfeeding and hopeful sleep. 


Are there any baby products or companies you couldn't have done without, or would highly recommend. It's been over 4 years since we had to look at baby products so things may have changed in that time! 

Gadget

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