Saturday, 22 July 2017

Little Angels Newborn Nappies by Asda

As a first time mum-to-be there are quite a lot of things I'm quite unsure about - actually a lot of things!  I couldn't tell you how many things I have googled! What to buy, do I need this, do I need that?  I'll be honest I kind of feel like totally in the dark - if only having a baby came with a manual!!  A lot of my friends and family had their baby's a few years back and obviously things have changed since their day.

When the lovely PR company Myriad tweeted if any expectant mummies would be interested in coming to a Little Angels Nappies event hosted by Asda I kind of leaped on the chance. It might sound a bit naive, but when it comes to nappies the first brand that came into my head was Pampers.  I'm a total newbie like I said, so to learn more about different brands and not just jump on the well known brands and explore others is really great.  As a bonus as well, it was also an amazing chance for me to have a chit chat with other mummies-to-be.

The event was hosted at the amazing Dorchester Hotel in London, where they have the most amazing spa for expectant mums to enjoy.  We were also treated to a Wimbledon themed afternoon tea (I loooove an afternoon tea!)  I'll talk more about The Dorchester and my wonderful goodie bag I received in another post I think. There is so much more to talk about! Anyways back on to the nappies!

The Asda team Claire and Nicola spoke to us about brand whilst we tucked into our sandwiches, tea and cakes. They are really passionate about the brand and any feed back we gave them about our experiences they took on board. I personally think this is a sign of a great brand who are always trying to improve themselves.

The Little Angels Newborn Nappies* come in sizes 0 to 3 catering for even tinny tiny premature babies. Sizes 0 to 2 have a section at the belly button to protect the umbilical area, which can be a little sensitive after birth. As our little ones don't always stay put in their mummies tummies until their due dates, Asda stores have policy that they will happily refund or exchange any unopened Little Angels Newborn nappies which is a fab idea.

What surprised me the most was how soft the nappies actually were. This is a real positive for me, as the nappy is going to be touching your child's skin - so you want it to be as soft as possible and not cause any unwanted irritation. Even the areas at the back and around the legs where there is elastic are soft to the touch.  Yet they still feel secure enough to prevent leaks, but flexible enough to move with your baby.

The Little Angels range doesn't just supply affordable nappies for newborns, there is an extensive range for the slightly older kiddies too with the Comfort and Protect range, Swim Nappies, First Pants and Day and Night Pants. They also have Bed Mats which I am thinking of getting myself... not because I plan to wet the bed, but if my waters decide to pop in the middle of the night my mattress has some protection. Just in case!

These cleverly designed nappies feature a helpful coloured waist band which helps gauge what nappy size your little monkey should be wearing. If the tabs are in the coloured area then they are the perfect fit. However if they are towards to outer white edges it is time to go up to the next size. I haven't ever changed a nappy before, so to have handy little guides to help are a real bonus.  There is also a handy wetness indicator line which changes from yellow to blue once wet.

The Newborn and Comfort and Protect range offer 12 hours of dryness to help bubba sleep through the night. Absorbent beads hold up to 30 times the weight of the nappy so fingers crossed your little one (and yourself) should get a good nights sleep.

Asda nappies start off in price at £1 per pack. With the average of parents having to change nappies approximately 4,500 times in the early years, the fact the Little Angels brand is so inexpensive and are a high quality is really great indeed.

Another fantastic thing if you do decide to start using these nappies is that any one who buys Little Angel Nappies - Asda uses that money to support Tommy's which only exists to save babies.  They provide life saving research in to preventing stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage. Asda donates £100,000 every year only because parents purchase their Little Angels nappies! Is that not amazing?! All the more reason to pop along to your local Asda store.

I just want to thank the lovely ladies Vanessa and Lauren at Myriad for pampering me and letting me have the chance to have a good old relax before the big day!  I'd also like to thank the Asda Little Angels Team Claire and Nicola for sharing their love for all things Little Angel!  I cannot wait to try these nappies on my real bundle of joy as opposed to my Jelly Cat bunny!

Angela x

* AD/PR Sample (All opinions are my own as always!)


Friday, 21 July 2017

Motivation Tips

Motivation is a hard thing to come by if you're lacking in it.  Be it in eating sensibly, having a work out routine or writing blog posts.... Or life in general basically.

For the last couple of days my writing mojo has dropped.... I've drawn a blank.  And then this post came to me.  House chores, work, exercise health and fitness and maintaining a blog all have the same principles.

This is a few tips to help you with motivation and hopefully to succeed.  You never know you becoming motivated may inspire others to join in with you.  I've said motivated/motivation/motivate a lot haven't I???  Lol!!!  Here goes.

Planning is the key to most things in life.  Holidays,  money,  the weekly shopping at Asda .... They all take some kind of plan.  A popular saying is 'if you don't plan,  you plan to fail'.  I believe this is completely true.  At work the post-it and pen are my best friends.  I'm always planning my day and what needs to be done.  I also write my plan/list in order of most important first....does it have a dead line??  Prioritise things depending on their urgency.  

Planning in the blogging world is important when it comes to picture taking time.  I'm all for natural lighting photography.  Take your pictures or film your YouTube video during the day... Edit and write blog posts in the evenings???

Make Achievable Lists And Be Realistic
The age old saying 'Rome was not made in a day' comes into play here.  You can only plan so much as some things in life take time and money.  You are not superwoman... You are only human and don't be so hard on yourself.  There is always tomorrow!  :-) 

Don't Give Up!!!!
You published a blog post,  putting your heart and soul in to it and no one commented.  Welcome to my world lol.   No seriously... Just because it didn't go to plan,  doesn't mean you should give up.   Full off the bike,  get back on the darn thing...That's right.  Don't have a paddy if it didn't go your way or you didn't get the response you were hoping for. 

It is the same with the dreaded scales.  You only lost 1lb or you remained the same.... So  you feel a failure???  That cookie ain't going to help you -  it's your enemy!  Things take time it will not happen over night.  Miracles are rare.   You cannot make changes if you stop can you?  No one can make changes in your life except for you?   If you have a dream,  go grab that dream.  We only live once... Lets make it a good one.

What DO You Love??
Don't follow the herd,  be yourself. If you are a beauty blogger and you love to write about nail polish and nail art.... Why try and review the latest lipstick?? Is it because everyone one else is???  Be yourself and write about what you love.  This blog itself used to be beauty beauty and yet more beauty.  Then I changed with time and age.  Yes I still write about beauty but I also chuck in a few posts here and there about fitness, food and life.  You don't have to stick to one subject.  Just be you... Hopefully your readers will love it!!

I hope this inspires someone out there.



You're Not Alone!

As I write this post I'm listening to Linkin Park's song Numb from their Meteora album.

The sad news that Chester Bennington, the lead singer from Linkin Park apparently took his own life on Thursday shocked the music world. It almost felt like a small part of me had died. I have been long time fan of Linkin Park, first hearing their music when I was a wee 16 year old back in 2000. Powerful head banging music with lyrics that are deep and real - so easy to relate to. If you've never listened to their songs, try them. I'm now listening to One More Light and the lyrics seem quite on point considering what has happened to Chester.

It is sad that yet another person (famous or not we are all the same) has decided that the only way out or the route to end their personal pain is death. Such a waste of a life.  Depression/stress/anxiety takes so many people for us. An invisible disease that gets in the minds of many and causes shit loads of suffering.

Mental health is surrounded by taboos. It is seen as a weakness by many, but it isn't.  If you broke your leg, you'd go to the doctor to get it fixed right?  What's the difference with your mind? Think about it for a second or two. If it's broken... you should go to get it fixed too? It is not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about I promise you.

Back in March 2015 I wrote about my own mental health issues HERE.  I know the struggle is real and all the time I am battling those anxiety stress demons that like to try and creep and take over my mind and body. Going to the doctors and admitting I needed help was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  I felt like I was almost weak, but in reality I was strong for admitting I had a issue that I needed help with.  I was lucky, but so many are not. It takes so much to ask for help and for some they just cannot do it.

I will keep this post a short one, but if you feel like you are alone remember you're not.  It's your mind telling you you are, but truly you are not. It's hard to make the first step - trust me from experience I know. Once you take the first step be it a phone call to a support helpline or visiting your doctor, then your finally on the road to recovery. It will not be an instant cure as such and the road can be long, but you will have people who care about you supporting you along the way.

Seeking help is NOT a weakness, it shows you are strong and have courage.  It shows that you do not want the invisible disease to be who you are - you want to be you and only you! Please always remember you are NOT alone.

Angela x

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Staying Cool Travelling At 7 Months

When I first got pregnant, I was really looking forward to the idea of being pregnant during the summer months. Floaty dresses, flowers in my hair, looking like a cool mama-to-be. However in reality this years warmer months have been quite uncomfortable.  Expectation verses reality on this one were definitely delusional!  You already feel big and uncomfortable, so adding hot weather to the mix is actually not that nice to be honest.

I'm not planning to go on maternity leave until the end of the July, meaning I still have to travel into London for work for a few more weeks unfortunately.  Now in my handbag I carry around essential supplies which are a must!  They are;

// A Fan
Taking a small fan with you on the underground is a great option.  It's far better than waving a newspaper around annoying your fellow passengers!  I picked up a small battery operated fan for a few quid, which has come in really handy.  Perfect hand bag size!

// Water Bottle
This is obviously got to be first on anyones list whilst travelling.  I never used to travel with water with me, but now since being pregnant it is a must.  Water is the best thing to keep you hydrated and you need to keep your fluids up especially growing a little one as they literally do suck the life out of you.  The only problem is you want to pee so much, so just hear that in mind whilst on the move.

// Cooling Spray
The genius who invented water in a spray can, well I could quite happily kiss that person.  This is a life saver when I have been having a hot moment.  It gently mists water over you for the perfect on the spot relief.  I've been spraying it on my face and neck and occasionally my feet when I've been walking a bit too long.  For extra coolness, keep your can in the fridge.  Lush.

// What To Wear
Wearing the right clothes and shoes is key.  I've been wearing sandals and flip flops quite a lot as it lets air get to my feet.  Maxi dresses, long skirts and linen maternity trousers are just some of the clothes I've been wearing for work.  On small occasions I've been living in my only pair of maternity jeans. They are really comfortable, but not the most sensible when its 30 degrees outside.  Also I've popping a hat on my head to keep the sun off my head.

// Wear A Badge
I don't work locally to where I live and have to travel by public transport from zone 6 to 1. Usually in the mornings I can get a seat without an issue, however on the way home it can be a different story.  I started wearing a Baby On Board badge 13 weeks in to pregnancy, which has been quite helpful.  If you can try and obtain a badge from TFL, then it'll give people an indication to perhaps offer you a seat on a packed train.  People might be afraid to offer you one if you're not wearing one out of fear that you might not actually be expecting.  I will leave the link HERE if you ever need to ask for one.

These two points I obviously cannot take travelling with me as such, but they have been rather helpful.

// Travelling Times
If like me and you do travel to work, leave early. When I hit the third trimester and the heat of summer kicked in my boss gave me the option of leaving the office slightly early to try and avoid the stampede of rush hour travellers.  Just leaving slightly earlier has really made a difference sometimes from getting a seat and not getting one.  Plus train carriages always feel a little cooler when not so packed with other people.

// WFH
This has been a true blessing. I'm very lucky that I had the opportunity to reduce my days in the office and work from home on some days.  Just one day at week at home has been nice, as it gives me a bit of rest.  Growing a little one really takes it out of you so this offer I grabbed with both hands.  You are still technically working, but you are in the comfort of your own home... so if you want to work in your bra and knickers - well you can!

How are you coping in this weather whilst being pregnant or even not pregnant.  Do you have any tips and tricks?

Angela x

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Yoga And Its Benefits

Being a bit naive I never 'got' yoga.  I just assumed, you stood there in poses humming to yourself and never really understood the benefits with the exception of the relaxation you achieved afterwards.  It might be semi true that you do occasionally stand in random poses humming (breath in and out, breath in and out), but it is ever so more than that.  I have come away from the class aching after putting my body through its paces and positions I never would of considered before.  I have a buzz running through my body afterwards and feel so chillaxed (chilled/relaxed for those of you who don't know).

I thought I'd share the things that I feel like I have gained from doing yoga for the few weeks I have attended class.  Plus things that yoga makes you think about starting with...

//Your Breath
The energy and strength you gain from inhaling and exhaling at the correct times I've found very noticeable.  I've also noticed it can help with stretching.  If you're having a stressful anxiety moment, taking a good few deep inhales and exhales can be very calming.  I've been doing this even out side of yoga, for example - at work if I'm having a stressful time and I just need to calm myself.  Yoga and your breath work hand in hand. 

//Taking your time 
Yoga is a practice.  A slow one which is good, as life for pretty much every soul on the planet is very rush rush. Yoga makes you go back to square number one and brings you back to a calm peaceful place.  Yoga is not yoga if you rush through.  When it comes to getting into poses, the crow for example - you cannot rush it.  I haven't managed to achieve the crow pose yet, but I will keep going until I do.  Even if it takes me 6 months to get my toes off the ground for literally 5 seconds... I will keep trying.  Rome was not built in a day! (Remember that!!)

Whether just standing on the tube or sitting at the dinning table to have dinner, I feel like yoga has made me more aware of how my spine is. I admit I still might catch myself doing an impression of the hunchback of Notre Dame, but I do try to use my seat bones as much as possible.  If you use them you naturally sit straighter and taller. Also when I stand I always try to stand head up, back straight and chest out.  A little string in the top of my head pulling it up. Stand tall and be proud!!

//Anything Is Possible!!
The first time in class when we were asked if we wanted to attempt the wheel pose, instantly in my head I said to myself I can't do that!!  A few seconds later I then had a rethink and actually gave the wheel a go. I literally balanced on my head, but I gave it a go. That's the important thing. Don't write yourself off straight away! If you put your mind to it you can achieve whatever you want to.  You might not get it perfect first time round but there is always next time.  You just need to...

Like anything in life, if you put a little practice in to something you will improve.  I've started doing some moves at home to try and improve myself, as I also think this will help with preparation for labour. These positions usually being where I am not entirely confident yet, I get my hubby to guide me.  

A little more information on the class I go to if you are interested is at The Lotus School of Yoga near Ludgate Hill / Blackfrairs Station.  A small class of up to 12 people.  The lovely Sophie, is a great teacher with a very calming way about her.  Her voice is just lovely and soothing, especially when you are in savasana before and after the class.

Angela x


Monday, 3 July 2017

If You Read Anything...

...then read this!

Nesting for this bubba has made me want to really transform my home - be it decorating or decluttering. One of my favourite things to do, is to watch inspiring videos on youtube of people cleaning and decluttering. Sounds pretty sad doesn't it...however it really is quite a popular thing these days - just google it. I find watching them gets me in the mood for tackling my home and making it a better place. After watching quite a few videos and reading blog posts on minimalism/decluttering I came across Marie.

Marie Kondo's award winning book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying was a real game changer for me. I'll openly admit I really struggled to put this book down, as I kind of wanted to read and digest it all in one go! As I enjoyed this so much, I thought I'd share a few things that I have learnt from Marie. This may inspire you also to pick up her book and give decluttering a go for yourself.

// Spark Joy
Marie asks you in the book to look at every item you have and to ask yourself a simple question - "Does it spark joy?" When you start your journey you will literally say to yourself "does this spark joy" all the time and you might start to drive yourself mad by quoting it all the time. But I promise you it really does help. Does the item your holding spark joy? Does it make you happy? If the answers are no, then why hold on to them in your home? See ya!

// Categories (Not Rooms)
It's strange when you start this process how much you have in each room and how much of the same things you have scattered around your entire house. Lets take books for example...I had them everywhere! Dinning table, book shelf in living from, in a box, in our office, in our kitchen. You get the gist we had them EVERYWHERE! Marie's idea is instead of tackling the books in just room, bring all the books together in one place (by categories). Then sort through them, store the ones that spark joy in one place - a dedicated space. It makes complete sense because if you sort a room at a time you might have more of the same items in other places and it will feel like an endless task of sorting through the same things. Collect the same items then start.

// Folding Is The Way Forward
When it came to clothes (shoes, accessories, jackets your underwear drawer - all of it) this feels like a huge mountain to climb if you're a clothes hoarder like myself. It feels so satisfying to go through everything asking "do you spark joy?". Sorting complete, Marie has a style of folding clothes which really is just amazing. At first you'll think to yourself I don't like it, I can't do this but keep at it. At first I was skeptical that the folding technic wouldn't last for me, but surprisingly I am still going - see a picture HERE of her technic. It's good for a few reasons; 1) you'll instantly be able to see what you own 2) it saves space and 3) you won't use hangers so much which won't cramp your wardrobe.

// Falling in Love Again
I have found you really start to appreciate the items you have decided to keep and enjoy.  We collect so many things over the years.  We store them with the thought of 'I may need you some day', but realistically you're not really ever going to use those old school books from 1995 you are keeping in the loft.  Why hold on to them?  When you throw out everything you don't like, it shines almost a new light on your belongings that do spark joy.  You'll enjoy them more as they will not be surrounded by clutter.

// Cleaning Will be 'Fun'
Sounds ridiculous to say it, but once you've finished this journey cleaning your home won't seem like a mission impossible task - it will be easier. Everything in your home will have its own 'space'. If you move it from there to use it, you'll put it back there after you've finished using it. You're less likely to become cluttered again. Your habits will change.

That's it!  I hope the five little paragraphs above inspire you to start a minimalism / decluttering journey. Mine is far from over, but Marie has certainly helped me love and enjoy the things I have decided to keep so far. She has changed the way I think... "Do I really need that" is something I say to myself a lot now and I believe this is down to Marie and the journey I've been on. She has truly changed the way my brain thinks.

Are you inspired? Have you read Marie's book? Fancy giving this a go? Well you can purchase Marie's book on amazon HERE.

Enjoy Angela x


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