I adore taking photos, I love being able to capture memories to look back on in years to come. So I thought it might be nice to share 5 photos that make me happy and maybe turn this in to a bit of a weekly feature. They won’t necessarily be photos that I have taken that week but any 5 that never fail to make me smile  






I wanted to share with you today another one of my favourite outfits of the moment which is prefect for this time of year. I am loving the Khaki trend at the moment and the oversized shirt dress so when I spotted this little gem in New Look that combined the two I just had to have it.



It is a super comfy and relaxed shirt dress with a little D-ring tie around the waist to cinch it in to give you a bit more shape. I teamed the dress with a pair of leggings some super thick ones from next and my favourite go to boots


I absolutely love New Look and I have done for many years, I just find their clothes are so affordable and such good quality. In fact over the coming weeks I have a few more outfits to share with you from New Look. 

Back in May I did something completely out of my comfort zone, in fact it was so far out of my comfort zone I couldn’t believe I was actually doing it. I took Thomas on holiday abroad on my own, yes completely on my own! As we missed out on a holiday the year before I was craving a holiday and I didn’t want Thomas to miss out on another holiday so I made the decision to get something booked.

After much deliberation I booked a 5 day holiday to Alcudia in Majorca. Spain seemed like the best option as the flight time was only around 2 hours which was what I was worrying about the most and the weather for May should have been pretty decent.

As the holiday got closer and closer I began to panic and started to doubt myself, could I actually do it? Being a naturally very shy person the thought of being on my own and having nobody else to rely on terrified me but then being a single parent I don’t want Thomas to miss out on holidays because I don’t dare do things because that’s unfair on him.

The thing I was most worried about was the plane journey but in fact Thomas couldn’t have been more well behaved. The outgoing flight was quite early in the morning so Thomas was a little groggy at the airport and didn’t fancy walking and got bored rather quickly whilst we were queuing to check our bags in and I can’t blame him to be honest because nobody likes queuing.

Once we had gone through security and I felt a bit calmer we had a little walk through duty free and sat in the children’s area and watched the television for a little while before moving to somewhere we could watch the aeroplanes take off Thomas was quite happy with that and then before we knew it, it was time to move to the gate. I hadn’t realised but with my outgoing flight I had booked priority boarding which I would definitely recommend if you are traveling with young children.

Thomas was brilliant on the flights both going and coming back too I was a bit worried about how to keep him occupied for 2 hours but I bought a portable DVD player which was well worth the money and Thomas quite happily sat and watched that for most of the journey and I packed some snacks for us to eat so Thomas was as happy as a pig in muck.



It was the bit in between the flights, the actual holiday which was the most stressful for me. When we got to the holiday via the transfer somebody took our case which sent me in a total panic what on earth was I going to do if I didn’t get it back. I was stuck in a foreign country on my own with nothing I was stressed because we couldn’t even go and enjoy the sun whilst I waited for news on the case because I was in jeans hot and bothered and I had no sun cream for Thomas. Luckily the case was found later that day and I had to drag Thomas on a 20 minute round taxi journey to collect my case.


When you are on holiday just you and a child relaxing in the sun is completely off the cards. Thomas didn’t want to go out when it was sunny  but when the weather was a bit chilly he loved playing football on the beach. So finding a football, a bucket and spade and some cheap toys that you can just leave at the hotel at the end of your holiday is a must to keep your child entertained.

Meal times were my biggest nightmare of the week. It’s really difficult to help yourself to food at an all-inclusive buffet with one pair of hands trying to fill two plates and keep control of a toddler who doesn’t want to use his legs anymore. The only way around it was to try and sit as close as I could to the buffet so that I could get Thomas his food sit him down and get my own and still be able to watch him the whole time.




All in all the holiday was quite a stressful experience but I am so proud of myself for actually doing it. Would I take Thomas on holiday on my own again? If you had asked me this when I came back from my holiday in May I would have said no never again but now I am already looking at where the two of us can go next year.


Who else gets really excited about this time of year? I always look forward to Autumn/ Winter so much more than any other season. I know a lot of people look forward Summer because the weather is supposed to be nice but for me Summer always seems to turn out to be a let-down. You start of dreaming of BBQs, hot summer nights, afternoons spent in the garden but in reality in England we get rain, lots and lots of rain. The most annoying thing for me is that you can never dress for the season yes it’s none stop rain but then if you try and wear a coat you end up nearly passing out from heat stroke. That is why I love the Autumn/ Winter season you can rely on the weather yes it rains but at least you can wear a coat without passing out. Here are a few of the other things I love about this time of year.

Candles
I love candles, candles make your room look and feel so cosy and I also love scented candles in really festive scents.



Blankets
I love snuggling up on the settee watching a film under a blanket with candles flickering. That could quite possibly be my favourite way to spend an evening.

Festive drinks
Hello Starbucks festive drinks. Toffee Nut latte thank you very much.

Frosty Autumn Mornings
I just love frosty Autumn mornings where the grass is glistening with frost and you can see your breath getting wrapped up in a nice warm coat and a scarf.




Crunchy leaves
Who else loves walking through crunchy leaves? Even at 26 I still do but now I can take Thomas for walks with me and use him as an excuse to walk through and kick crunchy leaves in the park.

Lobbys/ Stews comfort foods
As soon as the weather gets colder outcomes the slow cooker for lots and lots of stews and casseroles much nicer than a summer salad don’t you think?

Getting wrapped up
Chunky jumpers, thick tights and boots. I do love A/W fashion much more than summer and I also feel a lot more comfortable with less body on show! 

Today I wanted to share with you one of my favourite Autumn outfits. I love Autumn/ Winter fashion I love being snuggled up in chunky knits and thick tights and boots and I always feel much more comfortable and relaxed as opposed to Spring/ Summer fashion.

One thing I’ve not tried before is tights under shorts but I think with this outfit the tights work really well with the dark floral cotton shorts. I actually bought these shorts from Ebay they were originally from F&F but I love Ebay for finding little gems like these and they were only a couple of pound so even if I only wear them this season I have still got my monies worth out of them.

Next I am just wearing a super cheap black vest top which is made from a chiffon type material which was from Primark it was a bargain at only £4 and I have bought this in a couple of Autumn colours and they all look fab.

My cardigan it a super slouchy chunky knit batwinged cardigan that I got from New Look much earlier on in the year but I should imagine you could find similar on the high street.


Lastly I just finished my outfit off with some black boots that I wore to death last year and I should imagine I will wear them non-stop this year too!

I know feet aren’t exactly the nicest things to talk about are they but never the less I am going to as I have recently been trying out the Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi Hard skin remover in the quest to get super soft feet. After years of using a pumice stone or a foot file the express pedi is the perfect thing for somebody who is a tad lazy as you don’t need to put any effort in to removing any hard skin (yuck I know but it happens to us all)

Now I absolutely hate my feet being touched and do have to refrain myself from kicking people if they touch my feet even by accident so going for a pedicure is completely off the cards for me. It’s a wonder I managed to sit and have a tattoo on my foot.




Anyway foot care is something I have to do myself and it couldn’t be easier using the Velvet Smooth Express Pedi. I use it once a week after having a hot shower so the skin on your feet is softer and then I use it on my heels and the balls of my feet where you tend to get hard skin the most and instantly you skin starts to feel softer. The express pedi doesn’t hurt at all it just tickles slightly which I can cope with if it means having much softer feet and then once I’m finished I smoother my feet in Soap & Glory's Heel Genius cream and pop on some cotton socks and put my feet up for a bit it works a treat. Obviously I have to do this when Thomas isn’t around.


I have been won over by the Velvet Smooth and I would recommend it if you are fed up of relying on a pumice stone. It is quick and easy to use, it comes with a cap to stop the file part from getting damaged. The file runs on AA batteries but I do think maybe they would be better if you could get a rechargeable version so you don’t have the extra cost of buying batteries all the time but maybe that is just me being a little picky.







Joules are hosting a fantastic competition to win a luxury break worth a whopping £5000! And the winning welly will even go on sale at Joules, how amazing would that be?
I will definitely be having a go at designing my own welly!


Here are the fab prizes that are up for grabs

Win a luxury break worth £5,000

3 nights in a golden oak treehouse cabin plus lots more

10 runners-up will each receive a £250 Joules gift card.

The winning welly design will go on sale at joules.com.

To enter all you need to do is submit a design for your well and enter the competition here - http://getcreative.joules.com/

The closing date for the competition is the 4th December so you have plenty of time to enter!!


I know we have now passed the season where we can get our pins out, well actually I say that but did we actually have a season this year where we can get our pins out? But seriously girls do not think about getting your winter leggings on I’m sure your other half wouldn’t appreciate it and do you really want to miss out on the feeling of having freshly shaved or waxed legs and getting in to a freshly made bed with fresh sheets because nothing beats that.




I’ve used Veet hair removal cream for as long as I can remember for both legs and bikini line but the one thing I always hated was the horrible smell that came with it kinda like a gone off cucumber but the hair removal cream from the Veet Inspirations range has a much nicer scent. I’m sure you all know how hair removal cream works but what I do like about this cream is that it comes with it’s own spatula which makes application much easier rather than trying to use your fingers and creating a huge mess. After around 5-8minutes you just need to remove the cream as if you are shaving and they you are left completely fuzz free. Simple.


Let’s move on to the wax strips now. I’ve never attempted at home waxing the thought scares me a little, not so much the pain as I hair my eye brows waxed regularly and my bikini line. I’m more worried about making a complete mess and taking half of my skin off at the same time. Plus I remember many years ago I bought some wax strips and didn’t dare use them on myself so I asked my younger sister to let me try  them out on her arm! Yes I know that is incredibly mean but after much persuading she let me put it on her arm but then wouldn’t let me pull it back off. So I never dabbled with wax strips after that, until recently that is. Feeling brave I attempted at home waxing on my legs not daring to try anywhere else and honestly it wasn’t that bad and I’m sure after a few more times once I know how to do it properly and my skin gets use to it I won’t find it that bad at all. One thing I definitely wont be trying is the facial wax strips I will leave my eyebrows to the professionals I think!
Let me start by saying Wow, visiting Ragdale Hall was my first spa experience and I was well and truly spoilt. I was lucky enough to be invited to Ragdale Hall to review their Clarins Mum & Me Spa day package. It was obviously an opportunity that I just couldn't turn down.




When we arrived at Ragdale Hall we were greeted and shown to the Garden Room and we have a nice cup of tea whilst we were handed our robes and then we were greeted by a lovely lady Joni who gave us a tour of Ragdale and pointed out all of the different rooms and where we could go to relax. After the little tour we go changed in to our costumes and big chunky white robes and explored a little ourselves before having lunch.

Lunch was a healthy buffet which was lovely everything was really tasty and I got to try lots of things that I probably wouldn't even have thought to try otherwise.









The spa is absolutely beautiful I seriously could have stayed there forever, there are so many different places you can escape and chill out. There are places you can sit, chill and chat and silent rooms where you can go for complete peace and quiet. Ragdale Hall has seriously thought of everything.


My favourite little room to escape to was the Candle Pool which is a little cavern that you walk down in to and it is lit by flickering candles and a star-lit ceiling the pool is heated to a constant 34Âșc which makes it perfect to just lie back and relax in.



I also enjoyed the Thought Zone which is the perfect place to sit and relax with soft changing music, images and colours to help you drift on in your own thoughts.



As part of the Clarins Mum and Me Day we were treated to a Clarins Serenity Facial which lasted for 40 minutes and that was amazing. It was my first ever facial and I can't believe I had never had one before. My skin felt amazing afterwards and I felt so relaxed I could have just fell asleep right there and then. Alongside the facial we also had a skin consultation and were told which products would best suit our skin types and they were recorded so that we could buy the products that were used during the facial.

There are so many different beauty treatments and spa treatments that you can add to your spa day so that you leave feeling amazing and relaxed. The next time I go I will definitely be adding more treatments to my day.



I would definitely visit Ragdale Hall again we had an amazing day and were truly spoilt I didn't want our day there to end. The staff in the spa are so lovely and friendly which definitely makes your day much more special and I would recommend Ragdale to anybody who is looking for a spa day. 


I don't think I have ever talked about wee and poo as much as I do these days I am constantly asking Thomas if he needs a wee and not to forget he needs to wee on the potty and not in his pants. Whenever I talk to Thomas's dad our main topic of conversation is wee or poo related. It has seriously taken over my life!

Potty training has been one of the most frustrating things I have had to do as a parent. Like how do you make a toddler understand the feeling of needing to wee and then make them understand that after 2/3 years they have got to stop just letting go in their nappies and they have to do their business in a potty.

After feeling like Thomas would never get using the potty this last week he has done brilliantly we there has been 1 or 2 accidents at nursery which may be down to not getting there in time but at home we haven't had any accidents, I don't really have to remind him about using the potty either he tells me when he needs to sit on the potty. The only thing we are having a little problem with is pooping he's still not keen on doing that on the potty and gets himself worked up so I have to sit with him and hold his hand and try to keep him on the potty until he's finished but we will get there I'm sure.

I am so proud of my little man and how well he is doing and you can see on his face that he is proud of himself. If you are struggling a bit with potty training keep with it! You will be pleasantly surprised at how it all just clicks with your child.



Thomas is still not potty trained and he is 34 months old, now I'm not sure whether that's the norm or whether he's a little late. I know people always say it's better to wait until boys are a little older before you start trying to potty train them as they can be a little slower to grasp it than girls. I have tried potty training before with Thomas on a few different occasions but soon stopped as he just didn't seem to be getting it at all.

People at nursery and members of my family have now started to make comments about when is Thomas going to get out of nappies and I'm beginning to feel under pressure to get Thomas using the potty. I recently made the decision to get Thomas out of nappies and this time there is no going back. I do feel Thomas is more ready now to be out of nappies but at the moment I'm dealing with Thomas just being very stubborn as he doesn't want the inconvenience of being in his big boy pants because that mean's he has to keep stopping what he is doing for me to plonk him on the potty for 5 minutes.

Thomas has been wearing his pants for about 2 weeks now, I have stopped putting him in nappies at home now except for over night because we definitely aren't there yet. Like with anything we are having good days and bad days. One day I will pick Thomas up from nursery and he will have had 1 accident all day and then the next day I pick him up and he will have had 3 or 4 accidents but we are persevering and we will get there eventually. Until then the washing machine is on every single night.

It's hard work this potty training lark is and definitely the most stressful thing I have had to do as a parent so far, does that sound mad? I am constantly on edge worrying if he will wee on my settee or if we will get to nursery in time and hoping we wont get stuck in traffic on the way. Every 10 minutes I find myself reminding Thomas he is wearing his big boy pants and to tell mummy if he wants a wee. I wonder if it would be a good idea to record myself and then play it on loop?
From the 5th April 2015 parents will now qualify for Shared Parental Leave which means that parents will be able to share parental leave during their baby's first year of life. This is brilliant for families where the mother is the main breadwinner if she doesn't want to take her full maternity leave she can share the leave with her partner. So you don't have to spend your maternity leave worrying about money.

It would also be great to help with family bonds, I know sometimes dads can feel a little left out when mums get to spend the first 9 months of their baby's life together and the dad only gets evenings and weekends.

What do you think, would it suit your family to share parental leave?


Mother's Day is another one of those commercialised days to make money but it's one of those days where I would still feel pretty bummed if I didn't get anything from Thomas. 
I'm pretty lucky now as I actually get more from Thomas than I did when I was with his dad on Mother's Day. The one think I don't get is breakfast in bed but to be fair I only got that once anyway so that doesn't bother me anyway. Instead I got breakfast on a tray which was one of my favourite breakfast some nice buttery Roberts bread toast and 2 hard boiled eggs and a nice cup of tea.on the settee in front of Fireman Sam.



It's a myth that Mothers day means you have a day off, for me I had chores to do after my breakfast and then I had to tackle the weekly shop. We had a nice afternoon though we had a little trip to the park so that Thomas could use up some energy and play on his scooter for the first time outside as we hadn't got round to taking it out before.











Thomas and I will be going on our very first holiday as a twosome. Thomas has only been on holiday once before and I wanted to be able to take him on holiday at least once every year to give him the chance to see new places like I always had growing up.

Unfortunately we missed out on a holiday last year which made me all the more determined for us to have a holiday this year. Our holiday this year will be a massive step for me, you see I want to take Thomas abroad, his first ever time on an aeroplane. My first holiday as a single parent, my first holiday where I am the only grown up. Venturing abroad with out relying on somebody else to take charge.

My biggest worry is getting around the airport with Thomas and a suitcase I'm just hoping and praying already that he will be a good boy and that there wont be any delays. Fortunately I have never been delayed before so hopefully *touch wood* this holiday would be the same. My next worry is the aeroplane, I will be taking a carry on for Thomas with lots of things to keep him busy so if you have any recommendations I would love to hear from you and if you have any posts about travelling by aeroplane with a toddler I would love it if you could leave your links in the comments.

The thing I am most looking forward to is a week of just me and Thomas spending really nice quality time together and hopefully having lots of fun together and enjoying the sun. I'm so excited I just can't wait for Thomas's passport to come back so we can get booked up!


Until recently I never bothered filling in my eyebrows probably because I was a little bit scared of making myself look silly and probably a little bit lazy to be honest it just seemed like an extra step in my beauty routine that I didn’t really need. It wasn’t until recently when I dyed my hair a little darker that I looked at myself and knew I needed to make my eyebrows just a touch darker as they seemed to disappear in to my face. Now I’m not talking the ultra-dark HD brows as I’ll be honest they scare me and I am way too pale to pull that look off. I’m talking about just making my brows just a slightly darker shade of brown so it actually looks like I have brows.

As I am a complete beginner myself I thought it would be wise to experiment with a couple of different ways to fill in eyebrows to try and find a way that suited me best. After browsing around Boots looking at every single make up stand I decided to pick up a few bits from trusty old Rimmel. I didn’t want to spend too much money on products to begin with until I know what suits me. So I picked up a brow pencil and a cute little compact and a clear brow gel.



Let me give you a quick rundown of the products and my first impressions of them

Firstly the brow pencil I chose….. in the shade….. I love that there is a little brow brush on the lid of the pencil this is so handy to keep in your make up bag meaning you don’t have to bother taking an extra make up brush out with you. The pencil for me is a little harsh, now I’m not sure whether it is because it is new and it needs to be a little more blunt to get the best out of it. I will keep trying with it though to see how I get on with it.



The next thing I bought which has fast become my favourite it a cute little kit called Brow This Way. It is a little 3 step kit which contains a little eye brow spooly, an angled brow brush, eyebrow powder and brow wax. It’s such a handy little kit and again perfect to keep in your make up kit.




So here’s how I fill in my eyebrows.

Firstly I brush my brows in to place using the spooly and then they are looking neat and in place. I then take the double angle brush and using a light hand I take the brow wax and add a little bit by bit being careful not to over to it, like everything with make-up it’s better to add a little and build it up.

I then use the powder if I need to, to fill in any little gaps I may have, again go steady don’t just plaster it on your eyebrows.

To set my eye brows in place I have been using Brow This Way styling gel in clear. I find this works really well to stop your eyebrows from smudging and it really easy to work with too.





I've not done one of these types of posts for a while so I thought I would share the love a bit and share some of my favourite blogs that I have been loving lately

www.fromgemwithlove.com
Gemma has recently announced that her and her husband are expecting their first child and already she is documenting her pregnancy beautifully. I can't wait to see her pregnancy develop.


www.ohsoamelia.com
I have followed Kerry's blog for a long, long time as her daughter is just a little older than Thomas. Her blog always looks beautiful and she is always posting really helpful posts. Kerry has also recently had her second child harrison who is such a little cutie.


www.scaredtoast.com
I have followed Lorna for many, many years and I always make sure I keep up with her blog I would recommend it to anybody.


www.xameliax.com
I absolutely love Amelia's blog and I always get major blogger envy whenever I visit it.
Amelia and her boyfriend have also just rehomed the most adorable dog, it certainly doesn't help when I really want a dog.

www.foreveramber.co.uk
I have only recently discovered this blog but already I love it. I particularly love when she posts about blogging and shares hints and tips, I feel like I learn so much from her blog.