Pretty notebook

Eddy and I both had our birthdays last week (Yes that's right- our birthdays are three days apart!) Whilst we were both spoilt rotten by our families and friends, on of my absolute favourite gifts was this beautiful notebook from Eddy's parents. I am a big notebook fan. I like to carry at least one in my handbag to be able to jot down anything from fresh blog ideas to shopping lists when I'm out and about. And, although I never seem to actually finish them, I always like having a fresh new one to hand. Call me strange but I just love the smell of new books and, as I flicked through the empty pages of this one, my mind started pondering all the ideas and plans it might hold one day!

I also can't help but love the slogan on the front of this one. What marriage doesn't need the daily reminder to put each other's spouse first?! It's a nice touch and an important reminder for our day to day lives to love one another and indeed, everyone we meet!

Happy Tuesday all!
Love Bunty!


Bargain of the week

I never really cared much for blankets before I had children...it's funny how things change! Now i'm all about snuggly moments with the kids on the sofa and keeping their toes nice and cosy. Because we do a fair bit of travelling as a family and we tend to travel at night as it makes the journeys much easier for Noah, I always like to be prepared for the cold air with lots of fluffy blankets to hand. Obviously, with a newborn in toe, it's all the more essential when moving Jonah out into the chilly air and into the car!
I was in Matalan this week and I found this beautiful fluffy blanket with a bird pattern all over. It's a really pretty blue colour and I thought it would be perfect for the boys. Noah immediately grabbed it when I got home and settled himself on the sofa with his cartoons and new blanket to snuggle. 

What really sold me on this blanket was the price- at £5 it was hard to say no to. These blankets are so easy to collect and, as the family grows, the more we have the better! If you're on the hunt, Primark also do great value for money blankets-I have picked up some of theirs on more than one occasion! 

The sizes of these blankets are also really generous. Because of that, I especially like to take these with us on our summer camping holidays as they keep everyone nice and warm and fold up small enough so as to only require minimal room in the ever shrinking space of our car boot!

I hope you're all having a lovely day!



New lunch bag

With having a newborn again and needing to have sterilised bottles in order every time we leave the house, I wanted to get a big enough 'lunch bag' to keep everything together for Jonah. As his nappy bag is pretty packed out with both his and Noah's things, I desperately needed a storage solution!

I found this cute boys lunch bag in Cath Kidston and it is the perfect answer to my search! It easily stores two bottles in the main compartment and the lower compartment stores the formula powder in its container. I love it! I think the cops and robbers design is so sweet too. What little boy wouldn't love this? Noah has taken a real liking to it- no surprise there! 
When we are out of the formula stage, I think both the boys will enjoy using this bag for their picnics and maybe even school lunches eventually!


Sister style

Last summer, Eddy and I took a trip to London where we had a few days 'getting away from it all'. As it was our anniversary, Eddy treated me to a few bits and pieces when we went shopping and one item was the pink version of this cute bag from Zara.

 What I liked about it so much was that it had a place for everything. I can't be dealing with a big bag that swallows up keys, phones and purses and requires a good five minutes of rummaging to find what you're looking for- especially when it's something to pacify an impatient toddler!
I like organisation and this bag is perfect for that! With two outside zip compartments and inside compartments, you always know where to find exactly what you want.

Anyway, my sister recently bought the blue version and I have seriously considered stealing it from her because it's such a pretty colour! Mine also happens to be rather worn now as I have used it pretty consistently since last summer. That's it's only downfall- it's not leather so, sadly, it won't last forever. However, as a bag to take you through the summer seasons, it's ideal.
I'm on the lookout for a new handbag at the moment and I just wish I could find a leather version of this, it would just tick all the boxes for me...the hunt continues!
Happy Friday all!
Love Bunty



Stars, stripes and dinosaurs

After doing a bit of a clothing haul for the boys recently, I realised I have subconsciously repeatedly opted for stars and stripes, especially in the babies' clothing. I don't know what it is about stripes but I love them. Not only are a large percentage of my own clothes stripey but so are my husband's now.

I also have a bit of a 'thing' for stars on the children's clothes and accessories. There are some lovely starry bits and pieces in the shops at the moment and Jonah particularly had been the focus of my starry themed shopping.

The other day when I was doing some birthday shopping for Eddy, I also picked up a few things for the babies and one item was this gorgeous dinosaur jumper from Marks and Spencers. Noah is really keen on dinosaurs at the moment and he spends a good part of his day practicing his 'roar,' so when I saw this jumper I couldn't resist!

I hope you're all having a great week!

Love Bunty



Noah has become quite the little 'dude' in the last few weeks. From his striving for independence at nearly every opportunity, to just wanting to be like his daddy, I can't help but smile as I watch him try to take on the world around him and make sense of it all.

Like many little boys of his age, right now two main interests of his are dinosaurs and cars. It's a good job that his uncle Joe shares his obsession for cars as there have been plenty to play with at my parents house and Noah has relished in having the space to run about growling at his soft dinosaur toys and 'brum brumming' his cars everywhere.

It's been lovely to watch him burn off energy at my parents house. It's a much larger property than ours and, consequently, the difference it makes to Noah's fatigue by the end of the day is remarkable. He is always just exhausted with the fun of running around everywhere!

Anyway, I want to share with you some happy photos of his busy little self playing with uncle Joe's cars yesterday... I hope you enjoy these :)

Happy Monday everyone!
Love Bunty



One month postpartum

Hello everyone- sorry this post is technically a day late like last week- I totally forgot to get it up yesterday! Here we are at a whole month postpartum- amazing! I'm feeling really good and settled this week. We have been visiting my parents to introduce Jonah to my brothers. As they are both severely disabled they haven't been able to get to Portsmouth to see us so it has been a lovely excuse to spend a few more days in the glorious Devonshire countryside!

I have managed to lose several more pounds so it's quite nice to know my pregnancy weight is steadily falling away. Without getting too caught up in weight loss, I do have an end goal and I'm glad to know that I am well on my way. But I know at the same time it's important to be realistic and patient with weight loss. Hopefully by the summer months i'll be feeling a bit closer to my old self!

Jonah has been doing really well this week. He is feeding lots and I am continuing to breastfeed and formula feed at the same time. Although I haven't had him weighed in a little while, I can see that his legs and body are filling out a bit more so the weight is definitely going on.

Jonah normally only wakes once or twice a night for a feed which is really nice! I tend to feed him around 10pm and then anywhere between 2-4am and then first thing in the morning around 7am. We have had a few busier nights than that but on the whole he is a contented little baby who lets his mummy and daddy get some rest. 'Touch wood' it stays that way!

I think that is pretty much everything for our one month update-until next month!

Love Bunty


Family in the sun

After the excitement of the eclipse this morning, we enjoyed a very warm day of sunshine that really left us feeling as if it were the middle of summer. We are having a few days in Devon with my family- introducing the baby to his uncles and just having a bit of a getaway from the city.

I can't believe how much of a difference being outside makes to your wellbeing and, as we took Noah and Jonah to the park today, both Eddy and I couldn't help but long for this kind of lifestyle. We were both really struck by the beautiful silence of the countryside all around us. All we could hear were the birds singing and Noah's excited screeching as he went down the slide a hundred times! 

The usual compelling need to have mobile phones on us vanished as we embraced simple good fun as a family. It's amazing how stepping outside of the 'normal routine' can make you question your habits. Why on earth would you need a mobile phone in your hand when there are such heavenly views all around you, just waiting for you to take them in with your eyes?

'Refreshing' is definitely the word for today. After a long time playing with Noah in the park, we retreated home with one very worn out toddler. During his afternoon nap I got the opportunity to get my trainers on and go for a run. I opted for my favourite route which holds so many memories for me: the same route that many of my siblings have come to love when we are home. It always jerks the memory of 'getting fit' before my sister's wedding and then, subsequently my own back in 2012. 

 It is a very hilly route which takes you through some of the most picturesque country scenes- a real feast for your eyes. In total it amounts to about 3 1/2 miles which was enough for me, haha! Needless to say I was ready to relax when I got home.

Today has just been such a gift of a day. The warm sun on our skin and the dry grass to roll about in has given us a much needed opportunity to just be and forget about all worries and concerns.

Happy weekend everyone!

Love Bunty


Beefayre candles

Just after Noah was born we were kindly gifted a beautiful hamper of baby accessories, clothes and 
some gorgeous products to enhance relaxation and a sense of calm. One of the products I received were these sweet little bluebell and wood anenome scented tea light candles from Beefayre. I have 
not come across this brand before but the packaging was too cute to ignore and I quickly went to check out their website.

Beefayre are a UK based company who donate 3% of all profits to bee conservation. Right at the heart of their mission is a desire to conserve nature and that is reflected in their beautiful designs on their candles, health products and homeware- to name but a few of their range products.

These tea light candles smell quite amazing. They really remind me of the warm summer months and I can't wait to light them and enjoy whiling away some evenings when the days get a little longer here in England. 

I hope you're all having a lovely evening- almost the weekend now!

Love Bunty



Why I chose to formula feed my babies

Today I wanted to post about something that tends to be a bit controversial in the world of mummies and new babies. Before my first baby Noah arrived I had quite a highly strung view on the age-old debate of breast feeding versus bottle feeding. Of course I was going to breast feed Noah because that's what you're supposed to do as mother, right? The point was drilled in further at just about every antenatal appointment I had and I remember feeling excited to begin feeding and nourishing my baby once he was born.
I had read the books, 'learnt' the positions (as far as I could pre-birth) and when Noah was born I felt confident that he would be breastfed right from the word go.

What I hadn't considered through my own naivity was the possibility (small though it may be) that I just wouldn't be able to provide the necessary milk supply to maintain his tiny body. Noah's first week of life was possibly the most stressful of mine as I breastfed him continually around the clock. I'm in no way exaggerating by saying he fed pretty much every hour for very long periods of time. I didn't really understand why his feeds seemed to go on for so long and why they had to be quite so frequent but, as a first time mum, I just went along with it.
It wasn't until day three or four that a problem was noticed. The figures for his weight just didn't seem to add up. I was doing my hardest to feed him on next to no sleep for myself and yet he was consistently losing weight to a point where he was almost admitted into hospital.
My confidence in breastfeeding all of a sudden was shattered. Why wouldn't it just work? What was wrong with me? Just a few of the questions I was asking myself amidst the near constant pressure from well-meaning health care visitors to just keep going... "try this, try that".

The reality was that my poor baby was hungry, losing weight, not receiving nearly enough nutrition from me and all of a sudden the idea of introducing a bottle feed was our only option. 

I remember giving him that first bottle feed and crying because it felt like I was poisoning him- a result of the pressure I felt put under to souly breast feed and how I was repeatedly told formula was a poor substitute for the high value of breast milk. In the end it was still drilled into me that breast really was the best option- even at the apparent risk of making Noah very poorly. However, after a few days of combination feeding he was weighed and, for the first time since birth, he had a gain! I couldn't believe how well he did and how much I have that first formula feed to thank for making him finally turn the corner and begin putting weight on.

After that initial hurdle, I never looked back. I managed to combine breast feeding with plenty of bottle feeds in-between for six months before I gave up breast feeding as he was keen for solid foods by that point.

In the weeks leading up to Jonah's birth many of these old memories re-surfaced and I wondered whether we would be in for the same experience this time around. I remained optimistic about having a go at breastfeeding and seeing how he got on. Yet within Jonah's first couple of days the same pattern began to form with his need for constant feeding and a very minimal weight gain which, again, was not consistent with the amount of time spentbreast feeding him. My husband and I took the approach not to hang about waiting to be advised that I was doing the right thing- even if baby was going a bit hungry! We got our formula and bottles together and slowly introduced them to Jonah, much to his apparent delight. We now have a calm and contented little baby that didn't have to go through half the stress Noah did in his first weeks. Thankfully, I'm still breastfeeding and I plan to continue for as long as I can. 

 I now recognise that in my case, as with many other mothers out there, breastfeeding really wasn't enough for my hungry boys. I couldn't keep up with their demand to be fed and, as emotionally difficult as it is to accept that reality as a mother, I am so thankful that formula is so easily accessible to us. It has saved my boys from a really difficult start to life and has completely transformed my previously judgmental views about formula feeding.

In the end I have come to believe that breast isn't necessarily best. A happy, healthy baby is best and whatever approach you take to reach that end goal is the right way for you and your family, regardless of your preference of feeding. 

There is a lot of pressure, particularly on young mums to breastfeed and sometimes at the expense of both baby and mother. It's a shame my own experience was a bit tainted by poor advice but I'm glad I have the confidence to know a bit more this time around and to know myself a bit more.

So, to all the breastfeeding and bottle feeding mums out there- you're doing a fantastic job and at the end of the day, if your child is well, content and gaining weight, that is really all that matters!

Happy Wednesday all!
Love Bunty


Reality check

Yesterday I spent the day with my older sister and her family as we happened to have an appointment close to their home anyway. What was going to be a quick cuppa and chat turned into a full day playdate for the children and a really therapeutic catch up with my sister and her husband.
One of the things we were discussing was 'blog culture' if you like, and more precisely my own insecurities with my content and imagery.
I've said from the start that I feel a certain moral obligation to be realistic with my readers and to always remind them that the pretty picture on a blog post is not representative of our whole day, much less our whole life.

If any of you are familiar with Instagram you will know it is a powerful resource to quickly access a world of imagery and often to find inspiration through the photos other people upload. It has become for many people a visual diary of interests, hobbies and ideas; a sneak peek into somebody else's world where you can choose to 'follow' their Instagram logging if you so desire.

As much as I love photography and learning more of the technicalities behind taking a photo,(courtesy of my husband who's wealth of knowledge is the only reason I know anything about cameras!) I have recently become disenchanted with what I have come to nick name as the 'quest for perfection'. For example, I find it disheartening that the amount of 'followers' you have seems to represent your online value. As with my blog, it would be pretentious for me to imply my life is perfect through my photos and time and time again I feel confronted by the competitive nature of online imagery.

In the end you either make the mistake of comparing yourself to other people, (where 99.9% of the time you judge yourself unfavourably) or you enter into this pseudo-competition to look the best, be the best and and cover any potential flaws. I have fallen fool to this so many times. Even though I am not teen anymore, I am a married mother of two; you might think I'm secure in myself but I still struggle with many of the same old issues that were prevalent in my teens. Ultimately the biggest question is 'am I good enough' or simply, 'am I enough?' Unfortunately, the images we are bombarded with constantly encourage us to think negatively of ourselves. After all, no walking human being is airbrushed in real life are they? I'm pretty sure those beautiful models wearing all the latest trends occasionally have bad hair days too, right?!

There have been days (like yesterday) where I have felt a bit like throwing in the towel. The temptation to beat myself up because it's just not good enough tends to always come from an unfair comparison i've made. I think women are particularly susceptible to comparing ourselves to others and it is a really hard cycle to break when the media and social media are so relentless.
 But taking a step back I have to remind myself that perfection doesn't exist. Not even in a photograph. I have achieved far more in my real life than I ever will in my 'virtual' life of blogging and that is when I have to remember why I began in the first place- to make memories and share my thoughts with my readers.

I have my sister to thank for her amazing sense of perspective and I'm glad I got to chat a few things through with her because I feel much less anxious now. In the last month, Ive probably uploaded about 14 blog posts and several Instagram images. To some that might not seem like much but I also gave birth, I recovered from quite a traumatic delivery and as a family we have been adjusting to the  addition of a newborn. Jonah was diagnosed with a tongue-tie which was divided yesterday (not a very nice procedure for any parent to watch) and to top it all off we are moving house. I'm pretty content that my real life is far more interesting and full in all its imperfections and surprises than my photo logging will ever be. And I think that is the true beauty of life, imperfections and all!

I'd like to say that because I've written this post I will never fall into the trap of comparing myself with the next person or that i'll be secure in myself and my own achievements. The truth is that it is so deep rooted that it is a daily battle to decide to not fall victim and to make the conscious decision to rest assured that I'm valuable enough. I would like to urge you, if you feel you relate in any way to some of these issues, to know that you are enough and you certainly don't need a social media following to confirm that. 

The quest for perfection is fruitless because none of us are perfect and trying to appear that way will only end in a lack of fulfilment for yourself. Trust me, I know this first hand! Sometimes we all need a bit of a reality check- away from the non-reality of social media which is so heavily fuelled by our inherent need to be confirmed by others through a 'like' click or a positive comment from a stranger. Have a reality check away from social media: a coffee with a good friend can be enough to push you in the right direction. 

Thank goodness for sisters!



March Favourites

Hello lovlies! I thought I would pop together a favourites post as it has been a while. Although march is not over yet there are a few products I could name as favourites this month. Yes, they are all makeup related (you know me!) and they have all impressed me recently.

First up is this beautiful bronzer by The Body Shop. Now, I am not the biggest fan of bronzer as I find it is overdone all too often and nobody wants to look like an Oompa loompa do they? But, I have to admit I have been craving just a hint of colour on my face as during the winter months my natural skin reverts to a very pale shade indeed! I have been using the tiniest amount of this on a big fluffy brush to just create a healthy glow which not only conceals signs of sleep deprivation but actually makes me look like I have seen the sun. But the trick is ladies, use only a little on the areas the sun would naturally catch on your face.
 This product should last me a realllly long time and so far I'm really enjoying it and I have to say that packaging is right up my street- clean, unfussy and very practical!

My Burts Bees lip balm was one I bought for my hospital stay in Feb but I have been wearing it non-stop this month too. My lips have a tendency to feel dry at the best of times- regardless of how much water I drink, sadly! But this little guy has really been making a difference. I pop it on first thing in the morning when I apply my makeup and I just find it has been really helping to keep my lips hydrated and smooth. Plus, it helps that it smells divine! I got the mango butter one and it is just beautiful!

I have also been loving a new mascara find which is Bourjois' push up volume glamour. My old max factor one had run dry and so I was on the hunt for something with a really soft brush application- my preferred choice. This mascara really ticked the boxes I like: it has a large soft brush which is really gentle on the lashes. It also provides really great coverage and is buildable so you can opt for a 'barely there' look, or apply in layers for something a bit more dramatic!

My highlighter from The Body Shop is an old love of mine. I used to wear this a lot as a teen and I still love it now. I don't know how many times I have repurchased this over the years but the colour just really works with my skin tone and just provides the perfect gentle glow. I like to wear this over my makeup, on its own with no makeup, or mixed with my foundation. It's pretty versatile that way which is great because if you just want to make your skin look alive and fresh it's a great product to pop on with nothing else- I do this a lot in the summer months! Equally, its a great product to mix with foundation to enhance that natural glow and provide beautiful dewy finish.

My lipstick is a recent purchase from the Barry M counter. It was a bit of a whim purchase as that colour just screamed to me 'spring is here' and I couldn't resist! Don't be fooled though, it is quite sheer so you can really build up to that colour if you wish, or just have a hint of colour on your lips if you're not really digging full on lilac lips.

So there we have it! My march faves, what where yours?
Love Bunty



The monday morning bake

 This morning I really fancied getting my apron on and doing some baking. Of course at the mention of 'cake' I had one very willing little helper on hand and, after some decision making, Noah and I settled on baking a Lemon loaf sponge together.

 I personally love lemon cake, it is just such a lovely afternoon treat and, when baked well, is just light enough to see you through the mid-afternoon gap without feeling like you have over-indulged. Whilst chocolate cake will always be a firm favourite, the thought of a light lemon cake after dinner tonight really tempted me and I couldn't say no!

The recipe I have used today is from Tanya Burr's book 'Love Tanya' which I picked up after it's recent release. I love how simple and easy this recipe is. I'm pretty certain a five year old could have a  decent go at this, honestly!

The ingredients I used for the cake were:

3 eggs
170g self-raising flour
170g caster sugar
170g butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
zest of 2 lemons

and for the icing:
150g icing sugar
juice of 2 lemons

I preheated my oven to 180 0c and greased a loaf tin with butter. Next, I mixed the flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and zest of 2 lemons into a bowl and then gradually stirred in the eggs too. Then I poured the mix into my lined loaf tin and baked in the oven for about 35 minutes. After sliding in a knife to check if the cake had cooked, (it should come out clean when the cake is fully baked) I decanted the cake onto a cooling rack and pierced it all over with a knife.
Whilst the cake was still hot I got to work on making the icing which I poured all over the top. The piercings in the top of the cake allow for the zesty icing to sink into the sponge and add extra flavour to the cake- delicious!

This is a great cake to serve for afternoon tea as it is especially simple to make and oh so gorgeous to eat!


Love Bunty
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