Keeping stress at bay on your wedding day

Most of us experience stress from time to time. When you’ve been planning a wedding, things can get on top of you. You may wonder how on earth you’re going to make it down the aisle in one piece after months of dealing with lists and tables. If you’re prone to anxiety, or you’re panicking about last-minute hitches, here are some handy hints to keep stress at bay on your wedding day.


Be organised from the outset
Organisation is key when you’re planning any event. At the beginning, get to grips with lists and spreadsheets and manage your time effectively. If you’re organised from day one, this will save you a lot of hassle, time and money further down the line. Invest in a wedding planning diary and keep copies of invoices. Always ask for written quotes and booking confirmations. If you have all the information to hand, and you know that everything is sorted, you can relax on your big day. 


Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/psychemedia/2945008845


Stick to a budget
Finances are a major cause of anxiety and stress when it comes to wedding planning. The last thing you want to be worrying about when you’re walking down the aisle is money. Don’t overstretch yourself in the run-up to your wedding.  Before you start booking anything, work out what you can afford to spend. If you have a set budget in mind, this will help you to plan without overspending. If you stick to your guns, and you have a clear idea of how much you’ve spent, this will give you peace of mind on the day.




Provide your guests with important information
You want your guests to arrive at the ceremony without any last-minute panics. To prevent logistical hiccups, provide your guests with plenty of notice and essential information. Once you’ve set a date, design and order some save the date cards and post them out to friends and family. It’s a good idea to include an information sheet with your invitations. This will give guests details of directions and timings. You could also add information about gifts, accommodation options and dress code. Use customised designs such as those offered by Paper Themes wedding stationery to give guests hints about the theme. Keep a list of those who have RSVP’d, and set a deadline. Contact those who haven’t responded as the deadline approaches so that you have final numbers well in advance.


Book a couple of days off beforehand
Many couples get stressed when their big day is approaching. But remember that this is the most special event of your life. Take a step back, and enjoy the last couple of days of the planning process. Book a couple of days off work and do something fun. Try to stay relaxed. Don’t think about guest lists or table plans. Put your feet up, go for a massage or book a table at your favourite restaurant.

Try some stress management techniques
We all cope with stress in different ways. If you’re under pressure, or you feel anxious, try some coping techniques. Many people find it beneficial to exercise when they feel stressed. Exercise distracts your mind, and it also helps to release tension. It also gives your mood and energy levels a boost. You may also find massage or meditation effective. The day before your wedding, schedule a workout and then unwind with a hot bath. Light some candles and put some soothing music on. Invite your bridesmaids around for a nice meal and a chilled evening.

On the day, take deep breaths and try to stay calm. Remember that the people there are the ones you love most in the world. Everyone wants to see you beaming with happiness, so enjoy every second.

Image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/denniswong/2413988302

Divert problems to your best man The last thing you want is people calling you with last-minute questions on your wedding day. Make sure you include the best man’s phone number on your invitation so that any calls go to them on the big day. You don’t want to be dealing with buses running late or lost guests when you’re having your makeup done. There’s no doubt that planning a wedding can be stressful. There are so many things to book, pay for, and keep track of. On your wedding day, you want to feel relaxed, confident and most importantly, happy. Plan ahead, sort out logistics and keep track of what’s going on. If you’re organised, this will make you feel calmer on the big day. Spend the evening before chilling out with friends and family, meditate, or enjoy a relaxing yoga session. Get plenty of sleep, and remember to take deep breaths.

* This is a collaborative post

Sealife Centre London



Our favorite thing to do as a family is have a good day out. Whether its to the farm, zoo or even soft play. We love to find something fun to do at weekends! I've compiled a list recently of fun things to do this summer and it included going to an aquarium. When I was asked if I fancied going to the Sea Life Centre in London I jumped at the chance as it was one thing to tick off our list of things to do, as well as being something new for Blake to experience. 

On Sunday morning we popped onto the train and then on the underground to get us to the Sea Life Centre. This trip also happened to be Blake's first time in London which made even more special. 


Once we arrived we were lucky the queue wasn't too long and picking up our tickets were easy. Once we got inside we started to look around and explore what every zone had to offer. Blake absolutely loved it he was looking around in awe and clapping and squealing when he saw something that excited him. The sea life centre have attempted to include as many fun and colorful species as possible within the space they have. 



As you go around the Sea Life Centre you follow a pre-planned route which is great in the sense you wont be able to miss any of your favorite marine life creatures. One thing I found tricky was that some areas were really busy and we found it tricky to move around with the buggy we also had the issue of being pushed out the way by some people who wanted to get closer to the front (mainly adults). 

Overall though the attraction was a fun and enjoyable experience with a fab selection of interesting and colorful species. We didn't have much interaction with the staff to be honest but when we did they were polite and helpful. There were plenty of things to see and do and they had a huge message regarding conservation which was continual theme throughout the centre.

Our favorite zone of the Sea Life Centre has to be the penguin point which we found to be one of the busiest areas. Blake really loved seeing the penguins and it was great to see Blake having  so much fun and how happy he was going around seeing all the different species.



I can't really fault anything in regards to the Sea Life Centre although maybe the prices are a little bit high.  If your thinking of going it would probably be a good idea to book online as there are quite a few offers. Such as up to 20% off ticket prices depending on other attractions you may decided you want to visit.

Ticket Prices are as follows: 
Adults: £23.50
Children Under 3: Free
Children 3-15: £16.95 
Family: £70.64
  

Have you ever been to the London Sea Life Centre? If so I'd love to know what you think.

* We were provided tickets from Sea Life Centre London for the purpose of this post. However all photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own. 

Parenting Health and Safety Rules

Wherever you work it is important to look up and know about the health and safety rules in regards to your job. If an accident were to happen and you didn't follow procedures you could be in trouble. If you are a manager or supervisor you could be in trouble if members of staff are unaware of important procedures.  NEBOSH Certificate Courses are ideal for anyone wanting to gain a strong knowledge in occupational health & safety practice. It is a must for anyone working as Managers, supervisors and employee representatives. 

When it comes to parenting it can be pretty hard work and it can sometimes feel as you need some health and safety rules. 

As a parent I have come across some funny parenting health and safety rules which I wanted to share with you: 

- When testing baby's bottle put a small amount on your wrist. Swigging from the bottle isn't recommended. 
- When keeping your baby in a safe place a cage is probably not a wise idea
- When introducing baby to pets it's recommended not to put them in the goldfish tank
- When doing laundry remove child before washing
- Bathing baby means not using a hose 
- When drying your child's clothing remember to take them out before you hang on the line
or put in the tumble dryer. 
- Make sure you have a bottle of wine nearby for poop explosions (for you not baby) 
- When playing a game of throwing and catching with baby, remember to throw a ball, not baby.
- When potty training remember that potty belongs on the bum not on the head (especially when full)
- When disciplining make sure that you put your child in time out not yourself.
-When putting up the buggy do not break your ribs (my husband actually did this) 
- Changing mats are not boogie boards

Have you come across any funny parenting health and safety rules?


* This is a collaborative post 

Digital Download film favorites this summer


Summer is the perfect time to relax, many people go away this time of year and if you just want to relax and have some entertainment when your travelling or by the pool than why not consider digital downloads. This way you have got your favorite films at your finger tips. 

If you love sun bathing whether on the beach or by the pool but aren't into reading why not soak up some rays and enjoy some of these fab film favorites: 

-Heart of the Sea
- 33
- Pan
- Intern 
- Lego Movie

You can also have movies such as Lego movie to keep your children entertained as who wants to hear "I'm bored" when your relaxing or getting stuck into a good book. Digital downloads are also great for when your relaxing once your little one is down for a nap or they are tucked up fast asleep for the night so your unable to go out. 

What do you think of underfloor heating?




Underfloor heating seems to be getting more popular these days and underfloor heating trade supplies are wanting to know your thoughts on underfloor heating. It would be great if you could fill in this short survey.


We don't have underfloor heating in our flat but it is something we probably would consider if we owned our own home. Other than not owning our own property the only thing that would be stopping us from doing so would be the cost initially and for insulation. 

Do you have underfloor heating? If not would this be something you would consider? 

Things to do outside this summer


Getting the children outside during the summer can be pretty tricky especially when if comes to social media and using gadgets such as smart phones and Ipads. 

However it is so important for children to get outside first of all it's the best way of getting vitamin D which is provided by the sun which helps promote better moods, energy levels, memory and overall health. Some other great benefits include building up their immune system and it provides children exercise. 

The Camping and Caravanning Club are campaigning to get children out and about this summer instead of cooped up indoors. They have conducted some research and here are some of their findings

- 44% of adults worry their children aren't as happy as they were as a child

- 96% of adults believe that they were happier as a child because they spent more time outdoors

- 72% think social media is affecting children's ability to interact and engage with others

- 86% think encouraging kids to spend more times outdoors would help the obesity 'epidemic'




With these findings I have decided to compile a list of some fun activities that you can do with your children outside this summer: 

- Camping
- Go to some local parks
- Go to the beach
- Visit the Farm/Zoo
- Play the in garden 
- Get the paddling pool out
- Do a Nature trail
- Go for a walk in the woods
- Have a BBQ/Picnic
- Feed the ducks
- Go for a bike ride
- Visit a water park 
- Go to an outdoors natural trust site
- Enjoy messy play (its easy to clean up outdoors) 
- Hold a scavenger hunt
- Make Nature rubbings
- Go on a bear hunt
- Paint with water
- Play games such as tag
- Construct a water wall 
- Go crabbing
- Use chalk outside on the pavements
- Water fights
- Look for bugs
- Set out camp in your garden
- Play ball games
- Mud Pies
- Star/cloud gazing 
- Visit a lavender field
-Go strawberry picking 
- Go foraging 
- Get out and find new places to visit. 


I hope you have found this list useful. Do you have any more fun ideas of what you can do outdoors this summer? 

Breakfast Fun with Hipp Organic


Blake is extremely fussy when it comes to meals so when we got the chance to try out some of the HiPP Organic cereal range, to add some fun to breakfast time. I was hoping that Blake would at least give them a try. HiPP Organic have introduced a NEW range of flavoursome and fruity toddler breakfast cereals with no added sugar, suitable for tots aged 15 months+.

Blake was sent the two new delicious combinations HiPP Organic Fruity O's and HiPP Organic Fruity Muesli with crispy ducks. The HiPP Organic cereals are designed to offer parents variety when it comes to cereal and great alternative to cereals with a higher sugar content. HiPP Organic’s delicious cereals are made with the finest organic ingredients, providing toddlers with a healthy nutritious breakfast to start the day.

We chose to start Blake out on the HIPP Organic Fruity O's since he loves cheerios and they look a little similar just smaller. The first time we tried him on them he didn't want to know but we tried again and he ate all ones apart from the red ones which he pushed to the side. 





We then tried him out on the HiPP Organic fruity muesli which is packed with real dried fruit pieces, fun crispy cereal shapes and wholemeal flakes. It's a great cereal for helping parents to encourage new flavors and textures. Unfortunately with Blake being fussy every attempt has resulted with the cereal ending up on the floor. I can only assume he wasn't keen on these as he did have one tiny mouthful. 

Overall I feel that the new range are great for toddlers to give them more of a variety at breakfast time. We really like that the cereals are made with the finest organic ingredients with no added sugar. We also love that they have a good range of flavors and textures for toddlers to enjoy. 

Things to do in summer




As the sun has finally arrived and the summer holidays are fast approaching you may need some ideas of what to get up to. The local classes we usually go to have stopped for 6/7 weeks so we will be finding other fun things to do. Some ideas are also great for when the weather isn't so great. 

Here is a list to help you out when your a bit stuck with what to do: 

- Go to some local parks
- Go for a walk
- Go to the beach 
- Make some crafts
- Go swimming
- Visit the Zoo 
- Play in the garden (if your lucky enough to have one)
- Read books
- Play in the paddling pool
- Bake a cake
- Spend the day watching films
- Do a nature trail 
- Go for a walk in the woods 
- Go for a walk around a lake
- Go strawberry picking
- Make a den 
- Visit a farm 
- Have a BBQ
- Visit the library 
- Have a picnic
- Visit a museum 
- Go camping
- Feed the ducks
- Go to an aquarium 
- Go to the fair
- Go to the cinema
- Go to a local soft play center 
- Feed the ducks
- Go bowling
- Go for a bike ride
- Visit a water park
- Go to a National Trust site
-Blow bubbles
- Messy Play


I hope this post has been helpful to you and have given you some ideas for the summer holidays. I'm going to try and do as many of these as possible to make most of the summer. 

Blake's Toddler Room


Hey guys! So I am finally getting round to showing you Blake's bedroom he is nearly 19 months after all. I've been wanting to do this post for awhile now but I was never happy with what Blake's room looks like,until now that is. The room itself is a good size and walls were already painted blue when we moved in before we even knew we were having a boy. 

When it came to Blake's room I knew from day one that I wanted a room that would grow with him. To be honest there isn't really a set theme but I like it like that and its easy to change up when and if it needs to be. We've enjoyed sorting out Blake's room although its taken awhile for me to show you all. 

Storage is important when you have children especially in their bedrooms so check out these 4 easy storage ideas as well.


Blake's cot is from Mothercare and is the white Padstow cot bed which we got along with a mattress as a gift from my mother in law and step father in law. We chose a cot bed as its suitable for ages up to four years so we wont need to buy a toddler bed. 

I like that there is room under the cot to store things we currently have his tuff tray, scuttle bug and a few other toys safely underneath. 


Both Blake's wardrobe pictured below and his chest of drawers (with the car garage on top) are from Ikea. I store Blake's memory box, a teddy and some other toys and bits and bobs on top out of the way and inside his wardrobe I have his clothes organised on hangers and shelves.


In the corner next to his wardrobe he has his Football goal toy which my sister got him for Christmas and some storage boxes which I got from Amazon (I'll try and link everything I can below) The boxes are a great size and I love the wicker basket that holds all his cuddly toys in. 


On the wall above the storage boxes we have this alphabet canvas print which was
from my sister before Blake was born. 


Then we have the window which have a few bits and bobs on which were all gifts from family for either Christmas or from his christening day. 


Underneath the window we have Blake's toy box which on top I keep his large Iggle Piggle toy which Stuart picked up for Blake and two personalised cushions. We also store a blue storage box on there with all Blake's toy cars are kept.  



Then we have a book/toy shelf where I've put a couple of toys and bits on top. 
He's got x3 pale blue boxes which store things like his happyland or in the night garden figures in, miscellaneous toys and one which holds puzzles in. The rest of the shelves are for books. 



Then we have his chest of drawers which I was on about early from Ikea they are the Malm ones and on top of that we have his ELC car garage, his elephant slumber buddy and his Gro egg. 

We then have this car rug from Ikea which Blake loves playing with his car garage on. 
We also have another frame on his wall which is a foot print with his name, DOB, birth weight, etc but I forgot to take photo of that as my camera battery died. 






So there you go, you've finally had a chance to see what Blake's room is like. 
I hope you have enjoyed this post I'd love to know what your favorite item/s are so comment below.

Lottoland



I'd never heard of Lottoland until I was approached by them recently. I thought that I wouldn't mind seeing what the service is like and how it works. I'm not usually a gambler; I have done the Euromillions, the National Lottery and bought a few scratch cards here and there before but very rarely.  So when it comes to using the website to and do the lotto's  what is different is that you are not actually purchasing a lottery ticket. Instead, you are betting on the outcome of the lottery. I've never done this kind of betting before so is all new to me but the concept  gives you the opportunity to play along and bet on lotteries that are not normally available to us. 

Some of the lotto's which I were interested in are the euromillons, irish lotto and powerball.
The Euromillons most people have heard of but I didn't know of the Irish lotto or Powerball as well as many of the other lotto's you could bet on. 


To play, it is the exact same way as other lotteries you select your numbers, sit back and wait for the draw which are activated for Wednesday's and Saturday's.


I also gave some of the scratch cards a go which you can buy in 1's ,5's and 10's.
Some are as little as 15p a ticket and with most you just have to match 3 of the same numbers or pictures to win. I won 5p and 25p quite a few times on them.

The website is pretty easy to use and is very easy to find what you are looking for whether its Euromillions, Mega millions, more jackpots, scratch cards and games.  




Stress, Anxiety and Me


It's happening again the surge overwhelming panic, heart palpitations, feeling as if I can't breath. It something that happens to me quite frequently recently. Something I've never really talked about on here but something I need to get off my chest. 

I've always been a worrier for as long as I can remember. When I was at school I worried about people liking me, about my lessons, about my exams, pretty much everything to be honest. But since having Blake this has become something that is happening a bit more regularly. 

I've had a lot of stress and anxiety recently and things that may seem nothing to others have been bothering me no end. I've also had  labyrinthitis a few weeks ago which hasn't helped things. Sometimes the silly things that are bothering me are things such as not having enough hours in a day to do all housework that is needing to be done, write blog posts, go to groups with Blake as well as playing with him throughout the day. Other times it's bigger things such as the fact we are out growing our flat but rental prices are ridiculously high to be able to afford to move to the bigger place we need.

I recently had an appointment with the health visitor and found out that Blake is a bit behind in his development in a few areas so is being referred to see someone about that. This has made me feel useless and that maybe I should be trying harder with my son and that I am letting him down as a mum. In a way I think the stress and anxiety of that may be what brought on me having labyrinthitis the other week so I've been trying to take it more easy recently. I also spoke to my GP about how I've been feeling and have now also been prescribed something to help me when I feel like i'm going to have a panic attack or just need it to help with my stress levels and anxiety. 

As you can see the bigger problems should be bothering me more than fitting what I need to into my day.

Last year I did a little course (thanks to my local children's centre) on mental health. The course was called healthy minds and was a great way to help me with a wide range of mental health issues so I think its time to get the pack out and to focus on getting myself sorted. 

I'm cutting down my blog posts for awhile and sticking to about 2/3 posts a week rather than trying to fit 5 or more in each week. I feel that by doing this it means I still am able to blog which I love to do but by cutting down my work load I can start feel more relaxed and hopefully start to feel much more like myself once again.

Amazon Prime Day Favorites



Lets face it shopping online is so much easier especially if your a parent.
Today July 12th is Prime Day! A day where you can get some amazing deals and sales on Amazon. The deals are only available for Amazon Prime members but don't worry you can sign up for a free 30 day Amazon Prime trial.

If you are wondering what the great reasons to sign up to Amazon Prime than keep reading. 

 1. You get free One day delivery on all Prime items, which is the vast majority. 

2. Prime now with  One and two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items in select areas

3. Amazon Family, which gives Prime Members up to 20% off nappies, exclusive coupons and more.

4. Prime Video giving you the chance of unlimited streaming of films and tv shows 

5. Prime Music giving you the chance to listen to over a million songs, ad-free stations and hundreds of hand-built playlists.

Now onto my favorite deals: 

- Prime members for today only are entitled to a £5 promo code for future purchase when you spend £30 on an Amazon gift card

- You can save £15 on a  Kindle Fire tablet meaning it will cost you £34.99 instead of £49.99. 

-  40% off on a range of TV's 

- This fab electric pressure cooker is down to £82.99 from £129.99

- The New Oral-B Pro 6000 toothbrush is down from £79.79 to £55.99

I plan on also sharing a few deals over on my facebook page so please check that out!

Baby Number 2? ( Not yet)


It's been over two years now since I saw the two lines on a pregnancy test  and from when Blake was first born I've always had the question on when we are going have another one. 
Not if we are going to have another one when! The question has been asked far too many times for my liking since Blake turned a year old back in December. 

For me having another child is definitely an If rather than when for many reasons. The main reason is because of what I went through to have Blake. 

Having PCOS means that try to conceive can be pretty tricky. My first step was to start loosing weight which is why in 2013 I chose to start doing slimming world. I then was referred to the hospital for tests, simple tests such as a scan to see if I did indeed have cysts on my ovaries but also intrusive tests which were rather uncomfortable. Then I was put on metiformin and fertility drugs  and had to have a blood test every month to see if I was ovulating, which I was so the drugs were working. I did fall pregnant pretty quick on them but that isn't the case for everyone and some people find that they can't have children so I hate that people have to question others about when they will have children or when they will have another. 

So guess what will happen if we choose to have another child? I'm going to have to go through that all over again. At this moment in time it's not something I am ready for. I know some people go through a lot worse to have a child but I feel people need to be far more considerate around asking such a personal question.