My #NEXTMAS Wishlist!

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I absolutely love Next for their baby clothes and amazing bits for Amelia. However as I’m there more than I would like to admit I have become quite partial to some bits for myself! I find with all their clothes its great quality and really lovely designs. I could easily have every item in Amelia’s size but I have selected some of our top Christmas picks to share with you including bits for myself and obviously Amelia!

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1.First item is this gorgeous Berry Ditsy Print Playsuit. I love the deep tones of raspberry and purple and think it would look lovely on Amelia in colder weather paired with a big cardigan and a bow I could so see Amelia stomping around in this!

2. My second item is a pick for myself; Black Microsuede Thigh Boots. I’ve been desperate for some over the knee boots and these are just the ones! They would be perfect for the winter season with a dress or jeans and a big scarf. I love the suede look I think it makes a change from leather look boots and I know they would be a tight fitting boot which is exactly what I want.

3. Third on my wishlist is this Christmas Jumper Dress. I love the panelled changing colours and think the little gingerbread men are so cute! Could definitely see Amelia wearing this and nice to follow the Christmas jumper obsession but have something slightly different.

4. Carrying on the Christmas theme is this Grey Robin Sweater for myself. I don’t actually have a Christmas jumper (SHOCK)! For me its a toss up between a really terribly tacky Christmas jumper and one that is actually a nice jumper and this fits in the latter. Would love to wear this in the lead up to Christmas to feel extra festive.

5. Fifth on my list is this set of Heart Snuggle Pyjamas. Now Amelia is a bit older she does still wear sleepsuits to bed but I just think she looks really cute in actual grown up girl pj’s! I love all three of these and you could do some mixing and matching to swap them around too. And who doesn’t love a new set of pj’s for Christmas!

6.This is another pick for myself are these Sheepskin Slippers. I was never much of a slipper wearer but as the weather has turned it is my feet that are ALWAYS cold so I find myself double layering the socks to keep my toes warm! These would definitely keep my feet warm and I think they look super stylish. I know these are from the older girls section but I have small feet so they do my size!

7.For the perfect party look I have chosen this Pink Tutu. I’m not the type to dress Amelia in big tutu’s on a daily basis but they are very sweet and think with the upcoming party season this would be the perfect addition to Amelia’s wardrobe. Either a Christmas party or delivering presents to friends can picture Amelia running around with this on now.

8. My last pick is this beautiful Pink Padded Jacket. This would really keep Amelia warm and toasty when we are out and about on Winter walks. It’s fleece lined and has a hood which is a huge bonus as a couple of Amelia’s jackets and coats don’t have hoods which is annoying. Love that it is too bright so although it is pink it would probably go with a lot of her wardrobe!

So that is my finely tuned #nextmas wishlist! What would be on yours?

Sensory Bag

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One of Amelia’s presents this year is slightly different from the rest. One of the baby groups Amelia used to go to introduced us to sensory objects and the importance of them. We still attend one of their baby groups which is a “baby goes clubbing event” which involves music, lots of lights and fun sensory objects. We have a few bits at home that we get out and we have “sensory” time usually involves lots of music dancing and colourful lights. But I really wanted to get some more bits so we could get fully stuck in.

I found this website called Sensory Toy Warehouse  that has a vast amount of sensory bits and tactile toys. I also found another site that does super cheap drawstring bags so I got a large one to put all the toys in.

I thought this would just be a present that Amelia can get right into when she opens it on Christmas Day and I know that it’s bits she enjoys playing with and figuring out.

Most of the tactile objects light up too which Amelia absolutely loves! We usually dim the lights put some music on and get all the bits out and have a play! You wouldn’t think that funny little wiggly characters would help but sensory and tactile toys are a great way for babies to learn and develop.

I think if you have a baby between the ages of 6months-2years old this would be a great present idea or even the odd bits as stocking fillers as it’s something slightly different but I can say from previous experience the shaky eggs and light up balls we already have are a huge hit!

Here are the bits inside Amelia’s sensory bag:

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  1. Sparkly streamer pom poms
  2. Smiley face light up ball
  3. Glow in the dark slinky
  4. Koosh ball
  5. Googly eye spider
  6. Noisy putty
  7. Spiky/Squidgy textured light up teddy
  8. Spiky textured light up ball
  9. Shaky eggs
  10. Spiky/Squidgy textured light up chick

These are the bits I’ve chosen to go into Amelia’s sensory bag. I will add the bits we already have once she has opened it. I chose a variety of shapes and objects to enhance her exploration of the bag and I’m really excited for her to open this present!

Would love to know if you do anything similar with your baby!

Thanks for reading xx

Countdown box & Christmas cards

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This morning I gave Amelia her Christmas box which I wrote about here and she like any sane person went straight for the chocolate calendar! Then the main aim was to get everything out the box so she could get in it…duuh!! She did however really enjoy taking things out the box especially when she saw Curious George and Peppa Pig. Can’t wait to get using all these Christmas bits to get into the festive spirit! It really is a great way to kick of Christmas, cracking out the jumpers and pj’s but not the tree just yet…

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We also made some Christmas cards later today. I popped to Tesco and saw that these Christmas craft bits were reduced to clear so were super cheap. I wasn’t sure if we were going to make cards but when I saw all this stuff I couldn’t resist.

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Went with the reindeer theme and did finger prints on one set of cards and a foot print on the other. This didn’t go swimmingly and there was paint EVERYWHERE!!! I turned my back for about ten seconds to wipe Amelia’s foot and she went straight into the paint dish and covered herself in it so it was emergency shower time. Seriously…paint EVERYWHERE!

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I am actually really pleased with how they came out. I like that they look smart but home-made at the same time and that they include Amelia. She’s still too little to be cutting, sticking and drawing things so at least some foot and finger prints means that she can be a part of our first Christmas craft that all our lovely family and friends will receive (Sorry for the spoiler!)

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Have you done home-made cards with your little ones before?

Thanks so much for reading!xx

Christmas Stocking Ideas…

Its another Christmas themed post I’m afraid! I have been much more organised with Christmas shopping this year and this has actually worked out really well. Most of Amelia’s presents this year have been bought when there were sales on or with discount codes etc which means I’ve spent less…well not entirely it means I’ve bought more. I think its fair to say I have gone maybe not overboard but I’ve definitely bought enough presents for Amelia this year. But her birthday is a long way off so she needs enough bits and pieces to keep her going. I’m finished with Amelia’s Christmas sack/stocking so I thought I would share with you what I have got and it can hopefully give you some ideas if you are stuck or after some inspiration.

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What I really like this year is that the presents can be separated into groups of things; bath stuff, educational toys, books and arty/messy play supplies. I can’t remember the price of each item but I will include where I bought them; some bits were from actual shops and some online.

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Arty Supplies:

  • Giant colouring book – ASDA
  • Painting Tub- ASDA
  • Play Doh – Lidl
  • Paint brushes- Net price direct
  • Water colour paints- Net price direct
  • Chunky crayons- Net price direct
  • Washable Markers- Net price direct
  • Chunky pencils- Net price diret

I’m so excited for these bits to be opened and used. If you frequently read my blog/follow us on twitter you will know that I love doing crafts and messy play activities with Amelia and all of these bits will come in handy for that. This is Amelia’s first colouring book and something like crayons and pencils make for excellent stocking fillers. I found this site Net Price Direct and have actually bought a few bits off here. The prices are quite a discount for what you might spend in shops and they have some really fun bits (especially the wooden toys!)

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Bathtime/bedtime bits:

  • Alphabet foam bath letters – Sainsburys
  • Bath Crayons- Sainsburys
  • Gruffalo socks- Sainsburys
  • Peppa Pig slippers- Next
  • Minnie Mouse Cuddle robe- Home Bargains

I’ve wanted the bath crayons for such a long time but thought it was best to wait until she would use them properly and I think foam bath letters are present in every household bathroom if you have children! I love the Minnie Mouse bath towel and its an actual Disney product from Home Bargains and I think it was something like £1.50, could be wrong but it was super cheap. Amelia is a huge huge Peppa Pig fan so pretty sure the slippers will go down well plus they are fur lined so will keep her feet super toasty. The Gruffalo socks were a little extra and come in a pack of three!

 

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Educational toys;

  • Gruffalo puzzle- John Lewis
  • Seashore threading fun- ELC (Mothercare)
  • My complete learning pack cards- ELC (Mothercare)
  • Star links- ELC (Mothercare)
  • Wooden stacking train- Lidl
  • Wooden animal skittles- Sainsburys
  • Stacking cups- Sainsburys

These are the bits I’m probably most looking forward to using. I absolutely love wooden toys and when we were away glamping they had a skittle set that we taught Amelia to play with so I think she will really enjoy these plus she loves throwing and rolling a ball. She has a set of four stacking cups and can stack them but I think this set comes with 10/12 so she can get better at balancing things. This puzzle is great as each one has an extra piece so one is 2 pieces the next is 3 etc etc. She is starting to be able to push pieces together plus who doesn’t love the Gruffalo. The cards are more for introducing words to Amelia being able to point to the picture on the card and say the word so she can start to copy. I’ve seen a lot of threading and cotton reel sets but they are quite intricate but this set comes with thick laces and chunky wooden characters with large holes to thread through. The star links will also be good for concentration play to learn how to push them together and pull them apart. I know babies learn through all of their toys but I don’t see the harm in introducing some educational toys especially when it is as subtle as this!

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Books and extras; 

  • Goodies selection box- ASDA
  • Milkybar buttons tube- Lidl
  • The Highway Rat & Zog Multipack- Tesco
  • Peppa Pig Little Library- TK Maxx
  • My first books set of 4-  TK Maxx
  • Sofia board book- G&T’s

Who doesn’t love books! She has got a few other books coming as under the tree presents but these were all my bargain books! We love Julia Donaldson books and have most of the collection with Axel Scheffler but when I saw the multipack for just £5 I had to get it as you can normally only grab one board book by Julia Donaldson for that price. Amelia loves Sofia and although this book only has a couple of pages I think it was £1 and I’m sure she will like it as she will recognise the characters. We already have the original Peppa Pig little library so when I saw the fairytale version I had to get it; plus they are small books which are easy to keep in a bag whilst you are out and about. The set of my first books were an absolute steal for the price. They were £3.99 for the four and are bright, colourful and will be great when Amelia starts saying more words. I haven’t bought books from TK Maxx before but I would definitely recommend having a look as they have lots of great pack’s and sets for really discounted prices.

I have also been pretty eager and wrapped these bits already to get a head start…

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So this is it bar the odd present I may just HAVE to buy in the next couple of weeks. I had an entire roll of the brown tree wrapping paper from last year that I thought I would do the stocking bits with and I’m hoping to get some Peppa Pig wrap or something fun for her presents under the tree.

What do you think are great stocking fillers?

Thanks for reading!xxx

My 1st Years review!

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There is something really lovely about having everyday items personalised for your baby. Not only does it make them more special but it then makes that item unique and individual to any other. My 1st Years is a company that does just that! They sell a variety of products from teddies and clothes to toys and décor. The pricing is really reasonable and each gift comes with a free gift box; for me I love the way and item is packaged so this is a huge plus! The quality of their products is brilliant and I am going to tell you in a little bit more detail about a blanket we have been reviewing from My 1st Years.

Amelia and I were sent this gorgeous pink fleece blanket with the floral trim. Above the chosen personalisation is also an appliqué floral teddy which I really love! You can have up to 12 characters on your personalisation and it doesn’t have to be your babies name!

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I got so excited when the parcel arrived and opening it to see the signature luxury gift box really made my day. The blanket was wrapped in tissue and then the blanket itself has a little piece of the floral fabric complete with button to hold the blanket together when folded.

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The blanket is a great size measuring 75cm x 100cm and is 100% polyester.

The blanket has had multiple uses for us so far; in her pram, in her cot and to just snuggle up with as it really is so soft! It is perfect size for an extra layer in Amelia’s cot with the colder weather, although its main use has been as a blanket for when we are out with the pram. Most of the blankets I have are much bigger and even if they were folded just wouldn’t tuck in right or stay in the pram. Now she’s bigger and sits right up there isn’t as much space in the Quinny to tuck a blanket in and all the bigger ones drag along the floor or get caught up in the front wheel.  As this is perfect size it does not do this plus it looks super cute with her name on it.

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Amelia was poorly here and this blanket was so nice to cuddle up too!

I have washed the blanket and it washes and dries really well and looks brand new so that is another plus as babies seem to get grubby hands on everything no matter how precious it is!

I can see this blanket being a feature in Amelia’s room as a little throw over the end of her bed or inside her little tepee. It is definitely an item that will be around for a long time not just because of its quality but because of how gorgeous it is and how special it is to have her name on it.

You can get this fleecy blanket in three different colours; pink, blue and cream and there are a variety of text colours you can choose for your personalisation. My 1st Years also do other blankets in knit, cashmere and in different sizes.

For me My 1st Years is the whole package and not just the product. I love the website it is really easy to navigate and the checkout process is simple and fast. Quick delivery and then the products arrival in a beautiful box complete with bow really demonstrates the company’s attention to detail and shows the care put into each of their products.

This blanket gets a massive thumbs up from us and it definitely won’t be the last thing I get from My 1st Years (I already have my eye on a few bits for Christmas!)

If you are after a gift for your baby or a friend’s baby /toddler this year this is definitely the place to shop. It even comes gift wrapped and I am  pretty sure every Mum and Dad out there wouldn’t mind a few of these boxes stacked up under the tree!

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Check out My 1st Years here.

Thanks for reading!xxx

Amelia’s Christmas Box!

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Last year I discovered the idea of the Christmas Eve box or other similar ideas and I loved it. Although this year isn’t Amelia’s first Christmas last year she was only 4 months old so it really had no affect on her at all so this is the first proper year of starting little traditions and such!

I went with the idea of the Christmas Eve box contents but decided she would get it on the first of December so she gets use of the things inside the box!

I haven’t gone mad just a few little bits to help kick off the festive season.

So inside there is:

  • An advent calendar- yes to some of your horror a chocolate advent calendar!!!! I personally don’t see anything wrong with Amelia having one chocolate a day and went with a Milkybar one as she likes the little white chocolate buttons. I am a pretty creative person so I think in the future I would make one not involving chocolate or treats but maybe when Amelia’s a bit older and can appreciate all the hard work behind it.

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  • Festive Pjs- the pyjamas were from Sainsburys they are super cute with the fair-isle legging print and I love that they come with matching socks. I’m pretty certain these will be a hit as Amelia is a huge Peppa fan!

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  • Christmas books- I already have a few winter books and some of my Christmas books from when I was a child but got these two that are a bit more Amelia friendly. The nativity is a lift the flap book, it will be a really nice way to introduce the nativity story to Amelia in an exciting way. Another Peppa Pig feature; Christmas board book. And I couldn’t get a Monty the penguin from John Lewis so settled for the story as she got the bear and the hare story from last years John Lewis ad!

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  • Christmas films- I’m sure there will be a tonne of Christmas films on in the next few weeks but saw these in Lidl for £2.99 each and couldn’t say no. Amelia really loves Curious George and I’m not afraid to say I do too so I think we will both really enjoy this film and I got the Smurfs as I thought Amelia might enjoy it!

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  • Christmas jumper- a must have for everyone! This one is from H&M and I love that it’s more of a sweatshirt with the soft reindeer face on it. And only £5.99!

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  • Antlers- it is unlikely that Amelia will keep these reindeer antlers on but its a novelty fun item that she can keep for the next few years.

 

  • Soft toy- really soft and cuddly reindeer toy! Amelia’s not that into soft toys but he’s fun as he is festive and another cheap addition to the box!

 

  • Craft- I picked this sow your own decorations craft up from Wilkinsons for £1. They have loads of different ones which is great. We love crafts so this will be fun to do!

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There is also a list of things to do over the Christmas period including; visiting Father Christmas, other crafts and messy play ideas I’ve gotten from Pinterest, events we want to go too and fun days out. This list is mainly for me but it will be nice to tick them off!

I really love this idea and you can completely do it however you want; spending as little or as much as you want too. I probably would have bought most of these bits in the next few weeks anyway so why not get them before hand and make up a little pre Christmas present.

I also love that you can adapt the boxes as children grow up and interests change. I think as Amelia gets a bit older (possibly next year) I would include the Elf of the Shelf idea maybe “bringing” the box to Amelia on December 1st. I think she is too small for this idea this Christmas but it is something I definitely want to do.

Have you done this or something similar for your children? Would love to hear what you have included!

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Thanks for reading xx

AskHerFriends – Voucher

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For the men who don’t know what to buy their loved ones, mothers, sisters or friends. For that awkward friend who has everything, that first wedding you are attending or that mum to be who you have no clue what to buy for. This is the site you are going to want to look at…

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This site is like no other place to buy gifts for women as AskHerFriends focuses strongly on the lifestyle and style preference of whom you are buying for. The website is extremely easy to navigate helping to make the shopping experience stress free.

One of my favourite things about the site is the Idea Map. You follow a series of questions about the person you are buying for narrowing it down to some gifts for you to then choose from. This could be super helpful for those of you who really struggle with gift buying or have no idea where to start!

We live in a world where people have most of the stuff they need and often don’t know what they want. The last thing you want to do is waste your money on a gift that will sit in the back of the wardrobe or worse be secretly returned!! AskHerFriends allows you to scroll through an amazing selection of gifts. They literally have everything from necklaces, cards, bags to days out and hampers. Prices start under £10 and go up to £250+ which makes the site available to anyone and the range in price is perfect as you shop for your different recipient.

So female readers push this website under the noses of your other half, your brother that buys you a rubbish present every year or your dad who never knows where to start. Also let it help you get some excellent gifts for those females around you this Christmas!

Or like I will be doing treat yourself to a little something!

To help you do so the lovely people at AskHerFriends have given friends and fans of Alice & Amelia £5 to spend using the code ALICE or £10 off if you are spending over £30 in your basket using the code AMELIA. These codes are valid until 15th December 2014 so make sure you don’t miss out and get some of your shopping done on this fantastic site!

Happy shopping!!xxx

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Jelly on a plate!

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Messy play is a really good way for babies to learn new things so it has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing with Amelia and it is so fascinating watching her face explore the new textures.

We haven’t done a messy play activity so decided that we would have a fun jelly filled afternoon. I haven’t used jelly before as I didn’t want Amelia to just eat the props, which she probably would have done when she was younger!

I got some jelly from the shop which was super cheap it cost me £1 for three different colours and I made it up in the morning and put it in the freezer and it was set fine by the afternoon.

I used one tray from her sand and water table to put the jelly in, set it up at the table and put an overall on Amelia.

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To begin with Amelia wasn’t sure as it was a new texture and quite cold! After a little while she was really enjoying picking it up squeezing it through her fingers and using her mini rake bashing it as hard as she could. This was probably our most successful messy play task from an attention span point of view. Not sure whether it’s because she’s that little bit older but she played for 30 minutes before she started to lose interest.

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I could tell that Amelia was losing interest once she started to put her fingers in her mouth to taste it and ten she started licking the rake (haha). She did not like the taste as the green jelly which there was the most of was lime flavoured and it made her shudder. Pretty amusing to watch as she re tried it multiple times….yes Amelia it is still that flavour!

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Thankfully most of the mess was contained and I’ve got half of the jelly unused that I can use next time and I definitely will do it again. Next time I would maybe add some different textures in amongst the jelly so that she can feel the difference or let her be able to put her feet into it and see what she thinks of that!

Messy play is always much less hassle than I think it’s going to be and this was simple and fun!

What messy play have you done or have you ever tried jelly with your little ones?

Thanks so much for reading! xxx

First Birthday Party!

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Although this post is not necessarily relevant anymore I haven’t posted about Amelia’s first birthday party yet and thought I would just do a brief post mostly including photos!

So you know those crazy party planners that turn into complete psychos on the day…well that was me! I had a vision of how I wanted it to be and how I wanted it to go and there wasn’t going to be anything getting in the way of that. So I apologise again to anyone who was involved and experienced this! But the birthday and the party were a huge success and definitely an amazing way to spend and celebrate Amelia’s first year of life. We were really fortunate that all important family and friends could make the event and as you can imagine Amelia was spoilt rotten by everyone that loves her.

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These were Amelia’s birthday party invites, all completely different and handmade. Took a while so probably won’t be doing that again!! Half got the idea from Pinterest and then a trip to Hobbycraft got the rest of it going.

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This was Amelia’s first birthday cake. Made by myself and a close friend of mine who is very talented and did the really hard bit (covering the cake). I was so happy to be able to say that Amelia’s first birthday cake was homemade to a design that I chose and very lucky to have a friend who has a steady enough hand to cover it!! It was just a vanilla sponge with buttercream and jam inside. I was worried making this a few days before if it would still taste yummy by her party but it did and the two weeks later that we were still eating it!

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There was so much food! Went a tad overboard with the food; a sweet table and a savoury table. There was a huge variety; I didn’t just want to do sandwiches etc so we had chicken skewers, sausages in rolls, cheese scones then nibbly bits like crisps, cheese and pineapple, vegetables and dips and lots of other bits. The sweet table was my favourite as it included some really yummy deserts most of which are my favourite; brownies, mini keylime pies, strawberry tarts and loads of cupcakes! Pretty much everything that could be homemade was and there wasn’t too much left over so the guests obviously appreciated it too.

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It wasn’t the sunniest of days but thank goodness it did not rain so it was an inside/outside kind of affair which was really nice. The party had a few different groups of people ranging from family, family friends, girls I went to school with and mummy and baby friends so having a large space meant there was plenty of room for everyone to mingle but not be on top of one another.

Decoration wise there was lots of balloons and cute bunting that I had found at various places in the lead up to the party. I managed to get some really lovely cardboard cake stands, plates and napkins all in a pink spotty floral pattern from Asda and I had cute striped straws from eBay. I made a ‘Happy Birthday Amelia’ birthday banner which I can see still getting cracked out for Amelia’s 18th birthday or something! I also got some of the honeycomb balls from Sainsburys which came in a pack of three and perfectly fitted the kind of colour scheme I was going for. These again have been packed away ready for the next party!

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Amelia’s birthday was on the Friday and we had the party on the Saturday afternoon from 2-5pm! It was a really close call but everything was done just in time for a glass of Pimms before the first guests arrived. I know that a first birthday isn’t going to be something Amelia will remember and it was probably more for me but it was such a nice day to spend with everyone in her life and will be great for her to see these photos when she is older!

Here are a few more photos:

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Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you did for your little ones first birthday!

xxx

Milestones: We’ve got a walker!

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Just last week Amelia hit one of the biggest milestones I think there is as she took her first steps!!!

She’s been confidently cruising and walking with a walker for ages but has struggled with finding her balanced unaided and gaining the confidence to let go. She would take the odd step between thing or fall toward the sofa but never properly let go. Last Thursday afternoon she just let go and walked toward me. Four little steps but they were steps!! Obviously I was over the moon and tried to encourage more steps but she just did not seem that interested and was again only taking the odd step between people!

As the start of this week came around she was getting more confident and was starting to stand unaided and then I finally managed to catch her taking 6-8 steps on camera! Now she has really got her balance and is taking steps every day.

Here’s a link to my Instagram to see the videos I have caught of Amelia taking those amazing first few steps.

First walking caught on camera!!!

A video posted by Alice Young (@aliceyoung8) on

Still can't get over how cute it is having a walking baby!!

A video posted by Alice Young (@aliceyoung8) on

It is such an exciting time and I can’t wait to have an Autumn and Winter of Amelia finding her feet and toddling around!

Amelia was 13 and a half months when she took her first steps, how old was your little one when they started to walk?

Thanks for reading xxx