My #NEXTMAS Wishlist!

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?

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

AskHerFriends – Voucher

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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Series: Mummy Essential Project – Week 2

Mummy Bloggers Community is a blog and twitter feed run by Gemma from Sunshine on a cloudy day and hosts my favourite twitter chat of the week! The twitter chat is #mblogchat and runs on a Friday night between 8pm-9pm relating to all things mummy! It is always a super busy chat and you get to talk to so many different people! Make sure you follow @mummy_bloggers to keep up to date with that. There is also the Mummy Essential Project that takes a different theme each week for everyone to write a post on a topic and link up. It is great to share posts as something you write could really help someone! I know I’ve read lots of great advice through blogging and link-ups are an even better way of sharing.

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So this weeks Mummy Essentials Project is CLOTHING. Right I’m only supposed to talk essentials (hence the name) so I won’t jibber for too long about hours spent in Gap, Zara, Next and Jojo Maman Bebe!

You can find all the linked posts here:

Mummy Blogger Community – #mummyessentialproject Week 2

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I made a huge mistake when it came to buying clothes and bought so many gorgeous dresses in 0-3month size. This was silly as they were too big and Amelia just looked so funny in dresses when she was a newborn! I would definitely stick with vests and sleepsuits for newborns with a couple of sweet outfits. Poor Amelia was dressed up in dresses just to get wear out of them; I ended up selling most of them as virtually brand new items!

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As you can see she looks so mini in the dresses and the sleepsuit even looks big but much cosier for a newborn to be in that!!

Sleepsuits with the built in scratch mits are a serious MUST HAVE as the separate mits aren’t as good and they do fall off. Most places stop having them attached at about 6months but Jojo Maman Bebe are my lifesaver of a shop that keep mits on up to 12months I believe. Amelia still goes to bed with her hands covered sometimes (bit of a routine thing for her) so buying sleepsuits from there is great for us!

Now, getting dressed is a really key part of Amelia’s day. She knows that going into a sleepsuit means bedtime and getting dressed in the morning means she is up for the day! Some mornings I find it quite difficult getting Amelia dressed as there is too much choice!

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Even though they are babies I think you find what clothes and colours suit them and what bits you like best. I bought a pair of dungarees before I had Amelia and then when I came to use them they were so awkward as they didn’t have poppers around the legs so to change her nappy you had to actually take the entire outfit off! Things like that you learn and her current pair of dungarees have poppers right round the legs (Thank you Little Bird Mothercare!).

Amelia has a range of clothing from dresses and tights, leggings and top sets to trousers and dungarees! I love getting a variety of bits for her and have found that blogging has enabled me to find lots of shops I might never have heard of before.

Blouse & leggings Dress & tights Top & Leggings set Tiny Leaf Jumpsuit Dress & Tights

It is really important not to go too overboard with clothing and make sure you get use out of the bits you buy. There is nothing worse than clearing out a wardrobe to find bits that they can’t fit into and having to sell them without them being worn.

Other essentials for me have been cardigans in plain simple colours that can be worn with lots of outfits. She had one fluffy zipped jacket from Gap bought by a friend that she basically lived in for a few months and I was so sad when she grew out of it. Vests still are an essential as Amelia wears them at night and during the day. She wears short sleeved ones at night and sometimes long sleeved during the day to go under pinafores and dungarees!

An essential that will be coming up soon will be her first birthday outfit…ok maybe not an essential but a special outfit that I can’t wait to buy!

Another tip I would stress is that buying quality is most of the time better. I found that some items from places don’t wash very well or shrink when tumble dried; yes they might have been cheaper but has Amelia been able to get the wear out of them? Probably not.  Clothing can be expensive but the great thing about babies is you can buy bits in advance. I only really buy from Gap when they have a sale (which is most of the time) and Monsoon often have really good sales too. Its good to get some bits ahead for the next size up as all shops sizes are different so they grow into items at different times.

Looking forward to reading everyones linked up posts to the #mummyessentialproject

Don’t forget to visit: Mummy Blogger Community

Thanks for reading xx

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Mid-week Shopping Spree

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Did a bit of a mid-week shopping splurge!

Ok so maybe nappies and baby wipes can’t be classed as a splurge but still.

Whenever I’m at the shops I can’t help myself but to by clothing for Amelia. Baby clothes are just too lovely to say no to sometimes and today was no different. I went into Monsoon and looked at the baby bits; they have some gorgeous spring/summer outfits including lots of little sets of dresses and knickers, leggings and tops or trousers and tops. Too many to choose from. I let myself get one set…

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The elephant I instantly fell in love with and when I saw it came with these light-weight summer trousers I just couldn’t resist. I love seeing big bold patterns on baby clothes and thought these would be perfect for a maybe soon to be crawling baby and the possible sunshine on its way for the rest of Spring and Summer (one can hope right?!) I thought that the white frilly top would also go perfect with the trousers and with a lot of other things Amelia has too. She doesn’t have much white which is probably a safe bet but she isn’t too mucky so hopefully it won’t get ruined. I like that its frilly and has the embedded floral pattern which would be perfect for a special occasion!

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In Waterstones at the moment they have a great offer on which includes quite an array of books; buy one get one half price.  Amelia has tonnes of books but a lot of them are by similar authors or collections (Julia Donaldson, Peter Rabbit collection, Wibbly Pig, Humphreys corner etc…) The I Love Mum book is a Mothers Day present to myself it’s a really sweet tale and perfect for a bedtime story. I then had a quick flick through the others on offer and enjoyed Aunt Amelia (Aunt Amelia comes to look after the children and they have a really fun time doing everything but what is left on the list their parents gave them). It was very much coincidence that is Amelia. It’s a great offer that I could have really taken advantage of but two new books is enough for now!

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I then went to M&S; not somewhere I got that often only really for underwear sometimes and baby bits! I don’t get that much from there but these caught my eye. She has a vest with a top attached (looks like a peplum top) from Boden which she has worn and worn and basically over-worn so when I saw this I loved the small dot flower pattern and the neutral colours and just know that Amelia will get lots of wear out of it. And the knitted dress; although its getting slightly warmer I still love it. The neckline and button knitted detail is so sweet and pastel colours are so in right now so why not let Amelia get on trend. The tights it came with are also super cool and tights can be used with lots of other dresses she has too. It is a great item because again like the white floral top it could be a bit more of a special occasion outfit. Not sure what special occasions I’m planning on Amelia wearing them too but I’m sure I will find use. Also when it gets too hot this could be really cute with just white ankle socks!

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I then just popped into Asda was in need of nappies and these are my current choice. They are £10 for 90 which I think is fantastic. The quality of them I think is great and they have a fairly simple plain design. Some nappies can be quite garish with huge characters and patterns all over them. I swear by these Huggies pure wipes and these were on offer £10 for 12 packs; again a bargain! Had to grab those. However at this point my underneath storage on the buggy was full of bags and I had to lug two boxes back to the car…not very easy whilst manoeuvring the buggy. An extra pair of hands wouldn’t have gone a miss but couldn’t say no to these final bargains!

I did get some bits for my Mum for Mothers Day but there is a slight possibility she might see this so don’t want to spoil anything (not that it’s anything fancy Mum if you are reading!).

Love getting some bargains and there really isn’t much that satisfies me more than a successful shopping trip and hanging up new bits when you get home. Well hanging up Amelia’s new bits!

Have you been on a shopping spree recently?

Thanks for reading xx

Why EVERYONE should have my Changing Bag!

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This is the Storksak Nina in Antalya Grey and the changing bag I have! This was given to me as a gift at my baby shower from my sister and has been my absolute life savoir! I had looked at a few changing bags myself and wasn’t sure what I fancied, had looked into potentially a Cath Kidston one simply for the design but didn’t know too much about them (then was put off by a few bad reviews). Anyway my sister got to work and researched and found this one to be one of the best ones!

Its brilliant having a changing bag that is referred to as a ‘Designer Changing Bag’ (fancy eh?!)

It is absolutely great because of the simplicity of the grey colour and the unique pattern on the bag. It goes brilliantly with any outfit I’m wearing the pram I’ve got !

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The bag itself is made from a wipe clean material and is seriously practical! It has (quickly counting) 7 different compartments and a special zipped pocket for important items! The shoulder strap is completely adjustable and the wipe clean material continues throughout the inside of the bag, which is great for any spillages etc. It has straps that fit onto the stroller so it sort of clips on and doesn’t fall off! I usually just clip it onto the pram so I can get to the bag and have both hands on the handle of the pram.

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This bag also comes with additional accesories called ‘Snackysak’ food safe insulation to keep larger items warm or cool for up to four hours. It can be stored inside the bag and clips on with its poppers! The bag also came with a changing mat, nothing fancy but is padded and does everything it needs to and folds up so tiny it just slots into the bag!!

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Important things to know:

  • Dimensions: H 28cm W 37cm (excluding pockets) D 12.5cm
  • Multi pocketed style made from durable PU with a wipe clean finish
  • Large outer pocket with a feature magnetic closure
  • Chunky silver rings and hardware and an adjustable shoulder strap
  • Built in stroller clips
  • Thermo-insulated bottle holder will keep fluids warm or cool for up to four hours depending on external temperature
  • Padded changing mat and wipe clean linings throughout
  • Features the handy Snackysak to keep larger items insulated
  • Weight: 1kg

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The bag is just great, such a unique simple design and looks classy with the metal magnet clasp on the front. I’ve not met anyone with the same bag as me which I like and I don’t think I will ever want or need a new one. It still looks basically brand new proving the durability of the fabric its made of and the wipe clean means it looks sparkly new each time I step out.  Don’t step out the house without it and is so easy to keep tidy with all the different compartments!

To anyone looking for a bag yes a little bit more expensive that some others but definitely worth it I’m nearly 4 months in and have nothing bad to say about it. A new mum definite MUST HAVE!!

10/10 from me and a 10/10 from Amelia because with this bag I never forget a thing!!!

Notes from the designer:

“The Nina made her first appearance for Spring/Summer ’12, and quickly became one of our best sellers. We like to think of the Nina as our quirkiest bag, with a fun personality! Great value for money, this style features original Storksak prints and the new Snackysak – an extra, insulated food bag, which makes her ideal for trips to the park. The Nina is spacious, spill proof and comes with built in strollerstraps for extra practicality”