Friday, 4 August 2017

Gift guide

Uncommongoods recently got in contact with me and asked if I wanted to write a post about them. After taking a look at their website, I jumped at the chance.

They provide an extensive range of exciting and creative products from an array of different sources, ranging from artists to small manufacturers. A really interesting theme to their business is the importance they place on the environment, which can be seen by how ‘green’ they aim to be. For example, all of their catalogues that are printed are done so on recycled paper or paper sourced from FSC certified forests.

Many of you may know that my sister is getting married in a couple of weeks, which drew my attention to the fact that they have an excellent section for Bridal-Shower gifts on this pageThe first thing that caught my eye was this Wedding Celebration Dropbox, as it was so unique. It combines so many features, with the heart in the centre being a map of the location of where you got married, and unlike the traditional wedding book that is lost in the loft or thrown in a cupboard at home, this would look great displayed on the wall. 

Ok so the next one is not wedding specific but how gorgeous are these Candles? You can change up the oil depending on the time of year or depending on what mood you are in (Chris, if you are reading this, these would look amazing in our house - hint hint!!).

Everyone knows how important I think date nights are, even when you are married or have children. This Date Night Bucket List is such a lovely gift and would be so fun to play as a couple. 

Next, I had to take a look at the Baby Shower Gifts on this page. Even though I have had 2 babies, I find it so difficult to buy unique baby shower gifts for others. After having a baby boy, I know that these Peepee Teepees would be a brilliant and hilarious gift!
I love a good photo, as I am sure many of you are aware of by now! I don't tend to use 'props' but how adorable would it be to have a newborn picture with these tails from different characters! They include a Mermaid, Shark, Lobster and a Goldfish.

Jackson is still at the start of his talking journey but he is already saying things that make me laugh! This Kid Quotes Memory Book is such a good way to remember them all.
We have just started weaning Florrie and I remember with Jackson that a plate, to a baby, is a great toy, leading to most of the food ending up on the floor. This Mini Happy Mat Plate is such a good way to try and stop quite as much food getting on the floor.

When I was a Nanny, I looked after a gorgeous boy who just loved lego. I remember back then thinking how it would just end up everywhere!! This Play and Go Storage Mat would be amazing at protecting your feet from all the painful times you step on a brick. 
I found so many things on the website that caught my attention but I obviously can't list them all. The last thing I wanted to share was in the Gifts for Men on this page - this Umbrella. An umbrella I hear you say? After all of the gorgeous items I've previously mentioned? However, it is pretty much the coolest thing that I have ever seen - an inverted, no drip umbrella. I would love one of these as there is nothing worse than coming in from the rain and dripping water all over the house!
Let me know what your favourite items are from the website and if you make any purchases! 

Love Sophia xxx

*This is a collaborative post with 'Uncommon Goods'.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Florence 5 month update

Dear Florrie Lu, 

Here is your 5 month update...

We got to celebrate our first fathers day with you this month, at the beach! It was also your first time in the sea, so we had a lovely time dipping your toes in the water and letting you kick your feet in the sand (Jackson helped with the splashing of course!). 

Speaking of beaches, you also went on your first airplane this month and you were so well behaved. We went to Greece, so you got to meet more of your extended family and you absolutely loved swimming in the pool and the sea. You were so easy while we were away and I think that you actually slept the best you ever have, despite the temperature - one day the it reached 44 degrees and it didn't seem to bother you at all!

The day we arrived back, you turned 5 months old and the next month is going to be just as exciting as you will soon be starting to eat real food.


You rolled over back to front for the first time and ever since then, you just don't stay still. Even in your buggy you are constantly kicking your legs. 

I feel that we have nailed bedtime now - you are so good at our little routine of bath, feed and then bed. You sometimes wake up at about 11ish just to have your dummy but then you normally go through until about 4am in the morning, when you wake for a quick feed. On holiday you would go down a little later but then wouldn't get up until 7ish. Fingers crossed this is something that will stick. 

Your still exclusively breastfed but in Greece you did have a lick of a tomato and some watermelon. When I took the tomato away you actually cried (Greek tomatoes are the best to be fair)!!!


In Greece, the routine was very different but we roughly worked out you needed a nap every 1 and 1/2 hours: 

7:00 - Wake and a feed
8:30 - Nap
9:00 - Feed
11:00 - Nap
11:30 - Wake 
13:00 - Feed and a nap
13:30 - Wake 
16:00 - Last nap
18:00 - Bath 
19:00 - Feed 
19:30 - Bed

Maybe then a 4am feed.


You are 13lbs and 1oz - still so dinky and still on the 9th percentile. You're still fitting into 0-3 month clothing but some are starting to get a bit snug.

Keep being your amazing little self, I can't wait to see what I will be writing in next month's update! 

Love you loads 
Mama xxx

Friday, 16 June 2017

Positive Morning

Having 2 children under 3 can be manic at times, especially in the mornings. Having a positive morning can make the day go so much better so I wanted to share some of my tips to get a good start to the day. I don't necessarily have time to do all of these every day but I do try!

Make lists
I have always loved a good list (sad I know!). I have yearly lists, monthly lists, daily lists, lists for my children and lists for my blog. Each evening before bed, I make a 'To Do' list for the next day and I then check this in the morning, normally when brushing my teeth. It makes me feel more in control of the day and the sense of achievement when I get to cross each thing off is brilliant! 

Tidy up the night before
I have to admit that this is Chris' job - he ensures that the living room and kitchen is clean and tidy before bed. This just means that when I get up in the morning, I don't come down to a messy house. 

Get up before the kids
I am pretty lucky that my kids aren't 5:00am wakers, as they generally get up between 7:30-8:00am, so as soon as I hear Jackson stirring I jump out of bed, shower and get ready for the day. I have learnt to do this incredibly quickly by now!

Get everything ready the night before
When Chris is bathing Jacks and Florrie, I generally get their clothes out, ready for the next day. I used to do this for myself too when I was working but now I have a limited amount of clothes that fit or are suitable for breastfeeding, so it's easy for me - whatever is clean will do! I also make sure that the changing bag is packed ready for the next day's activities. 

Open the curtains 
If you're like me and your house is like a fish bowl where everyone can see in, opening the curtains after your dressed is the only option! ;) 
But opening your curtains and a window lets the natural light and fresh air flow through the whole house and makes you feel a lot fresher. 

Before I fell pregnant with Jackson, I would often miss breakfast. However, now I couldn't go without eating something. I try to make sure I have a healthy breakfast and it means that you are not thinking of picking on food later and you are more alert for the day.

Make up
This doesn't necessarily have to be a full face of make up but doing something that makes you feel more put together really helps. This could include doing your hair, applying some make up or wearing something nice. I don't do this every day though, as I do have make-up free days in my PJ's when nothing is planned!

Remove make up at night
This goes on from the last one, making sure that before bed you take off your make up. This is something that I have always done but the rare days that I haven't brings a real shock when I wake up in the morning and see my face!!! Not a pretty sight.

Make the bed
When I wake up, I leave the duvets at the end of the beds to let them air for a bit. After breakfast I generally then head upstairs and make the beds. This automatically makes the rooms look neater and more organised. I also think that getting into an unmade bed is not nearly as satisfying. 

Let me know if you have any more tips! 

Love Sophia xxx

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Florence's 4 Month Update

We had our first holiday this month as a family of 4 and it was so good. It was so lovely to spend time all together. 

Dada and Mama had their first date night too, for which Grandma and Yaya looked after the kiddies - apparently both of them were very good. 

Another first as a family was going to a music festival, which was so much fun!!


Florrie rolled over for the first time! She could only do it front to back and is trying so hard to do it the other way but I am sure it wont be long. 

When we were on holiday, she also went swimming and, even though she did get a bit cold, she seemed to really enjoy it! Following on from that, she had her first swimming lesson this week and she absolutely loved it! She smiled and giggled throughout the whole class. 

Another amazing thing is this month is that she has started going down to bed earlier, around 7:30pm. We sometimes have to go back upstairs to put her dummy in but generally she stays asleep. 

Most nights she wakes round 3:00-4:00am for a feed but sometimes she will go all the way through the night!!!

She's still exclusively breastfed, which I am just finding so much easier! She's such an efficient feeder. 

We are starting to get much more alert times and she is starting to enjoy toys (she already has her favourites). She also found her voice and does this sort of squealing noise loads. 

She had her 16 week jabs, which did cause her to have a high temperature afterwards but she quickly recovered. 


Again, I am still not following any specific routine and feed on demand but this is roughly what she does on a day-to-day basis: 

7:30am - She wakes up and has a feed and will be awake for about 30 mins to an hour before falling asleep again.
9:30am - I wake her to get her dressed before we head out. I also give her a top up of milk. 
2:00pm - She has another feed.
4:00pm - Another feed.
6:00pm - Bath Time. 
7:30pm - Another feed and bed. 
3:00-4:00am - Normally wakes for another feed.

She tends to only cat-nap during the day but as she's so good at night I don't mind.  


12lbs 6oz and still following the 9th percentile but we have been to the doctors and hospital and she is doing amazingly. No one is worried anymore, she's just going to be a little girly! 

She is still in a few 0-3 month clothes but mainly wears 3-6 month ones. We have got so many beautiful clothes that we have either been given or bought ourselves that it takes me ages to pick her outfit for the day!

Love Sophia xxx

Monday, 12 June 2017

Slimming World update #2

You all seem to be enjoying my Slimming World related blogs so I thought I would share how this month has been.

I have been doing Slimming World for 8 weeks now (plus one week that I was on holiday for) and my total loss is now 1st 1lbs. So that makes this last month a total of 4lbs off. The weight loss has been a little slower recently but, as mentioned, I was on holiday and had a few events (one being a food festival... oops!). A few people have mentioned my weight loss now too, so it must be showing. 

I have a mini goal for my holiday, which is in 3 weeks, to lose another 4lbs. This would take me to pre-Florrie weight, which might be a bit tricky but I would be over the moon if I can achieve it. When I get back from the holiday, it will be 6 weeks until the wedding so will have another tough goal for that!!!!

I have tried to up my exercise this month in aid of the weight loss. Firstly, I have a Fitbit and try to do at least 10,000 steps per day. Secondly, I have started running. Before I had Jackson, I started using an app called 'Couch to 5k', which seemed to work really well, so I am using this again. I am just about to start week 2 and finding it a lot easier than I thought to fit it into the busy schedule of Mama-hood. I have also going with a friend which definitely keeps me motivated. I think another big reason I have found it easy to keep up with, is because it gives a bit of 'me time'. It's 30mins where I am not Mama, I am Sophia again (although I do look a bit like Phoebe from friends when I am running)! 

I'm afraid that I haven't been as experimental with food lately; still LOVING the Sweet Chilli Chicken recipe from Slimming World but one other one that I didn't mention last time is the Carbonara recipe. You use yogurt instead of cream, which I didn't think would be very good but it's amazing! The new magazine is out this week so I am going to try to be a little more experimental for the next month! 

Love Sophia

Monday, 22 May 2017

Open Letter to Florrie #1

Dear Florrie, 

You have been in our lives for just 3 months now and we already can't remember our lives without you. You have slotted into our family just perfectly.

You are such an easy baby; you are now sleeping through the night, which I don't mention too much otherwise I might have angry mothers at my door, ha ha!! As many family's second babies are, you have been thrown into the crazy world of a toddler, going to all of the loud classes and experiencing the madness of toddler groups, but you just go along with it, watching the world go by (that is when you are not sleeping!!).

We have been getting so many more 'alert' times with you recently, with you noticing your brother's crazy antics at the same time and I love watching you grow more and more each day. You always have a smile for him and you watch him play, giggling away. But you save your best giggles and smiles for your Dada, I can already see you becoming a 'daddy's girl'.

I can't wait to see your personality grow and wonder what you will do when you are grown up. Dada and I joke that you'll live in a nudest camp and be on one of those channel 4 documentaries! As soon as we undress you, you instantly start smiling and giggling!!! What ever you do, we will be proud of you!!

We have our special days together on a Friday, when your brother goes to Yaya's house. This is a day which I split between jobs and tons of one-on-one play time. Sometimes I just give you big cuddles while you sleep, which I could happily do all day!!!!

We are just about to head on your first holiday and I can't wait to spend time with you and your brother. Dada and I wont have any jobs to do so will have our 100% attention on you both and I just cant wait. 

Love you so much my little Florrie Lu!!

Mama xxx

Monday, 15 May 2017

Centre Parcs

We had another amazing trip to Centre Parcs, this time we went to the Woburn Forest one. It was a lot smaller than Longleat but for Jackson it was just so much easier because he was able to walk everywhere. 

Apparently, it also has an amazing spa, although we didn't have time/had the kids so we didn't get a chance to go this time around (maybe next time I'll be able to sneak off to have a look/a cheeky massage!). 

While we were there, we did a few activities: 

Baby Owls
I booked this one on a recommendation from a friend. Personally, I thought he might be a bit scared and not really get into it. How wrong was I! Jackson absolutely loved it!!! He held all of the owls and let them fly onto his hand with no fear. Chris and I enjoyed it as well. 

Electric Boats
We actually booked this on the day - last time we got a 'Pedalo' but this time we thought it would be easier with the kids to hire an electric one. It was so much fun and we even let Jackson drive it, which he loved (and then got annoyed when he was driving into the verge and Chris had to take over.) We even had to put Florrie in a life jacket, which made it hard to hold her with my jacket on as well, but she looked uber-cute! 

Soccer Play
This was a class for Chris and Jackson to do together, with me going along to watch. It was good but it was very much like the manic toddler groups I go to each week at home. Jackson's attention sometimes drifted off at parts. The instructor was very good but it wouldn't be one I would book again, although Jackson was very proud of his certificate.

Jackson loved this! He lasted about 30mins before he was bored and it was something nice to do before dinner. Unfortunatly, I had a bad neck so it wasn't too much fun for me.

As well as the activities, of course we went swimming too. It was so much fun and Jackson had a whale of a time. He must have gone up and down the slides 100 times (he slept so well afterwards!). We didn't get to do the adult slides, much to Chris' disappointment but they looked like so much fun too. The rapids were fun though, which we did get to go down. 

I have also filmed our trip so watch out for that post coming soon. 

Love Sophia xxx