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…

AskHerFriends

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

Plain compendium twitter size

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.

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

Playing catch up!!

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged in so long, feel a bit terrible really! But I have had a really busy summer and Amelia’s first birthday and numerous other rubbish excuses that don’t make the cut but I’m here now to catch you all up!

  • So…Amelia is now 1!!! It was her first birthday on the 15th August so just over a month ago, it was such a lovely few days, we had a big family/friends garden party where I fully embraced the crazy party host and Amelia was thoroughly spoilt by everyone. Having a one year old hasn’t made too much difference as babies are constantly changing anyway but she definitely looks older.
  • I go back to University in a couple of weeks (ahhhh) which is exciting/daunting. After having just a year out of learning I think it will be quite a shock to my system but I am excited to get back into the flow of things and get my degree!
  • Whilst I’m at University Amelia will be going to nursery *cries*. I am pretty sad about that, but can’t exactly have her sat next to me whilst I’m in a lecture and it will be really good for her to be around other babies and people without me there. She is quite confident most of the time and happy to be without me so I’m sure she will get on fine. A huge bonus of the nursery she is going to is that it is on university site so if there ever was a problem I am only a few minutes away and that will probably be quite comforting knowing how close we are. The fact that we are both going to the same place should also make it a bit easier rather than having to drop her off somewhere then head off to Uni. I can simply drive there, drop her off, go to my lectures, pick her up and go home.
  • Still have a crawler. Amelia is more than happy to pull up on things, cruise along the furniture, walk with her walker and push things along she just isn’t confident enough to gain her balance standing unaided. Think she knows that she’s a pretty speedy crawler and that’ll do for now.
  • Currently Amelia has been super poorly with tonsillitis. Last week her temperature hit over 39degrees which was scary and she was so out of character she literally spent a day laying on the floor doing nothing, which is really unlike her. We ended up at the out of hours clinic at the hospital and found out she has tonsillitis. She’s been put on antibiotics for the first time ever! But they are seeming to work although getting her to take them is so difficult as she hates the taste and 1 year olds are stronger than you think when they don’t want to do something. Now all that we have left is a bit of a cough and snotty nose, bless her and a ruined sleep pattern. She was waking at around 10:30pm most nights at the end of last week to have medicine and a drink and now she thinks that’s what happens every night…not ideal but at least she is getting better. Its actually really horrible when your baby has a temperature and seeing them so out of sorts, so I am super pleased that she is on the up. Also for my sanity…we have pretty much spent a week in quarantine, house bound. I’ve not wanted to make her any worse or give it to any of her little friends so apart from the odd walk down to the park we pretty much haven’t left the house in 6 days.

Bar all the little things I think that is mostly all the interesting things I have to fill you in on! I’m thinking I will do a belated birthday party post so you can see the decorations and food we had and maybe do a post on Amelia’s Autumn/Winter wardrobe as she got given a lot of lovely bits and obviously I’ve been shopping and put up some pictures of some of our fun summer days out!

I promise I won’t leave it so long next time…here’s what we look like in case you forgot.

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Thanks so much for reading!!xxx

Baby’s first trip into the Sea!

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Living on the coast fortunately means that a trip to the beach is possible pretty much whenever. Although Amelia has been to the beach many times and felt the waves she has never been in the sea and experienced it properly.

It has been so hot this last week that a morning at the beach seemed inevitable. I’m really lucky that my parents have a beach hut at Sandbanks beach so it provides great shade and a place to store the mountain of stuff that comes with any baby day out.

The weather was so hot and sunny that it was probably warm enough to take Amelia down to the sea and see what she thought. I always thought I would just put her in a swimming costume and never really liked the idea of the SPF wetsuits but since having this hot weather I’m much more conscious of Amelia’s skincare so they provide great cover leaving only her hands and feet out. Also it helps to keep her warm. This one that Amelia has is from Jojo Maman Bebe and looks so cute on. Amelia isn’t usually one for leaving a hat on but I think with all the people and things to look at she was distracted and pretty much forgot it was on.

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We went down to the sea and it was so nice! It was quite choppy but it was so refreshing; I walked in and dipped her in and out and threw her up when the waves came. It was quite noisy so I wasn’t sure what she would think but she seemed to enjoy it. But the best bit for Amelia was sitting on the shore line splashing in the wet sand. She loved picking it up and feeling the waves coming up to her legs. Amelia got quite overexcited and was pretty much covered in wet sand after a few minutes.

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I’m so pleased she loves the water and isn’t phased by the beach as it’s somewhere I have always spent a lot of time and want to continue to do. Safety wise after a couple of hours it really was just too hot for Amelia so we came home. We are really lucky that we are able to essentially just ‘pop’ down to the beach and enjoy it.

Here is a video of Amelia enjoying the beach:

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What did your little ones first think of the sea?

Thanks for reading!xxx

Messy Monday

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If you have read my blog before you will know that I really enjoy doing fun messy play activities with Amelia. Here is our latest…

So the idea started as being frozen chalks but ended up becoming frozen water cubes with different things frozen into them.

I literally mixed half a cup of cornflour with half a cup of water and added a choice of food colouring. This amount made enough for about 6 cubes of each colour and I put these into an ice cube tray and into the freezer! I also have this silicone cake pop tray (pretty sure its Christmas shapes but hey!) that I used one side of (the side without the hole after flooding the kitchen surface once..oops) and just put some water into. I then delved into the baking cupboard and sprinkled into the water a selection of different hundreds and thousands and little sparkly cake bits. I then put these into the freezer too.

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It only took a couple hours for them to be solid so I popped them into a bowl and got set up. It wasn’t that sunny today but it was quite mild so thought it was best to do this kind of activity outside. I again used our trusty blue paddling pool and filled it with a little warm water. I put Amelia into a swim nappy and costume and we got started.

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Just to warn you the pictures aren’t that great and it does look quite gross. Once the cubes started to melt all the different colours mixed together and created a rather unpleasant murky water but who said messy was going to be pretty?!

When the cornflour cubes melted they went to a really strange texture and Amelia’s face was brilliant she was rubbing the cubes in her hand and was so intrigued watching them get smaller and smaller until she was left with a solid lump of cornflour. She really liked picking up the different colours and chasing them round the water with her hands, this did let out a few screams and squeals of excitement when she managed to grab one.

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The frozen water with the sprinkles inside were great too. Once they melted all the sprinkles and shapes were floating in the water or appeared into Amelia’s hands once she had watched the water melt and I think she was also pretty fascinated by this!

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As there was water involved Amelia obviously splashed so much that I may as well have been sat in the pool next to her I was that soaked! It was a really fun play activity that developed from one idea and became our own (I’m sure someone has done it before but I thought of putting the cake decorations into water without using google!) She played for about 20minutes and it was a different experience for her to learn from and enjoy. There was different textures as the water melted away leaving the shapes and the cornflour.

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From a safety point of view I wouldn’t use sprinkles and things like cake decorations if your baby is just going to eat them; I thought Amelia wouldn’t but literally the first frozen cornflour cube she picked up went straight into her mouth. I think it was a little shock as it was so cold and she didn’t do that again! But it could be a choking hazard so be careful! Again messy play always calls for an impromptu daytime shower so be prepared for that too!

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It was really easy to clean up as I just tipped the paddling pool water away and washed the ice cube trays and bowls. If I was planning to do this again I would probably use something bigger than ice cube trays and freeze bigger things inside the water for Amelia to find.

Have you done something similar before?

Thanks for reading xxx

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Weaning: Where are we now?

Thought I would write this to update you all on what Amelia is eating these days and how she is getting on with the weaning process.

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Amelia is now nearly 11 months old and has really got it the hang of eating and enjoying food either off a spoon or feeding herself. I guess I do a mixture of spoon feeding and baby led weaning and that works out perfectly for us.

It took Amelia a while to get used to feeding herself and then we would go through phases of a week of it going really well then a week of bad eating but I would say for the last couple months she has been really great.

Breakfast: So for breakfast Amelia will either have porridge or a Weetabix. She used to have the Aptamil baby porridge but now she has the Quaker Oats – Oat so simple. She has both of these with cows milk and had no problem adapting to that!

Mummy & Baby breakfast

Mummy & Baby breakfast

Lunch: At lunch time Amelia will have a sandwich (white/brown/seeded bread) with laughing cow cheese spread, some cheese chunks and a breadstick. Some fruit depending on what we have and then a yoghurt.

She is great with lunch as it is all bits she can pick up and feed herself. She looks toooo cute holding a sandwich and makes her seem like such a little person. Sometimes she will have an omelette or a boiled egg which she really enjoys but it depends how much time we have that day.

It works out really well that she has this more picky kind of lunch as it can easily be packed into a lunchbox if we are out for the day or want to do lunch at a friends rather than having to worry about heating things up and making a mess.

Homemade cheese scones another lunch time fave!

Homemade cheese scones another lunch time fave!

Dinner: At dinner time she will have a variety of things. She will have meals that we as a family have had and then I’ve frozen portions for her or sometimes I cook up separate things for her and freeze them, as there are still some dinners we have that just aren’t suitable for her. Usually she will have; fish pie, lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, salmon and veg, shepherds pie, roast of somekind and pasta with a sauce. This part of dinner is spoon fed and she eats a decent portion size! Then she will have some fruit again and a pudding of some kind usually a yoghurt followed by a biscuit.

Amelia now has 3 bottles a day; one when she first wakes up, one mid afternoon and one before bedtime. I think by the time she is 1 she will be ready to drop the afternoon bottle as sometimes she doesn’t drink very much of it anyway. She has a lot of milk in her diet from sauces, yoghurt’s, cheese and with her breakfast so that makes up for the amount that she should be having along with her bottles.

I have kept her on the Aptamil 1 milk as she is gaining weight as she should be and eats a variety of foods so I didn’t need to swap to follow on milk. Amelia will also drink water throughout the day through a beaker; she is still quite lazy and would much rather I held the bottle for her though!

Its hard to judge as all babies are different but I think she is where she should be with eating. Most foods are lumpy and cut into small pieces and she does really well chewing through them and she seems to enjoy meal times. The only slight problem we face is that sometimes she just feeds her entire meal to the dog who is usually perching right beneath her highchair waiting for food to drop, bit of a nightmare so I usually have to be on standby waiting to catch before the dog gets it!

Amelia enjoying a picnic

Amelia enjoying a picnic

How did you find weaning?

Thanks for reading!xx

Our Week in Photos

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I love taking photos so this is just a quick post to show you what we have done this week in photos; 9th June-15th June.

Monday- Messy Play

Monday- Messy Play

Monday- Selfie

Monday- Selfie

Monday- Dog walk

Monday- Dog walk

Tuesday- Little & Big breakfast

Tuesday- Little & Big Breakfast

Tuesday - Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Tuesday – Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Tuesday- Getting Strong!

Tuesday- Getting Strong!

Wednesday- Homemade Cheese Scones

Wednesday- Homemade Cheese Scones

Wednesday- Being cute before bed!

Wednesday- Being cute before bed!

 

Thursday- Garden Princess

Thursday- Garden Princess

Thursday- Fun in the Garden

Thursday- Fun in the Garden

Friday- Girls in Blue

Friday- Girls in Blue

Sunday- Lambretta & Jammscoot buddies

Sunday- Lambretta & Jammscoot buddies

Thanks for looking, hope you like some of our pictures from this week!xx

10 Month Update!

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Today is the 15th June which means that Amelia is ten months old!! This is crazy!! I cannot believe she is ten months meaning that she is very nearly one; I say this every time but time is just going too fast.

A lot has changed since her 8 month update.

Amelia & I just this week (June2014)

Amelia & I just this week (June2014)

She was previously in a pavlik harness after being diagnosed with shallow hips at 6 weeks old. Amelia completed the 16 week program in the harness, having physiotherapy and ultrasounds and is now just an outpatient. She had her second outpatient appointment at the beginning of May consisting of an x-ray and a consultant check. As I suspected seeing as she is moving around (still not quite crawling) and baring weight she is still all fine which is a relief. We now don’t have an appointment for 6 months! Movement wise like I mentioned she isn’t crawling but she can definitely move. A combination of rolling, bum shuffling and pulling along the floor and Amelia can definitely get to where she wants to. She is still slightly frustrated with not moving as quick as she would like but I feel like it will happen soon. She absolutely loves being stood up; leaning on the sofa or up against things, she can very nearly pull herself up and once she is up she does not want to be sat back down…tears usually follow!

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On the topic of tears with the last few months her personality has continued to grow. She has really become her own little person and can go from being the cutest angel to screaming because she can’t quite reach something or doesn’t want to be sat there. She still spends a lot of her day smiling and chatting away but she really lets me know if she isn’t happy about something!

In the last couple of months Amelia has got teeth!! She now has three. The bottom right followed by the bottom left cut through about 2 weeks ago and just this week the top right has cut soon to be followed by the top left I think. Teething really has not been our friend and you can read all about the nightmare few weeks we had here. Quite exciting that she has got some though as I was beginning to think she didn’t have any!

Food is going really well. We have recently moved to having sandwiches for lunch which she absolutely loves! She also looks mega cute eating a mini sandwich. I think she was ready to move away from being spoon fed for all three meals as she used to get quite stroppy and shake her head a lot. She likes feeding herself so she has more finger foods and bits she can eat herself. Amelia eats quite a few of the meals we as a family have for dinner just cooked a little different and then I still freeze it up as obviously there ends up being extra.  Amelia will mostly drink water if she wants it but since the weather has gotten hotter I have started carrying her beaker around wherever we go offering it to her more. She will happily drink quite a lot which is really good and a relief to make sure she is hydrated in the heat.

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This lovely weather we have had recently we have really made the most of! Lots of garden activities and fun in the paddling pool. Amelia loves splashing in the pool and playing with her toys and is a great way to cool her off. With the nice weather however often brings a sweaty baby!! Trying to keep a hat on Amelia’s head has been great fun the last couple of weeks; it manages to last a maximum of 5 minutes and then it just becomes a repetitive game of throwing it onto the floor which is not good from a sun safety point of view. Amelia is not a huge fan of the hot, humid nights and has taken longer to settle for naps often waking up with wet sweaty hair (eww) and for her big bed-time sleep. We have been really making the most of sunny days as you never know when they might disappear (fingers crossed they don’t!).

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Amelia is actually pretty funny for a 10month old baby. When she does something that is clever/good and hears people cheering, clapping and getting exciting she screams with excitement and mimics the noises she hears. If she makes people laugh she repeats what she has just done knowing it will get a reaction and this can go on for a while! Her talking is really developing; she has finally said “mama muma” which as you can imagine was a really exciting day. And she refers to the dog as “woo woo” whenever he comes into the room which is really cute. She points at him gets so overexcited and just shouts “woo woo, wooo wooo”.  Amelia has also started waving which is another thing that seriously adds to cuteness!!

The last couple of months we have had a few activities and trips. We went to the oceanarium for the afternoon which Amelia really loved seeing all the fish and sea animals as it was something she had never seen before. We had one of her little friend’s first birthday which was super fun and I dressed Amelia up like a princess! Obviously she looked uber cute. We have done some messy play, been out for some walks and had a couple of trips to the park.

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

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Amelia’s next update will be here 12 months update; so when she is 1! That sounds absolutely mad but I have already started mentally planning her birthday party already.

Thanks for reading! xx

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