5 Must Haves for Babies First Christmas

Yes, I know it’s only October. But October is nearly over and Christmas is less than two months away. Instead of the usual gift guide I have put together a list of categories to give you ideas if you are stuck for gift buying. My Amelia will be 7 months old at Christmas. My partner and I have already agreed that we are not going to spend a lot as she won’t really understand and will be spoilt rotten by her uncles, grandparents and all our friends. Below are five things Amelia will have. All of them are priced under £20 and are perfect for little ones.

1) A Keepsake
We found this gorgeous ‘my first Christmas’ bauble in Clinton Cards. It is similar to a snow globe and has space for a photo. It’s really pretty and is a perfect reminder of Amelia’s first Christmas to hang on our tree every year.

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2) A Bed Time Story
I’m a firm believer in a bed time routine. Once Amelia starts getting sleepy we bath her and give her her bedtime bottle. Our perfect story book is Find My Name in the Alphabet Train by Dr Niamh. It’s so well designed, colourful and is personalised with your little ones name. The character inside is also designed based on eye colour, hair colour and skin tone so your little one can actually find themself in the book . In the back you can choose a message to have written. It’s also something to keep in a memory box once your little one has out grown it. It’s available here.

3) Something to Play With
Amelia has plenty of toys but as she gets bigger and is learning she needs more stimulating things. I found these wonderful wooden puzzle sets on studio, they come in a wooden box which is personalised with your little ones name.

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4) Something Warm and Cosy
For this category I picked a lovely soft pink dressing gown. Again this is personalised with her name and from studio. I think the personalisation on the gifts makes the presents extra special as they are for Amelia only.

5) Something to Eat
I haven’t bought this one yet but it is going to be a small selection box. One of the wonderful things about Christmas is the chance to eat a lot of yummy things that aren’t as readily available the rest of the year.

***  I was sent ‘find my name in the alphabet train’ for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own  ***

21 for 21

In honour of today being my 21st birthday I thought I’d made a list of 21 things I am proud of to have achieved. Some of them are silly and some of them are more serious. Obviously having my titchy princess is one of the most important ones.

1) I got 1 A* 4A 5B and 1C at GCSE
2) I got distinction distinction distinction* at college
3) Worked part time since I was 14
4) Passed first year of uni
5) Moved out
6) We have lived in our own flat for 3 months and we have only had take away for dinner a handful of times – I’ve actually cooked nearly every night!
7) Had my little titchy princess
8) Had emergency surgery and got through it smiling
9) Managed to work until 32 weeks pregnant despite being on crutches
10) Passed my driving test – this was not easy. My first driving instructor was horrible and asked me why I hadn’t told him I had special needs. Rude regardless of what form of disability I may have had. He actually just made me nervous but that’s besides the point.
11) Bought my own car (3 times!!) last year I treated myself to a 16 plate and it’s wonderful knowing Amelia is in a car that runs properly and isn’t falling apart like my previous 2 cars
12) Took my family to Spain on holiday
13) Worked as a civil servant for a year
14) Despite being terrified of needles I managed to let my mum injection me every night for 10 days after having Amelia (not sure anyone else would class this as an achievement but as someone who use to pass out watching her mum give blood I’m pretty proud)
15) Successfully navigated the London Underground with Amelia when she was only 6 weeks old

16) Made all of Amelias first blankets by hand
17) Endured literally hundreds of blood tests, biopsies, scans, nerve studies and ECGS before being diagnosed with a muscle disease
18) Went to Poland whist pregnant in spite of travel sickness and morning sickness
19) Started my blog – I’ve received two products to review already!
20) Looked after my fluffy babies, Amelia’s uncle pigs, for two years
21) Taken Amelia out everyday for fresh air, despite the urge to hibernate in our flat in my pyjamas all day

Not So Naked Attraction

For anyone that regularly reads my blog I’m sure you will have read one of last months posts titled ‘baby weight’. Read it here if you haven’t and would like to. Body image is a huge topic at the moment. Most girls my age have at least one of the following; dyed hair, false nails, eyelash extensions, threaded eyebrows, tattooed eyebrows, spray tan/regular sun beds or tattoos. Body enhancements have become easier to get and more popular in the last few years. Equally boob jobs and bum lifts are becoming more common place. (I didn’t want to include real naked people so the photo is of chocolate cake boobs.)

Dating shows have been around for years and years. Most people remember or have heard of ‘Blind Date’ which first aired in 1985, hosted by Cilla Black. Fast forward 30+ years and we have ‘Naked Attraction’.

For those of you that haven’t seen it, yes it is exactly what it sounds like. The possible dates are completely naked and the person looking for a date gets to chose who to go out with based on what they look like naked. Now I’m not sure who came up with the idea, but I’m not keen. 1) you’re picking them purely based on their looks which is a bit shallow. 2) why would you want to be completely naked on TV and 3) they comment on the bodies, often insulting them, which I personally think is horrible.

On the other end of the scale is ‘Dress to Impress’ and I have to admit I’m addicted! It’s on at 6pm every week day on ITV2 and there are no naked bodies to be seen. There are 3 people competing for a date. They each have to pick out an outfit, armed with the clothing sizes and a short brief- one episode the lady asked for a Marilyn Monroe style outfit. Despite being a show based on clothing there is no mention of actual looks – the show is done without the daters seeing each other. Unlike Naked Attraction there is no inclusion of comments that could be considered body shaming. The other reason I like it is that the show includes people of all backgrounds; gay, bisexual, straight, slim, curvy, short, tall, black, white, hijab wearing, young, older.

Review: My Life as Steve Keller by Zach Baynes

So it’s 1st October which means one thing….

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My Life as Steve Keller is a novel written by Zach Baynes. The author himself describes the book as a coming of age fiction.

As a university student I am open to reading novels from all genres, fiction or non fiction, long or short. I received a copy of this particular novel at 4:30pm and finished it before I went to bed the same day, despite it being nearly 600 pages long (the paper version is actually around 300 but I read it electronically on my phone). It is one of those books that once begun is impossible to put down.

The narrative is well written, from the perspective of the main character. Whilst it uses a very adult standard vocabulary it is still an easy read, nothing too strenuous or difficult to follow.

Steve, the man whose life the novel follows, demonstrates an attitude and life style that could be considered promiscuous, unable to commit. However there is something about the way he lives his life that is impossible to judge; though it could be seen as selfish there is something very refreshing about someone making decisions purely for their own happiness.

The sociologists and psychologists amongst us would appreciate the nod to their fields in Steve’s conversations about relationships, love and motivation. Much time is spent describing the way people live their lives, conforming to societies unspoken rules of settling down in a monogamous childbearing relationship.

Each chapter begins with an outline of what’s going on in that year; any prominent political stances, changes to the climate, medical advances, new laws. Much of the book is set in the future and shows a rather bleak outlook, including many droughts, floods, heat waves and various other disasters that have a detrimental effect of the food sources of the human race. It’s almost fatalistic in its approach to the future.

It’s available to purchase on Amazon and I would certainly recommend it if you are looking for a thrilling read.