2019 Goals

When it comes to goal setting and making sure you have an amazing year I feel like you need to stick to a few simple rules..

1. Plan things you have never done before but always wanted to.

2. Remember you are in control of your world when it comes to most situations (apart from health) so make sure you always think about the choices you are making and think about the potential outcomes.

3. Set yourself only a few goals and make sure they’re realistic.. small steps to success will get you to your dreams faster… think of it as climbing a staircase to the top instead of leaping to the top of a mountain.

So when it comes to my 2019 goals I always start by thinking what do I want to accomplish in the next 5 years.. whether it’s having more babies, moving to my dream home or running a marathon. Then I think about what I need to do to get myself to that place and start by planning some smaller things. So here are my goals for 2019.

1. As you have probably seen by my instastories I have just entered myself into doing Wilmslow Half Marathon, I feel like since having Gabriel and my body changing a lot (I used to be a lot leaner and fitter) I want to get back to a good fitness level again and also I find running a great way to clear my head and keep focussed. Maybe in 2020 you’ll see you doing a marathon 😅🙈

2. My second goal is to buy a bigger house (Get a bigger mortgage). At the end of 2018 we viewed a few houses in the Wilmslow area and we found our dream home.. a big project but it would be amazing if we could do it all up. So this year we are going to see a few mortgage brokers, see what we can afford and get the penny rolling with putting our current house up for sale. *Lets see where we end up*

3. Taking more time out for ‘me’.. I think this would be most Mama’s goals this year and I feel like giving myself a little bit more self love is sooo important, even if it’s just running myself a bath or booking myself a facial. I think if you feel good in yourself your happiness shines through.

4. Raising money for a couple of charities very close to home for me.. ever since we lost Sebastian I have always wanted to do something to thank the charity SANDS (who supported us when we initially lost our baby) and TOMMYS who supported us throughout our pregnancy with Gabriel. I never felt like I was in a good enough place to focus and raise money for these charities but now that I am in a stronger place (mentally) I feel like it’s time to give back… so watch this space.

5. And finally I would like to firstly thank everyone who has supported and joined my MAMA SOCIETY so far and secondly I can’t wait to see what 2019 has to hold for my new venture! I would like to have 6 locations across the UK by the end of 2019 and I believe that it’s about quality rather than lots of locations.. so you’ll find every venue is amazing and carefully chosen, amazing food, fantastic company and some awesome goody bags.

Have you set yourself any goals for 2019?

My favourite baby essentials (and beyond) after one year of being a Mama.

A year has been and gone and I feel like Gabriel will be going to school next time I blink.. I’m trying to really enjoy every moment, phase and ‘leap’ as I know nothing lasts forever and even though I still call him my baby, I know he is definitely, almost a toddler now and it’s just a little bit scary!

I have been so lucky that I have been able to spend this year at home with him and have only very recently been leaving him with my mum or Ainslee for a few hours hear and there so that he can start getting used to others as we are still exclusively breastfeeding he still wants to be near ‘Mummy’s Milk’ ALL the time.

But I wanted to share with you all some of my baby essentials that have got us through this magical year and these are things that have lasted us from birth until now.. so really are great value for money and quality as I feel when you’re a first time Mama you just get what you think you need and then end up having to get different things when they either arrive or when they move onto the next stage.

So here goes:

(Click all products for product links)

BABY MONITOR: Invest in a good quality baby monitor, one with a camera and sound. This will be your life line when you finally get your baby into a routine and can eventually get some alone time with your other half. Some monitors now have movement sensors attached to them and in my opinion this would only make you a paranoid Mama.. if you can see and hear them this is all you need. Ours is the Angelcare Baby Video Monitor and we picked it up from Mothercare whilst it was on offer (always look out for the offers).

CHANGING BAG: I will admit that I went a little crazy on the changing bag front whilst I was pregnant with Gabriel.. I am a bag lover and I knew this was going to be my new *side kick* so I wanted it to be gorgeous.. I ended up getting two bags, a Gucci one and a Tiba and Marl backpack and I wasted my money big time on the Gucci one.. it’s so small and impractical and when you have a baby to get in and out of the car (and now toddler) it’s just so much easier to have a backpack. My backpack is the Tiba + Marl X Selfridges Elwood Backpack with gold zips and it’s a serious game changer!!

COTBED: I have met so many Mama’s who ask me which cotbed I have.. Some say they went for a crib or smaller cot for when they transition their babies from your room into their own room and then they say that their babies are waking themselves up because they are hitting the bars from moving around at 9 months onwards and need more space. GO FOR A COT BED!! It’s normally only a little bit more expensive but SOOOO worth it as it will last them until around 4-5 years instead of having to get a new one at each stage.. also DON’T go for a sleigh bed as when they have the sides taken off (around 2-3 years) then can rock the bed and damage it (or hurt themselves) so opt for one that you can adjust the headboard.. ours is the Obaby White Cotbed

TRAVEL SYSTEM: When I think about how much I walk with Gabriel now I wish I had of known when purchasing Gabriel’s pram and done a little bit more research! You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to a travel system and if you’re planning on getting in the car more than you use your pram then I would say which ever pram you go for you will be fine… whereas if you are going to be doing some serious MILEAGE you need to go for one with BIG wheels, ours is the Urbo2 in Dark Grey from Mama’s and Papa’s (it’s no longer available as I got it when pregnant with Sebastian) but I wish I had got one like the Ocorro Explorer from Mamas and Papas as the wheels are so more sturdy and better for off road and long walks.

TOYS: Look for toys that have adaptations to them.. such as a baby swing that changes into a high chair, or we also have a baby walker that turns into a push along zebra and then turns into a scooter when he is older.. otherwise you end up spending your days buying the next stage up! (You will save a lot of money in the long term).

IPAD: This can be a little controversial I know.. but we actually bought Gabriel an iPad when he was 3 weeks old (not for him to use then obviously) but we keep it in his room to play ‘white noise’ during the night and also link it up to our BOSE speakers so he has his own Spotify with all his music on and just to keep everything in one place for him (all my devices are rammed with things for my work). This has been amazing as he now watches educational programmes on the CBBC app when we are in the car as he isn’t a very good traveller and as he gets older I’m sure he will use it more and more as we allow him to have allocated ‘screen time’

I hope this has helped you if you have a little baba or in the early stages of purchasing things for your new addition! My thought process when buying anything now is.. ‘How long will it last’ because even if it does cost a little more than the ‘right now’ option.. that little bit of extra £££ will save you a lot more £££££ in the long run!

The Reason Behind My 10 Minute Workouts

Hi guys!… so I’ve had a lot of questions about my workouts so thought I would pop it all into one place for you and answer as many questions as possible.

– So for me I have a baby this doesn’t sleep for more than 3 hour stretches at night so I find that in the day time I struggle to get motivated to get my butt off the sofa and workout.. So as well as walking everywhere to burn all the extra calories I just feel like on the days where I’m doing less exercise I just need a quick workout to get everything moving, feel the happy endorphins and feel like I’ve actually done something. I always feel so much happier when I’ve done exercise (so for me exercising every day is important).

– So for me doing these workouts for 10 days straight has definitely kept me motivated and each evening I sit with Ainslee and we talk about the next days workout which really helps me look forward to the next day and what I have planned… And it also puts into perspective that if you want to get something done you really can if you just plan ahead.

– Also this is the only way that Ainslee will help me workout 😂 He has no time for me around all his other clients and I’m always asking him to train me so normally he just tells me what I need to do and I have to remember but actually doing it and working out on my own isn’t always that fun.

– October for me is a tough month mentally (as it’s the anniversary of our angel baby) and it brings back a lot of memories so I have to keep focused and positive and I find exercise is the best way for me to keep happy so doing this everyday is just what I need!

If you are struggling to get moving post baby or if you just want to start to feel more active, 10 minutes is such a great way to keep fit! If you really work hard for those 10 minutes everyday that is all you need!!

Stillbirth Awareness Week

So there are so many ‘Mummy’ Instagram accounts out on the internet.. whether that be Mummy groups, Mummy Networking accounts or just general Mummy’s that you just love to follow… but what we don’t think about are who are actually following these accounts…? Most of the time its fellow Mums but there will also be so many girls following these accounts who long to have a baby and be part of these groups and networks but unfortunately they have lost their babies due to miscarriage or stillbirth…

I was once one of these girls and would read all the comments and stories of Mummy’s up at all hours but what I longed for was for my arms to be filled after loosing our baby through a stillbirth two years ago now.

I feel like this subject is so taboo and Mums who go through this horrific life changing experience need to talk more openly about what goes on and just how awful it truly is… can you imagine carrying your baby for months, to then have to give birth to your baby and walk away from the hospital with no baby??!! I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to go through what we went through… but the truth is that it happens every day.

I found that talking to others was the best thing to keep me going and share my thoughts with girls who have been through similar situations.. I would find when talking to others that it had actually happened to so many other girls whether that be a miscarriage or stillbirth themselves and they would be able to relate to my situation.. but how messed up is that? Why should we have to go through this in this day and age when science has come on so far? I ask myself this everyday but thankfully with the support from Tommy’s at St Mary’s hospital in Manchester they were able to give me the care I needed and made my next pregnancy as worry free as possible.

I mean I was a nervous wreck during my following pregnancy but they made me feel so reassured and did so many extra scans and checks to ensure everything was going to be okay this time round as well as ruling out any problems I could have with my body before getting pregnant again.. they were fantastic and I just wish more hospitals could do these extra checks throughout other girls pregnancies to prevent it from happening in the first place..

What are your thoughts on this debate and what do you think would be a great way to create more awareness?

‘It’s both of my babies birthdays next month!’

Oh wow.. I caught myself saying to Ainslee the other day ‘It’s both my babies birthdays next month!’ and it really made me realise that the last two years have really been life changing for us.. from starting our family by becoming pregnant with our angel baby Sebastian and giving birth to him stillborn to having the best medicine for me, my gorgeous rainbow baby Gabriel. And now it will be Sebastian’s 2nd birthday on 8th October and Gabriel’s birthday on 30th October.. some may say I got pregnant very quickly again but like I’ve said before Gabriel really was the best medicine for me! Who knows where I would be if it wasn’t for my rainbow 🌈.

Celebrating Sebastian’s Birthday

Every year we celebrate by being together on his birthday and we always set off a lantern and balloon with a little message from both of us… as the years go on we will always make sure Gabriel knows all about his brother and he can also send him messages if he wants to.

Celebrating Gabriel’s Birthday

It’s safe to say we have well and truly spoilt Gabriel already as he has bags full of presents on our room that I need to wrap and presents from family and friends already but I feel like his birthday will be a very emotional day for me.. at first I was wanting to throw him a party but then after thinking about it I think we are going to go to SeaLife centre for the day or something and just spend it with close family and just spoil him rotten ❤️ I think I’m going to be emotional for so many reasons… his brother who can’t be with us… what we went through to get to this point… my baby is growing up too quickly… I just want time to stop so we can enjoy him tiny forever!

Our First Family Holiday

So now we have a little one to take away with us holiday-ing is now a little different… it feels like Gabriel has gone back to the newborn phase now that we are away because each day consists of.. feeding the baby, taking him in the pool, letting him play in the shade and then feeding again so he can have a nap and then this repeats all day long.. it’s lovely but it also means our whole routine is thrown out of the window!

As for night times I would always rock Gabriel to sleep and then put him down but because the room isn’t what he’s used to he would just refuse to go in the travel cot that the hotel provided so we have been co-sleeping all week (it’s a good job we got a superior suit because our bed is massive) which has been so nice and we’ve had lots of cuddles but again I’m dreading that first night back at home when he has to go back in his own room 😬

Talking about clingy, I think the fact we are away in totally new surroundings, with lots of unfamiliar faces all Gabriel has wanted was to be cling to me… and I mean clung!!! He literally wraps his legs around me really tight if I try and put him down or give him to Ainslee ❤️ (it would be nice to have a little personal space now and again 😂)

Gabriel has LOVED being in the pool though whilst we’ve been away and also LOVED alllllllll the food 😂 which has been great because he’s had so much choice and now we know what he loves when we get home and he’s also had his first little taste of ice cream.. because life’s about balance hey!? 🤷🏼‍♀️.

We can’t wait to go away again and also take him to somewhere really different next time… we’re thinking LA and renting out a car so we can get about… but I 100% recommend a beach holiday for your first holiday with loads of facilities so you know what works and what doesn’t!

Now back to sunbathing for me 💋

9 Month Update

Okay so WHERE THE HELL HAVE THE LAST 9 MONTHS GONE!!?? I feel like I no longer have a baby sometimes and start to think about those newborn days and wish I could go back there.. but then in the same thought I’m sooo loving Gabriel at this age and love watching him change every day and excited to see the little boy that he is turning into.

What’s Gabriel up to:

-Gabriel can now say; Mama, Dada, Hi Dad, Yes, Papa and Nana and when I say ‘Lion’ Gabriel goes ‘rawww’ so I feel like he’s doing really really well with his talking.

-He still isn’t interested in crawling but he stands on his own now holding onto the sofa and he shuffles around on his bum.

-Eating.. Gabriel now eats EVERYTHING he has proper porridge for breakfast with mushed up fruit and almond milk, loads of different finger foods at lunch time and at tea time he will eat a proper meal with lots of breast milk in between!

In regards to my body 9 months on from birth I am feeling great and I’m certainly starting to feel like my old self again!! I am only 7lbs off from being my goal weight and feeling much more toned now that I’m making sure I exercise everyday. I truly think that you need a year to full recover from birth.. especially if you’ve had a c section.. I still get pains where my scar is if Gabriel stands on it or kicks me but I think in a few more months I’ll almost feel fully healed and back to my normal self (I hope).

Another baby?

Another baby? I keep being asked this question at the minute.. I feel more pressure from my family more than anything (my parents and Ainslee’s). I think our families think it would be nice for us to have babies close in age so that they can grow up together like we both did with our brothers and sisters… but I think for us because it was such a painful process to get Gabriel (our rainbow baby) that we just can’t face putting ourselves through all that stress again any time soon, also the fact that I was pretty much pregnant for 18 months I just want to be a little bit selfish for a while and enjoy having my body back and being able to feel like ME for a while longer before we even think about having another baby.. because let’s face it we all know how much weight I gain during pregnancies 😂.

I am still only 26 and feel like that is still quite a young age and if I wait even 3 more years I’ll still be in my 20’s which I think it’s still young in this day and age!

I just want to enjoy Gabriel with all my heart for the time being, I feel like he is EVERYTHING to me and I just want to make amazing memories with him and give him my undivided attention for as long as possible… there’s also loads of research done on children that have spent 1:1 time with their parents for the first few years of their lives and they benefit loads from it! I’m also terrible at being pregnant so want to be able to have Gabriel in nursery a few days a week before we have another so that I have time to rest before another bundle of joy comes along… and I’m definitely not ready to send him to nursery any time soon.

I totally understand why people get all their babies out of the way very quickly and have them close in age, especially if they are a working mum and have to get back to work ASAP but for us we just want to take our time and enjoy every minute.

Nanny VS Mother

Most of you won’t know this but I was actually an Ofsted registered nanny before I became ‘Cheshire Gossip Girl’ full time, this meant that I studied childcare and early years child development to be able to be a trusted Nanny with various families… I have worked with children from 6 months to 7 years old and this certainly made me feel much more confident about becoming a Mother because I felt like I had so much experience with children and knew how to deal with most situations.

Well I’ll tell you what, looking after someone else’s children compared to looking after your own is completely different. I had no idea how different it would be until I had Gabriel, I mean it meant I had a lot of knowledge about children and knew all about how to stimulate them, get them down for naps and night time, make them learn things in all sorts of different ways (every family does things differently) and I was very lucky to work with some exceptionally bright children with very academic parents so I was able to learn from them all the amazing things that children can do to learn out of nursery and school which I found fascinating.

But when it comes to day to day life I have so many other things I need to do other than ‘baby’ such as cleaning, cooking, shopping, running errands and work so this means all my attention can’t be on Gabriel 100% of the time unlike it was when I was a nanny (because I was there to just be a nanny) – I am so lucky that I get to spend every day with Gabriel at home so I make a conscious effort every day to spend a couple of hours with him doing different activities such as:

Water play (outside or in the bath)

Learning animals (reading books and then going to the farm or looking on the iPad)

Listening to music (all different kinds)

Reading lots of books

Socialising with other babies

Baby sensory type play (textures, lights, sounds etc)

Gross motors skills (walking, tummy time, standing etc)

I think finding the perfect balance is what works for us as I want to spend as much time with Gabriel as possible before he grows up too quickly so want to enjoy every moment… I also LOVE dancing and musical theatre (I was once a professional dancer too) so love dancing and singing around him… I probably enjoy that more than him though 😂

But when it comes to sleep time this is what I find the hardest, I used to look after 6 month twins until they were 16 months old and I would have to put them down for naps at the same time so that I could get a moments break and also because that was their routine and I could easily let them cry themselves to sleep but with Gabriel I just can’t stand to hear him cry even for a minute… I thought I would be a BOSS as getting him down… but my hormones got he better of me. So every night I nurse Gabriel to sleep and then put him down in his room. He usually ends up coming into bed with us around 6am each morning but that’s our routine now 👌🏼

Mum life and Nanny life is so so different but being a Nanny has taught me so many things and also so many techniques (due to working with different families) that I will keep with me for life!

Gabriel’s Diet

I’ve had all sorts of questions on Gabriel’s diet, what I give him, what I won’t be giving him and how it’s going etc, so I thought I’d get writing and pop it all in a blog post for you guys to have a read if you’re interested.

It’s so interesting listening to how every mum feeds their child, their view of a ‘healthy diet’ and also what they do for an easy life on the odd occasion that they give their baby a treat!

So here goes.. up until Gabriel was 5 months old his diet consisted of 100% breast milk, I have eaten a diet full of nourishing foods throughout this whole journey, ensuring that Gabriel gets all the nutrients he needs and I’ve also been enjoying the odd slice of cake and bit of chocolate along the way.. because sometimes a mama has got to get her sugar fix. I’m not a vegan, or vegetarian so I’ve been eating meats, dairy, carbs and plenty of veg to keep my energy up and also make sure I’m producing plenty of milk for my little one… (if you think your milk supply may be low make sure you’re eating enough calories and plenty of water)

After the 5 month mark (I started weening at 5 months because I felt he was ready) I have introduced lots of veggies and fruit into Gabriel’s diet, mashed, purred and finger foods. I believe that giving him as many textures as possible will be great to prevent a fussy eater in the further.. he mushes up things like raspberries and broccoli in his fingers then after a while will eat them (I love watching him do funny things with his food) I always spoon feed him part of his meal and then he will feed himself some finger food. Otherwise I feel like it will just all end up on the floor 😂

Going forward I want Gabriel to have all the nutritious food and only organic.. I feel like there are so many causes of cancers and other illnesses these days and we just can’t be sure how they happen so I want to prevent any nasty stuff going into his little body whilst I have ALL the control.. until he goes to a friends house and has something I have no control of anyway.

When it comes to treats when he’s older I don’t want to deprive him of all the sweet stuff but I think I’ll let him have a treat once a week so that he doesn’t get too used to having sugars.. Junk food has become so accessible these days and it seems like everywhere we look we see a child with chocolate, sweets or crisps in their hands and I just want Gabriel to have more knowledge in what he puts in his mouth and know that those types of things are only as a treat or special occasion.

I have said to Ainslee he can have cake for his 1st birthday and a little bit of chocolate at Easter but day to day whilst he’s so little he doesn’t need anything with added sugars or salts in.. and that even goes for cereals (even Weetabix has added sugar) or some of these veggie puffs that come with added salt, you just have to read everything on the back of the packet before buying.

Thanks for reading lovelies, let me know if you have any questions on anything more specific xx