Me and Mine Family Picture for January 2016

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Last January I made a promise to myself, that I would join the Me and Mine family portrait project. The idea is to capture a family portrait once a month, which sounded like such a great idea because without this incentive, months and months can go by without us taking a family picture.

A year on and I now have twelve (not all beautiful) family shots, that chronicle our adventures, days out, days in and holidays in 2015. I’m so proud of each picture, because it’s not easy to get all of us looking at the camera at the same time and for many reasons each shot is special in it’s own way.

Without this fun project, I would not have most of these family pictures, so for this I thank you the Me and Mine team.

Back to this year and these are our January shots, taken last weekend on Box Hill in Surrey.

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This month I’ve been…

– ‘nesting’ and finally getting sorted for the imminent arrival of baby Lavender (not her real name, in case you were wondering). I’ve dug out all of the girls’ old baby blankets and bought some lovely new white, soft cotton baby grows and sleep suits.

– getting back into Scandal (the TV show). I was obsessed by it back in 2014, then missed the whole season last year. So now I’ve gone back to it and am catching up. I have season four and five to watch, which feels like a real treat.

This month Dom has been…

– busy looking for our new family car! Our trusty little Golf will not be big enough for our soon to be family of five, which means a big car upgrade.

– reading an Autobiography on Elon Musk, the brains behind PayPal and Tesla electric cars.

This month the girls have…

– been getting used to their new bunk bed, which they’re both loving! Bedtime is so much easier these days.

– Lili has lost two of her lower baby teeth. I was a little upset (inwardly) but of course she’s over the moon and her new ‘grown up’ teeth are already pushing through.

– been loving their Lush Rainbow bath bars, which are fun soap/ play doh for the bath.

– made their first YouTube toy review video, which is something they’ve wanted to do for ages! I just need to edit it now and put it live. Watch this space!

The Me and Mine Project

Things I’m Loving Lately {January 16}

Things I'm loving lately January 2016

I always find January to be a long month, probably the longest and slowest month of the year. And to be honest despite being fairy busy getting things ready for the imminent arrival of our newborn baby, it does feel like it has been a long month. Not helped by the fact that I’m now feeling very heavy and slow myself.

Anyway, enough of my moaning, here are the thing’s I’ve been loving lately…

Beauty

I’m not one for new year resolutions but at the beginning of every year, I do seem to get back into a more thorough cleansing routine. Having received these two gorgeous products for Christmas, I’m using them religiously and my skin is really reaping the benefits.

I'm loving these cleaning products from Liz Earl and REN

I’m using the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish every day and night, and the REN 1 Minute Facial once or twice a week as a special ‘treatment boost’. Both products have been on my ‘favourite’ list for years but it’s always good to rediscover a good beauty product – especially with so many on the market.

Fashion

I’m currently having a big love affair with soft jersey and woollen pyjamas/ lounge wear. If I could live in these pyjamas all day I would – but I’m just not that mother and the thought of actually stepping out of the door in my pyjamas (especially in January) makes me shudder. Although, my husband does tell me that they don’t really look like pyjamas and I could probably get away with it…

Loving lounge wear and pyjamas now that I'm 33 weeks pregnant.

Once I’m home from the afternoon school run, the first thing I do is go upstairs and pop on one of my comfy pyjama bottoms, cashmere socks and oversized cardigans – bliss!

My favourites have come from Gap Body, Marks and Spencer’s Autograph collection and Primark.

Loving lounge wear and pyjamas now that I'm 33 weeks pregnant.

As you can see I’m very into grey at the moment. Any shade of grey!

Home

This month my home has been decorated by these beautiful flowers from Appleyard London. They’ve lasted really well and have really brightened up the month.

A beautiful bouquet of roses and daisies from Appleyard London A beautiful bouquet of roses and daisies from Appleyard London

I need to buy more flowers, as they do make me feel so much better on these short, dark days!

Food

This month has been a month of comfort food for us, with lots of pasta, chilli, casseroles, roast chicken and my favourite – mash potato.

This is a great recipe for Spelt Spaghetti with Meatballs and Red Pepper Sauce…Spelt Spaghetti with Meatballs and Red Pepper Sauce

Ingredients

Sauce: olive oil, 1 onion (chopped), 1 garlic clove, 1 red pepper (chopped), 2 tins of tomatoes.

Meatballs: 450g beef & pork mince, 15g breadcrumbs, eggs yolk, 2g paprika, 10g fresh parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper.

400g spelt spaghetti (100g per person)

10g fresh parsley to garnish

Spelt Spaghetti with Meatballs and Red Pepper Sauce

 

And finally… The return of the Good Wife on More4 this month has made very happy. This has to be one of my favourite US shows, full of twists and turns of the American legal and political world. Love it!

I’m linking this post up to the lovely Emma at Life at the Little Wood and Sunday Stars with Mini Ventures and Stopping at Two.

My Captured Moment #56 {A Picture Link-up}

Welcome back to My Captured Moment, a weekly link-up where I share my favourite ‘Captured Moments’ and invite you to do the same.

We took these shots last weekend, while out for a Saturday afternoon walk on Box Hill in Surrey. As a family we do like being out and about at the weekend, to make the most of our family time. The girls like nothing more than running free and I love watching them climb and jump around like little mad things.

As I’m now heavily pregnant, I can’t run along with them or walk for too long but it’s still good to be out in the fresh air and blow away the cobwebs when we can.

These pictures really show the closeness of our family, especially the girls who are always holding hands and running together. They’re also always hugging and laughing together, which makes me beyond happy.

my.captured.moment.56.a my.captured.moment.56.b my.captured.moment.56.c my.captured.moment.56.d my.captured.moment.56.e my.captured.moment.56.f my.captured.moment.56.g

Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm)

• Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post.

• Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender


How to Get a Good Night Sleep

How to get a good night sleep

Nothing beats a good night sleep. Lets face it, it’s essential to starting your day in the best possible way. Honestly, I’m really not a good person to be around if I haven’t had at least eight hours of sleep. Yes eight hours!!

At the moment I’m lucky that the girls are good sleepers (like their mother), which means my nights are uninterrupted and calm. Of course, I’m well aware that the immanent arrival of a newborn baby will change all this, very soon – but for now I’m making the most of the full night sleeps.

Here’s how I manage it… (Most nights)

1. Switch off – I’m talking about all electronic devices. Give yourself at least an hour of calm before bed time. Do something more relaxing, read a book or magazine, or maybe plan for the day ahead. I find writing, the old fashioned way with a pen and paper works for me – I’m a big list maker.

2. Zone out – Lie down, close your eyes and clear your mind – imagine yourself somewhere else. Breath deeply and calmly and visualise a relaxing scene that makes you feel happy and content. This helps me drift off easily most nights.

3. Keep the same routine – Try to go to bed and get up at around the same time everyday, even at the weekends. This will keep your natural body clock in check.

4. Don’t be thirsty – just a small glass of water before bed will keep you hydrated and clear the toxins from your body. But of course too much liquid before bed is not good and could wake you up, so be sensible.

5. Always cleanse your face and brush your teeth – This may go without saying for most of us but it’s essential for a good night sleep. You don’t want to be lying in bed with that nagging feeling of guilt. You need to go to bed knowing that everything is done and that you’re ready for a good night sleep.

Sunday Stars – 24th January

sunday stars, linky, link up

Welcome back to our Sunday Stars linky, a place for you to share your favourite post each week.

Myself and a group of friends decided to set up this linky together. We wanted to create a place where our favourite post from the week could be easily shared – then we thought why not let everyone join in? We take it in turns to co-host but we all comment and re-tweet throughout the week.

Last Week’s Star Posts were…

Recovery {More than a Tick List} – by Autumn Sunshine

And

Girls, get out of the storm! – by Mrs H’s Favourite Things

Do give these two posts a read, they’re both amazing!

Back to this week…

This linky is designed to give everyone a place to show off their favourite post and make sure they don’t go unread. This week it’s myself and the lovely Amy from Everything Mummy hosting and we can’t wait to read your star post!

Tweet your posts to either of us (@heleddlavender or @amycooperem) and @SundaysStars using the hashtag #SundayStars and we’ll RT.

Next week’s hosts will be two of my favourites; Karen from Stopping at Two and Jess from Mummy of Boy Girl Twins – so keep an eye out for them next Sunday.

The Rules:

• You can link  1 post – old or new, anything that you are really proud of and want to share.

Please remember to add the Sunday Stars badge to the bottom of the post.

• Share the love – try and comment on at least three other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about!

Running in Lavender


Beautiful Blooms from Appleyard London {Special Offer 33% Off}

A beautiful bouquet of roses and daisies from Appleyard London

According to statistics and let’s be honest a little common sense, this past week was the most depressing week of the year. Why? Well the short days, cold weather and the fact that most of us are by now fed up of (or have given up on) our new year’s resolutions, means that we’re all feeling a little blue. Couple that with the fact that the summer holidays seems like a million years away and Christmas a distant memory, we definitely need some cheering up!

On the plus side this week has been beautifully sunny, so I’ve made a real effort to get out for walks in the park and appreciate our beautiful local parks. The weather has such an impact on the way I feel – so having such a gorgeous week has kept me feeling quite happy and content. Although, being eight months pregnant does mean that my walks are a lot shorter theses days.

Here are some shots I’ve taken this week…

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I must admit there’s one more thing that’s made me very happy this week and that’s simply having these beautiful, fresh flowers in the house. Aren’t they gorgeous?

A beautiful bouquet of roses and daisies from Appleyard LondonA beautiful bouquet of roses and daisies from Appleyard London

I was sent these stunning flowers by the lovely and very talented people from Appleyard London. Appleyard pride themselves on offering cutting edge floral designs for the home. Their florists are always coming up with new and exclusive flowers and on trend colours to evolve the Appleyard range. They also create a new range for each season and calendar occasion, using the highest quality seasonal flowers and have beautiful, luxury bouquets from only £23.

The full range of bouquets, gifts, chocolates and jewellery are all available to be delivered nation wide (don’t let the name fool you) and can be delivered the next working day.

A beautiful bouquet of roses and daisies from Appleyard London

This bouquet is aptly named Serenity.

Appleyard Exclusive Offer – 33% Off

For an amazing 33% off any luxury bouquet you can use this promotional code BLOG33 – although please note that it will not work on the flowers by post range.

With the Welsh Valentine’s Day (Dydd Santes Dwynwen) coming up on Monday, as well as Valentine’s Day itself and Mother’s Day coming soon, it’s the perfect time to check out the beautiful, modern and classic designs of Appleyard London – and make the most of this offer!

 

Our Pushchair of Choice is a Bugaboo Bee3

Looking for a small pushchair? Here's my review of the lightweight Bugaboo Bee3 buggy.

A few weeks ago (at 30 weeks) I suddenly realised it was time to start thinking about one of the biggest baby purchases – the buggy (well after the new car we’ll need to get, as our little Golf will not be big enough for a family of five!).

To be honest I’ve always have been a big fan of Bugaboo. We had a black Bugaboo Chameleon when Lili was a baby, which we then continued using with Poppy. We recently gave it away, thinking we didn’t need it anymore… Oopps! Anyway, after lots of reading blog posts, reviews and watching YouTube videos, we decided to go for this new Bugaboo Bee3 in grey.

I wanted a smaller, lighter pushchair this time and the Bugaboo Bee3 ticks all the boxes for me. It comes with a bassinet and a good size under-seat basket, yet is small and easily folds away.

Looking for a small pushchair? Here's my review of the lightweight Bugaboo Bee3 buggy.

The Bugaboo Bee3 – From my research…

Apparently the Bugaboo Bee3 is perfect for parents in the city! It can handle most terrains, while being lightweight and comfortable to push. This is a buggy renowned for it’s durability, from its frame, to its weather resistant washable fabric. It’s also a buggy that will grow with your baby from a tinny newborn to a toddler.

Safety First

This stylish buggy features a super safe 5-point harness system that is designed for easy use and ‘full on’ safety.

Storage Basket

The large under-the-seat basket has plenty of room for all your shopping needs as well as being easily accessible. We had to buy a basket separately for the old Chameleon, so it’s a great bonus to have a basket included this time. I find them so handy when out shopping.

Small and Compact

This buggy folds up to a fairly small bundle, so you can easily store it in the house/ flat. It also means that it will fit in the boot of most cars and can be stored away when not in use. Also, its sleek design makes it easy and practical to use on a train and/ or bus – which is important for me as I don’t drive (I know!?)

Guarantee

The Bugaboo Bee3 comes with a 2 year warranty plus an extra year when you register the buggy. You can’t argue with that!

Rain Cover

As you’d expect, the Bugaboo Bee3 comes with a perfectly fitting and easily attachable rain cover, which you can store in the basket. Ideal!

Strong and Sturdy

As I already know, Bugaboo buggies are built to last! All the materials, fabrics and functions are durable. All the materials can be removed and washed, and are made of breathable and weather-resistant fabric.

A Smooth Ride

According to the reviews I’ve read, you can take the Bugaboo Bee3 almost anywhere knowing that your little one will enjoy a calm, smooth ride. It has one-handed steering capability, an effortless 360º turn and a superior shock absorber. And the adjustable handle bar makes it easily adaptable to both tall (my husband is 5ft 10) and short (I’m 5ft 2) parents.

Classically Stylish and Personalised

There are many different colour combinations you can choose from for to personalise your Bugaboo Bee3. You can pick the chassis colour, canopy colour, seat colour and bassinet fabric colour. As you can see we’ve opted for the aluminium chassis and stylish grey fabrics. It’s nice to know that we can also quite easily change the look and style of the buggy by simply buying a different colour canopy.

Suitable for Babies & Toddlers

This pushchair is suitable for babies from birth through to the toddler years. It will grow with your child, as it features an attachable bassinet for newborn (as seen in my pictures). And when you’re ready, the bassinet can be replaced with the buggy seat, which can be attached in either front or back facing positions – depending on the age of your child. You can also recline the chair to a comfortable sleeping position with just a few clicks.

Looking for a small pushchair? Here's my review of the lightweight Bugaboo Bee3 buggy.

My thoughts now that it’s here…

The Bugaboo Bee3 is an elegant looking, lightweight buggy. I’m thrilled with the look and feel of it and am happy with our colour option. The silver, grey looks classically stylish and the bassinet feels soft and incredibly comfortable.

Also, it was very easy to assemble, it literally took my hubby and I 20 mins – and most of that time was taken, taking everything out of the boxes.

Looking for a small pushchair? Here's my review of the lightweight Bugaboo Bee3 buggy.

I can’t wait to get using it as soon as this little baby decides to make her big appearance!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for this product. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

My Captured Moment #55 {A Picture Link-up}

Welcome back to My Captured Moment, a weekly link-up where I share my favourite ‘Captured Moments’ and invite you to do the same.

I took these shots yesterday on the pre-school run with Poppy. She goes to preschool in the afternoon, giving me a couple of hours to myself. Most days I go straight home after dropping her off, to do some work or house work but yesterday was so beautifully sunny, that I couldn’t resist a walk around our village park.

I really needed the exercise and the Vitamin D intake, as I feel like I’ve been hibernating over the past month and my pregnant body has started to feel a little stiff. It felt great to be out and about with my new camera and I managed to get some great shots that really capture the beauty of the park and the weather. I also got some sweet shots of a very wrapped up Poppy on her way to preschool.

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This little one is growing up so quickly, she runs into preschool everyday without looking back. I swear nothing phases her. Who knows where she gets it from, definitely not me!! I hope she’ll always be so brave and strong. 

Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm)

• Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post.

• Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender


My Maternity Wear Mood Board with Lyst

loving.october.4

As most of you know I’m now heavily pregnant and truth be told am spending much of my time in lounge pants and leggings (they’re just so comfortable!). However, I do still have a few weeks to go and am determined to make more of an effort with my maternity winter wardrobe. After all maternity wear is no longer the frumpy option it once was, with cool brands creating some amazing pieces that will ensure you look on-trend and stylish well into your third trimester and beyond (as we know, that baby weight doesn’t magically disappear over night).

Also, fashion conscious celebs are showing us that it is more than possible to keep your style, while growing a bump. I’ve created a pinterest board to inspire me, if you fancy taking a look?

Follow Running in Lavender’s board Style the Bump on Pinterest.

If I’m honest, my maternity style is an extension of my non-maternity look. I’m wearing maternity skinny jeans with check shirts or baggy jumpers, leggings with loose fitting dresses and flat boots. I’ve also made an effort to look for and buy clothes that will be suitable to wear next winter when I’m no longer pregnant, including a black non-maternity swing coat.

Speaking of fashion and style, I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Lyst who asked me to collaborate with them and create my own maternity wear list (lyst) mood boards. Lyst is a one-stop fashion destination where you can discover the latest collections from literally hundreds of brands (designer to high street) from around the world. You can follow your favorite brands and people, and be the first to see their latest collections and lists.

After some playing around I came up with the following mood boards. The first is a Get the Look mood board based on a pregnant Kristen Cavallari outfit I found on Pinterest. And the second ‘lyst’ includes a collection of my favourite maternity dresses currently available on the high street.

A maternity get the look mood board from Lyst A maternity dress mood board from Lyst

I must admit this is a very addictive website that lets you search for exact items (think the illusive gold wedges you hunt for each summer or the perfect on-trend black backpack) from a massive fashion database. You can create your own mood boards (or lists) which you can share with your friends on social media, as well as click through to buy your favourite items.

Speaking of that illusive black backpack, I’ve just found (on Lyst) this fab one from Zara (£20)… which I’m thinking could double as my new changing/ nappy bag. What do you think?

On-trend black backpack from Zara

My Captured Moment #54 {A Picture Link-up}

Welcome back to a new year of My Captured Moment, a weekly link-up where I share my favourite ‘Captured Moments’ and invite you to do the same.

This week I’ve gone for these shots of me and my youngest little lady. They were taken on Sunday before I took her to her first birthday party. Normally she watches her big sister go off to parties (and has tagged along on a few occasions) but Sunday was just me and her. She was so excited that as soon as she got up she picked out two ‘pretty’ dresses (one silver sparkly dress with stars and one red dress with a full skirt – she finally went with the red option) and her red ‘party shoes’.

This little one is so independent and is in such a hurry to be a ‘big girl’ just like her big sister, who she absolutely idolises. She doesn’t seem to realise that she’s two and a half years younger than Lili and therefore, can’t do everything that she does. However, it does mean that she’s more than ready (and excited) about all these little milestones.

Bless her, she had a great time and spent the whole time laughing, running around, dancing and singing songs. On the way home I asked her if she’d had a good time, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes and simply said “mummy I had the best time!”.

This week's My captured moment pictures. This week's My captured moment pictures. This week's My captured moment pictures.This week's My captured moment pictures.

Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm)

• Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post.

• Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender