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Baby Boy Look Book S/S '17

Sunday, 23 April 2017
Baby Boy Lookbook Outfit Ideas OOTD Spring Summer 2017

Oliver's now moved up to the next size in most of his clothes - yep, the boy who didn't even fit into 'tiny baby' size when he was born is now in the clothes that I referred to as 'man size' when we looked at them a few months ago. He's not quite man size, but he's definitely a bit of a chunk now! 

I thought it would be a bit of fun to film a baby look book for my youtube channel this week, since I've been spending every morning saying 'oh my goodness, you look SO cute today'. We still have more things to pick up for him, and I'm planning on a big Zara haul on pay day (which I'll share too of course). 

Hope you like the video and all the cute baby smiles! Don't forget to like and subscribe! 

Oliver's Six Months Update

Friday, 21 April 2017
Baby Boy Nursery Decor Neutral Scandi Style White and Yellow

The biggest milestone so far - my boy is six months old! This is the age when everything changes - he's eating solids, he's in his own room, he's moving around more and in the next six months again, he'll change completely again. It scares me how fast time flies but at the same time, Oliver just gets more fun every day and I am so excited to see what he'll be like through all the next stages too. 

I decided to make this update on my youtube channel rather than my blog, purely so I can have some video memories of him at this age too. I'm not sure why but, although I know I probably take more videos and photos than most people, I worry that I'll regret it if I don't keep as many of these memories a possible. 

I'd really love to have your support - please give my video a thumbs up and subscribe! 

The Best Teething Toy | Matchstick Monkey

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Normally I like to trial a product for a long while before recommending it, but we've used this particular one constantly over the last week and it has been an absolute god send. If there's any mums out there struggling with teething babies, I want you to know about this as soon as possible. 

Oliver started teething quite suddenly a few weeks ago. One day we noticed he had red cheeks and within a few days he was drooling everywhere, grumpy and trying to chew anything in sight. I was prepared for teething .. or so I thought. It turned out that all the teething toys I'd bought him were to big for his little hands and rather than them helping him, he'd just get frustrated that he couldn't pick them up or that he'd keep dropping them. That's where the Matchstick Monkey* steps in. 

This little monkey with a curly tail is the perfect size for Oliver's tiny hands. It's made of a soft flexible rubber with toothbrush bumps on the back of the monkey's head, which gives a really good surface for him to bite his gums down on.  It's also a great way of applying Calgel to his gums and making sure it gets to the sore area, which is hard to find when your little one can't talk to you! I just pop a bit on the back of the monkeys head (which is his favourite place to chew on) and Oliver will find the sore area himself. 

This has quickly become an essential in our changing bag - it's up their with the nappies and wipes! When he's crying with teething pain, this will often be the only thing that'll soothe him.

The Matchstick money costs £9.99 and is worth every single penny. You can order yours from in a variety of different colours or you can pick one up from Mothercare if you're out and about. If there's one thing you need to get for a teething baby, this is it. 

What do you think is the best toy for teething babies?

Feeling Like Me Again | Coco Rose London

Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Fashion and Style Blogger UK MAISY MEOW

When my pregnancy was coming to an end, one of the things I was looking forward to (apart from the obvious) was 'feeling like me again'. I was tired of having a huge bump, being unable to get out of the bath and wearing awful maternity clothes that made me look even worse than I felt. Fashion has always been something I've loved and in that nine months, my body changed beyond recognition and I had a very limited choice of what I could actually dress it in. I wanted to feel like me again - to have the energy to do my hair, my make-up and to pick a nice outfit that'd make me feel good too.

Little did I know that it'd take a lot longer than my due date for me to get that feeling back again. 

I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't buy any new clothes until I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight and, although it sounds harsh, the horror of wearing old, now oversized maternity clothes was the motivation I needed and I made it back to my pre-pregnancy weight at around 12 weeks. But even then, I didn't feel good about myself. In the three months that it took me to lose that weight, I'd learned to put myself to the very last place on my list of priorities. I only had an hour or two free every day so I'd skip washing my hair in favour of writing that blog post with a deadline, or attempting to catch up with the never-ending pile of washing. I'd feel guilty for taking the time to put make-up on in the morning while Oliver sat in his bouncer waiting for me to play with him. 

Fashion and Style Blogger UK MAISY MEOW

I can honestly say I didn't feel like 'me' again until the last two months. One day, I was writing a to-do list which was way longer than I wanted it to be. I was trying to work out where to start, and realised that I had to sit down and seriously consider what my priorities were. My stress levels were through the roof and a lot of it was down to how I was feeling in myself. I had to stop putting myself to the bottom of the list and start washing my hair when it needed washed, start doing my make-up in the morning and making sure I looked after myself before tackling that never-ending pile of washing. 

As soon as this changed, so did everything else. I felt happier, less stressed and with my confidence  levels back up, I had an extra spring in my step that gave me the energy to do everything else. That old cliche saying of happy mum, happy baby is true. I need to look after myself if I want to be able to look after a baby too. My hair or make-up may not interest Oliver but how it makes me feel does.

Fashion and Style Blogger UK MAISY MEOW

I've started enjoying shopping and putting outfits together again. I picked up this pretty white top from Next and these Topshop embroidered jeans last month. They're slightly cropped at the ankle and I love how they look paired with my Coco Rose London Clapham* loafers. These shoes are the comfiest flat ballet-style shoes that I've ever owned. They're slightly curved in the sole so they fit to the shape of my foot and, unlike other shoes in this style, don't make me feel like I'm going to walk out of them. 

Getting back into fashion and style is something I want to do this year and although my blog will still be lifestyle and baby based, I want to throw the odd outfit post in every now and then. I'll be doing shopping hauls over on my youtube channel too so make sure you're subscribed over there if you want to see what I buy for my spring wardrobe - oh, it feels good to even say that! 

How long did it take for you to feel like you again after having a baby? 

*gifted item for review

Best of BoConcept

Sunday, 9 April 2017
Years ago, I used to visit the same 4 or 5 homeware shops religiously. I'd browse the same stock, all the same styles and still complain that I could never find anything unique or special. Since decorating our house and having to shop in the homeware section more than ever before (not that I'm complaining), I've totally opened my eyes to all the gorgeous home and furniture shops out there. I love discovering new brands and browsing all the things I'd have missed out on before. Having unique, good quality accessories and furniture is something that can give your home that extra bit of style. 

BoConcept* have a fantastic range of beautiful furniture and homeware, in the minimal and scandinavian-style that I love to have in my home. I love this grey sheepskin and have been looking for  something in this exact colour for such a long time. It looks beautiful and thick, and would be perfect as a throw over the rocking chair in Oliver's room. I've got my eye on this grey night 'n' day throw for my living room too because, let's be honest, you can't have too many of those. Adding throws to a room is an effortless way to add texture and make a room a bit more interesting.

I could spend ages browsing all the accessories on the BoConcept site and was super excited to discover there's a new store opened in Edinburgh so I can browse the designer furniture in person next time I'm through in the city. You can find the new store in Rose Street, Edinburgh and you'll probably find me in there too, admiring this beautiful white and wood 'Milano' table and this Adelaide lounge chair. I love how both these items are in a style that's really popular at the moment, yet they both have their own unique twists and I doubt you'd find anything similar elsewhere. 

If you like the look of my favourites, check out the full range here or visit the new store here.

*This a sponsored post

Acid Reflux in Babies : Our Experience

Sunday, 2 April 2017
maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Blog UK Acid Reflux in Babies Infant Reflux Treatment Ranitidine

I've spoken about Oliver's acid reflux here and there but I wanted to tell the full story in a video to cover everything about our experience so far. Reflux is so common but, from speaking to other mums on social media, it seems the treatment and advice given around it can be so different from place to place. I've had so much advice from posts and videos I've found on line so I'm hoping that sharing ours will be helpful to others too. In this video, I'm talking about all the symptoms he's had, what medication we've tried and what's helped, and also about a new thing we're starting next week that I have really high hopes for. 

Hope you enjoy the video and if you do, please like and subscribe!

Baby Merlins Magic Sleepsuit | Swaddle Transition

Thursday, 30 March 2017
It took us eight weeks to find out how to get Oliver to sleep at night and once we'd found that winning combination, it was heaven. I knew it couldn't last though, because the main thing in that combination was a velcro swaddle and we couldn't do that forever.  It's recommended that babies aren't swaddled past three months, but when we tried to phase it out we went straight back into those sleepless nights. Without a swaddle, Oliver's arms would go straight up in the air within minutes and he'd wake himself up. Then he'd get really upset. So we started swaddling again.

We were sent the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit to try out, in the hope it would help us with transitioning out of the swaddle. I have to admit, at first I thought it looked crazy but after reading the amazon reviews, I had high hopes for it. The sleep suit muffles the startle reflex that babies have, and creates that warm, secure feeling that swaddling gives while encouraging them to sleep with their arms out. Oliver always fell asleep in his pram suit so I knew he liked that warm, snug feeling.

Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Blog How to Transition from swaddling baby merlins magic sleepsuit

When it arrived I was a bit concerned at the thickness. It's a puffy suit, but the material is breathable and the hands and feet are free. It left me wondering what he should wear under it - I didn't know whether I'd be under dressing or overdressing him. In the end, after reading some advice on line, I put Oliver in a nappy and vest with the magic sleepsuit on top. I'm in Scotland and it's still pretty cold at the moment, but with our heating on it's normally around 19 degrees in his room.

On our first night trying out the suit, I half expected Oliver to wake up within a few minutes of being put in his cot. We watched on the video monitor and, as expected, he startled himself within a minute or so but, this time, he didn't fully wake up. We could see his eyes darting around the room in the dark but he must have felt so warm and cosy that he just went back to sleep and we couldn't believe it. That night he slept in exactly the same pattern as he would have done in his swaddle. It actually worked.

How to Transition baby from swaddle, how to stop swaddling, baby merlins magic sleep suit

It quickly became part of our routine. After his bath, we'd put him in his sleep suit, dim the lights and give him his final bottle. The suit's really easy to put on because it has a double zip at the front, so there's no drama before bed time. With Oliver's reflux and sickness, I was concerned about washing and drying the suit regularly but it was totally fine and dried over the radiator within an hour or so.

We planned on using the sleep suit for a few months in the hope that he'd get used to sleeping that way and then we could try him in a normal baby sleeping bag. One night last week, though, I realised in horror that I'd forgotten to take the suit out of the washing machine. Oliver was just out of his bath and waiting for his bed time bottle and we had nothing to put him in.

We decided to try to let him sleep in one of the baby sleeping bags, assuming that if/when it didn't work, the sleep suit would be drying in the mean time and we'd put him in that eventually. Can you guess what happened? He slept. He slept just like he did in the magic sleep suit. For the past week, he's slept in his sleeping bag every night and his sleeping pattern has stayed exactly the same. It's something I still can't get my head around.

In just 3 short weeks, the Magic Sleepsuit has trained Oliver to sleep without the swaddle and how to send himself back to sleep if he wakes during the night. I can't believe how useful this product has been. It costs £23.95 and is worth every penny in my opinion, whether you're transitioning from the swaddle or just want to comfort a baby who has trouble staying asleep for long periods. I cannot recommend this enough. If you want to try it out, they've given me a discount code for 10% off via Amazon. Just use the code 'MMBLOG10' to get your discount.

Did any of you have trouble transitioning your baby out of a swaddle?

*item sent for review 

Oliver's 5 Month Update

Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Blogger Baby on bed photoshoot

Oliver turned five months last week and for me, it was a huge milestone. I'm not sure why, but five months is a stage when I always thought 'that's when he'll be a big boy'. Reading back through his 4 month update, I can't believe how much he's changed in such a short space of time. He's sleeping better, he can roll from his tummy to his back, he's now in the big bath and he's having the time of his life in his jumperoo every day.

We had him weighed this week and he weighs 14 pounds 10, which puts him in the 9th percentile for his weight. He's smaller than average but that's expected since he was only a tiny 6 pounds at birth. He's getting so much stronger every day. His little chunky legs can hold his full weight and he just wants to stand up all the time, with me holding his hands for support. He's not sitting up on his own, and he's refusing to practice now because he just wants to straighten himself out and stand instead. One step at a time, Oliver!

His sleep has probably been the biggest change in the last month. We realised that putting him to bed even half an hour earlier meant he'd be awake twice in the night but if we had him in bed for 8pm, he'd only wake once. No idea why, but if putting him down a bit later works then I'll go with it. It still gives us time to ourselves in the evening before we go to bed. He wakes around 2/3am for a bottle usually, then sleeps until 6 or 7am. The earlier starts are actually pretty good, I love having a nice long morning and still being able to get out of the house at a reasonable time. 

Maisy Meow 5 Month Old Baby Update Lifestyle and Parenting Blog

Oh, and the biggest development this month? He doesn't need swaddled anymore! I'd almost resigned myself to the fact that I'd be swaddling him until his 18th birthday. I'm going to do a separate blog post on this but we had a major breakthrough and managed to transition him out of the swaddle in a matter of weeks. We now put him in a baby sleeping bag and he's quite happy to have his arms free.

At 5 months, the countdown has started to when we can start weaning. I've spoken to the health visitor and think we're going to start a couple of weeks early to see if it'll help with his acid reflux. I've read online that it either really helps, or makes it worse ... so I'm a bit nervous about that. With the amount of times he's sick every day, we really have nothing to lose by trying it. If any of you have any advice on weaning for a baby with reflux, send it my way!

It's been a great month overall - probably my favourite month since he was born. Everything is just so much fun at this stage. He's always smiling and laughing and we just really enjoy hanging out together. He loves to cuddle in, he laughs when I blow raspberries on his neck and when he spots me from the other side of the room he gives me the biggest smile that just makes my heart melt. 

He just keeps getting better and better! 

White Minimal Living Room Tour

Sunday, 26 March 2017

The long awaited (and over-promised) living room tour is finally live. 

It's been so long since I've filmed a video for my YouTube channel, and I really want to get back into making regular videos. One of the main reasons is that I want to film lots of memories with Oliver so we can show him in years to come, so I do plan on having a little side kick in some videos in future! 

Since my last blogs were all renovation related though, it seemed appropriate to come back with my living room tour. If you haven't followed my blog for long, you might not know that me and Andy started renovating our house in May 2015. It's been a lot of work (more than we'd ever expected) but it's been so worth it and we're both so happy with the home we've made for ourselves and Oliver. 

I'd love if you watched the video, and be even happier if you subscribed to my channel! 

Mothercare Orb Pram Review

Sunday, 19 March 2017
Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Baby Blogger Mothercare Orb pram inexpensive good quality pram

Any mum or mum-to-be knows how overwhelming it is shopping for a pram for the first time. When you've never had a baby, how do you know what to look for? All I knew was that I wanted one that I could fit my car seat to for short journeys and one that wasn't too difficult or heavy to get in the car boot. Pram prices vary massively and at a time when I already had a huge list of things to buy, I didn't want to overspend but at the same time, I didn't want to buy something sub-standard. 

Luckily, my friend had a baby the year before me and had always raved about how much she loved her Mothercare orb pram. I loved the style, it was affordable and had good reviews on line so a few months before Oliver arrived, I ordered the Mothercare Orb pram in 'Liquorice'. It was on offer at the time and reduced from £429 to £299 which was less than half of the cost of others I'd looked at. (This deal is currently on at the moment too - so go check it out!)

The pram comes in two parts - the wheels and the carry cot/pushchair attachment. For the price you pay, you also get the cosy toes liner and the rain cover. The only additional extra we had to buy were the adapters to allow us to attach the car seat to the wheels - these were just £29 and I suppose, since not everyone has a car, it makes sense to sell them separate.

The main part of the pram can be used as a carry cot from birth, allowing the baby to lie flat on his/her back as per the current guidelines. When the baby can sit up and hold their head steadily, this can be easily converted into a pushchair style seat simply by pulling a few fastenings at the back. 

Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Blog | Good Inexpensive Pram Review Mothercare orb

We recently converted the carry cot into the buggy, so Oliver can now sit up and see what's going on around him. This is a bit earlier than recommended, but we had gotten to the stage that every walk was with a crying baby in the carry cot who just wanted to see what's going on. He's much happier now that he can see where he is and he's totally fascinated by everything around him.

One feature that makes this pram stand out is that you can switch from forward to rear facing while the baby is still in the pram. A twist and lift of the handle and it'll flip over to the opposite side of the chair allowing the baby to be rear or front facing. This is a great feature if Oliver's getting bored of looking at me on our walks, I can just twist him round and the new view keeps him interested.

The pram is lightweight, easy to push and navigate over the bumpy paths and pavements. If I'm putting it in the car, it's a case of pushing two buttons to detach the top, and another button to collapse the wheels - simple. Once the pram has been converted into a buggy, it can be used up until the child is around 2 years old depending on their weight and height. I'd say two years worth of pram use for just £300 is incredibly good value.  

This is a pram I'd highly recommend to any expectant parents looking for a high quality pram at a reasonable price. If you want to have a closer look, check out the Mothercare youtube video which gives a detailed tour and demo of the pram - I found it really useful when I was making the decision. 

Have any of you tried this pram?

Feeling the Mum Guilt.

Thursday, 16 March 2017
When I went on maternity leave, I had serious plans for my blog. I love writing, photography and the creative side of blogging and it's great being able to make a bit of extra money on the side too. It's a hobby, but I've always felt there's so much more potential in me/my blog and for a while, I've wanted to take it to the next level. Maternity leave was the perfect opportunity, I thought. 

I'm almost 5 months into maternity leave and although I'm proud of how I've grown my blog in this time, I never feel like it's enough. There's always more time I could have worked on something, more effort I could have put in. I find myself feeling guilty for not devoting all my time to it, yet I also feel guilty for not giving 100% of that time to Oliver. 

Maternity leave is supposed to be about spending time with your baby, isn't it?

Maisy Meow Parenting and Lifestyle Blogger Feeling Guilty about going to work and leaving baby

If I ask my mum to watch Oliver so I can take photos for my blog, or ask Andy to take him a walk so I can write a new post, I feel guilty because I think that time should be spent with Oliver. I should put my computer away and play with my baby. I have an almost daily argument with myself about whether I'm right to feel guilty for not giving every minute of my time to him.

Ultimately, my dream is to work from home. To make a regular income from blogging that would allow me to work for myself, while being at home and there for Oliver. Working a few hours in the evening or during his naps, rather than going back to working long days and missing out on his early years. I don't want to leave in the morning and come home when he's in bed. My dream is to have the job that allows me to spend more time with my son, but the only way I can get that is by giving up special moments with him now. It's a catch 22.

I recognise that I'm feeling the 'mum guilt' that everyone talks about and that I'll probably feel it no matter what I do. I can't be the perfect mum, the perfect girlfriend, have a perfectly clean home and build a business all at once. I know that I somehow need to find a balance between working for the future and living in the moment. It's a difficult task but I suppose it's one of many that come with being a mother and having a little person depending on your every move. 

Do any of you struggle to get the work/life balance right?

Mum Politics: To The Mum On The Forum

Tuesday, 14 March 2017
To the Mum on the Forum, 

I saw your post and I've been thinking about it ever since. It's one of those thoughts that's making me anxious, because I have so much to say about it and since I don't know you personally, I can't get it all off my chest. Your dilemma isn't huge and you've acknowledged that there are much bigger problems in the world but at the same time, you've said you now feel 'like a terrible mother' and, in my opinion, that's pretty serious.

So your son is approaching his first birthday and in all the chaos of moving house and everything that goes with it, you've realised that you won't have enough time to order him a custom birthday cake. You're now left with the horrifying prospect of presenting him with a shop-bought cake. On top of that, you're worried that the presents you've bought him, albeit expensive, 'don't look like much'. You said you've seen so many pictures of beautiful custom cakes and huge stacks of presents from other mums on Facebook and you feel guilty that you're not giving your son the same. You feel like a terrible mother, and that's the part I can't stop thinking about. 

I'm going to state the obvious and I'm sure this is something that you've probably been trying to drill into your own head too. Your son is almost one. He doesn't know or care if his cake is custom-made, shop bought or if it's a cadbury's mini roll with a candle on top. He doesn't care if he has a huge pile of presents - let's face it, he'll probably play with one of them for a few seconds and then spend the rest of the afternoon going in and out of the cardboard box it came in.

The thing is, you don't want the custom cake for your son. You want the custom cake and the huge pile of presents to impress the other mums on Facebook. You want to meet their standard of a 'good mum' - the mum that goes all-out for every birthday and Christmas, who has angelic, over-achieving children and the perfect (photogenic) family life.

Maisy Meow UK Lifestyle and Parenting Blog Competition between mums on Facebook

What you probably don't realise is that each and every mum on facebook has probably had their own variation of your problem. They're all trying to meet that standard. A standard unconsciously created by themselves. A competition that none of them ever wanted to enter but one where they now find themselves both the participant and the judge. Everyone is trying to compete and it's not because they want to brag or make you feel inferior, it's because they don't want to feel inferior themselves.

It's worth mentioning that you went into a secret group on facebook to vent about this. A group where no one knows each other, and everyone has their guard down. It's almost like you stepped back from the fake world of Facebook and whispered your question to the real world, before adjusting your 'mum of the year' badge and heading back in with a huge fake smile. 

I suggest you keep stepping back from that fake world and keep going until you are no longer in it. You don't need anyone to judge your parenting. It's not up to them to decide whether you're a good mum or not. When deciding what to get your son for his birthday, think about what would make him happy, not everyone else. You'll probably find that that's your love, your attention, your time. Spend the day playing with a new toy, singing happy birthday and he'll be over the moon. 

Instead of posting a photo of a huge pile of presents and an overpriced cake, post a picture of your happy, smiling boy on his birthday. Don't enter the competition, set a new standard of your own. Let's face it, anyone who thinks any less of you for it isn't worth your time anyway. If you stick two fingers up to the mum competition, the chances are other mums will feel encouraged to do it too. If you want to post something about your boy's birthday, think about your reasons for posting it and if you find you're doing it for validation from others, stop. Take a step back and remember you don't need it. 

Being a mum is hard enough as it is without that added pressure. Letting go of that competitiveness will be like a weight off your shoulders and will give you the freedom to follow your gut instinct and just do what makes you and your son happy. That's all that matters. 

Have any of you felt the need to compete against other mums on facebook?

Mothers Day Gift Guide with St Enoch Centre

Sunday, 12 March 2017
It's been a long, long time since I've written a gift guide but with my blog being so baby orientated these days, it seemed like mothers day was a topic I should cover. First of all, don't panic - it's not today. You still have another two weeks of thinking 'oh yeah, need to get something' before you ultimately go out the day before and panic buy. Or is it just me that always does that? Luckily this year I'm prepared as I've paid a visit to the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow, and picked up some gift ideas to share with you. The centre has a huge selection of shops and the St Enoch Centre rewards scheme means you can build up points while shopping too.

I've read a lot of 'alternative' gift guides recently and they're great but personally, I love the cliche gifts. Bath bombs on your birthday? Yes please. PJ's for Christmas? I'm all over that. As a new mum, I know how much you appreciate being able to take time for yourself and any gift that gives you an excuse to do that is a winner in my opinion. Here's my fool-proof gift ideas for mothers day...

Maisy Meow Gift Guide for Mothers Day Estee Lauder Yankee Candles Beauty Hamper

The Marc Jacobs Daisy range is universally loved and if you're not sure what kind of scent your mum likes, Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream is perfect. Not too floral, not too sweet. It's a beautiful, fresh spring scent. I picked up 50ml from The Perfume Shop for £44.99.

I've yet to meet a mum (or anyone, for that matter) that doesn't love candles. Nothing helps you to relax more than turning the lights down, lighting some beautiful candles and chilling out in front of the television once the little one's in bed. One of my all-time favourite candles is Yankee 'Shea Butter'. It's a clean, free scent and, just like the perfume, it's the perfect scent to gift someone. I love the candle selection in the St Enoch Centre Boots - there are so many to chose from.

Maisy Meow Mothers Day Gift Guide Hotel Chocolat

Next on the list is a product that's so highly thought of, I can almost guarantee that your mum will have heard of it. It's known in the beauty world as a magic potion and having tried it myself, I can confirm this is pretty accurate description. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (30ml) is a beautiful luxury product and if you want to treat your mum, this is the way to do it. I picked this one up from Debenhams for £52. It may seem a lot but you only use a drop at a time, so a little goes a long way.

The last idea on my list is something I'd still consider as a luxury product, despite it being the least expensive thing here. This beautifully packaged Mothers Day gift box from Hotel Chocolat comes in at £12.50. Hotel Chocolat is one of my favourite shops when buying gifts - their chocolates are always beautifully decorated, packaged perfectly and taste like an absolute dream.

Are you a fan of the cliche gift ideas for Mother's day? 

Being a twenty-something grandma.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The other day I saw a buzz feed post shared on facebook titled '52 Things that mildly thrill twenty-something grandmas'. I read through that article like I was reading my own life. I am excited by cosy pyjamas. I love trying out new cleaning products, especially when they work really well. I love Ikea, staying in and television shows about cooking, redecorating and moving house. I am a twenty-something grandma. We're actually a 'thing'. Finally, a diagnosis after years of confusion. 

I'm 27 years old and I gave up pretending to like night clubs when I was around 21. I wasted my teenage years in town with friends, throwing my money away and wishing it would just hurry up and be time to go home because the fun part of the night stopped when we ordered the taxi. I loved getting ready before we went out - doing our make-up, having a drink and chatting but I hated the main event. The horrible, dirty nightclubs where the drink tasted like nail polish remover, there was sick all over the toilets and you couldn't stand still without being pushed or having your foot crushed by some girl's fake Louboutin. But I kept going out, because I wanted to socialise and I was just being a 'normal' young girl who 'loves' to party at the weekend.  

Then one day, I just decided to stop doing things I didn't like doing. I suppose it was a confidence thing that came with age. I wasn't going to waste my hard-earned money or my weekends on something I didn't really enjoy. I started doing what I wanted to do like shopping for nice clothes or spending hours upon hours in ikea. Some nights I'd get comfy clothes on, order a take away and watch a film. Others I'd have friends round for a drink in the house, or go to a pub where we can actually sit down and chat.  Not because I'm boring or a hermit, but because that's what I want to do. 

I've had people tell me I'm 'never out anymore'. Actually, I do go 'out', I'm just out doing things I actually like and in places I want to be. When you think about it, it's crazy to assume that everyone of a certain age bracket should like one activity. That doesn't apply to anything else in life so why would it apply now? Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and I wish I'd allowed myself to have mine. 

Doing what I actually enjoyed meant I was suddenly finding myself in the company of those who also liked the same things. It turns out it's not just me who doesn't like night clubs - there's more grandmas out there than you think. And we're in each others houses, having a laugh, listening to music of our choice, maybe drinking reasonably priced alcohol from a clean glass and wearing comfortable clothes. And guess what? It's not boring. It's awesome. 

Are you a twenty-something grandma?

Labour, In Hindsight

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

In the days and weeks after labour, I said some pretty harsh things. To be honest, I felt a bit traumatised by the whole thing and used to end up in tears even talking about it. My labour experience wasn't anything out of the ordinary. It was a natural birth and the active labour lasted around 9 hours (read my birth story here), I just could not handle that pain. I felt so helpless and I was screaming in agony and, afterwards, I swore that despite always wanting at least two kids, I'd never do that again. 

I'd been told 'you forget the pain' but that wasn't the case for me. I was so in love with my little boy but I couldn't stop thinking about how horrific that labour had been and how the experience had changed all my future plans. How could I ever voluntarily put myself forward for that again? I was desperately trying to resolve the situation in my head.

Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Baby Blogger Getting Over Trauma of Labour

Maybe I didn't need to have more children? I loved this little boy more than anything already, and he was enough to make me feel like the luckiest person in the world, but I knew deep down I didn't want to deny him of a sibling because of my own fears. Growing up in a family of three kids myself, it means a lot to me that Oliver gets to have a brother or sister too.

So maybe I could go for a voluntary c-section next time? At least then I'd be more in control, I'd have a date to go into hospital and I wouldn't have to go through those contractions. But the more I read about it, the more I realised that c-sections aren't a walk in the park either. There can be really serious complications and the recovery can be painful too. Could I really put myself at that risk voluntarily, when I have Oliver to think of? Every alternative left me feeling guilty and selfish.

Some people are desperate for a child and can't conceive. I'm lucky enough to be able to have one naturally and yet I complain that it hurts? It sounds so ungrateful. I felt so guilty for even thinking like that but your mind can be so powerful and the thought used to haunt me constantly.

Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Getting Over Labour Trauma

It's been over 4 months since Oliver was born, and I've thought a lot about the future and I suppose time has helped me be a bit more rational. I wouldn't say I've forgotten the pain, but the memory is definitely more hazy now. My thoughts now are that, yes, it was horrendous but in return, I earned the most beautiful baby boy that's given me a happiness that I didn't even know existed. I really would do anything for him and if that means going through labour again to give him a sibling, I'll do it.

If someone was to offer me the chance to rewind, to never have experienced labour but therefore to never have met Oliver, I'd say 'no way'. And right now, although I've yet to meet my next baby, I know I'll think the same about him/her when I do. I'm currently in the 'rewinded' stage and I just need to be brave enough to fast forward to the good bit. (I really hope that makes sense - my inner logic can sound crazy at times but it works for me!)

It's just one day - that's what I keep telling myself. One day of pain and a lifetime of happiness with another child in our family. If I'm lucky enough to get pregnant again, I'm going to give birth naturally if I can. I've done a lot of research into preparing for labour (something I wish I'd done last time). A lot of women have said how hypno-birthing really helped them through labour and this is something I'll definitely invest in if I do it again.

The turnaround in my decision is down to one thing and one thing only, time. Having time to think about it, to process all my thoughts, the positives and negatives. I've not forgotten the pain, but I've just learned that sometimes you have to do something really hard to get something really amazing.

Did any of you feel a similar way after labour? 

Sharing photos of your kids on social media.

Sunday, 5 March 2017
Maisy Meow Sharing Photos of your children on line

Our generation are a 'first'. The first generation to go through life with the internet as a major part of our every day lives. Everyone has an opinion on how much we should use it, how it affects our social skills, how safe it is and everything else - but no one really knows the long term effects it has on us and our children because it's not been around long enough for us to find out.


As a blogger, I share my life on the internet. I open up and chat about things most people only discuss with close friends. I share photos of my home on instagram and talk about what I had for breakfast on twitter. Everything in my life is online and as a new mum, a huge part of that life is my baby boy. He's with me everywhere I go (seriously, even in the shower) and my life revolves around his wants and needs. So if I'm sharing my life, is it okay to share pictures of him too? 

Personally, I'm of the opinion that sharing photos of him on line is no different to sharing his face with the public when we're out and about. I don't cover his face when we're going to Tesco and I don't feel the need to do it on line. With that said, I do think there needs to be boundaries. I imagine him as an adult and wonder if he'd really be happy if I posted pictures of his bare bum all over the internet (even if it is ridiculously cute just now). Naked bath photos, which are some of the cutest, are shared with family members and close friends only for that reason.

Basic internet safety should always apply and I'm always careful not to share personal information or give any clues about where I live or work. Whether you share photos of your children or not, that should always be the case and it's something I'll be sure to teach my family too.

I actually think this generation of kids are lucky that they'll have so much to look back on when their older. I love looking back on my old baby photos and hearing stories of what our life was like back then. New kids of this generation, however, can look back at their parents facebooks and see years of photos and videos of themselves and probably read the statuses of their parents complaining that they won't sleep, or laughing at something funny they've said. Whether they'll enjoy that or not, is another question. We can only wait to find out.

What's your thoughts on sharing photos of your kids and family online? 

Co-sleeping with a Newborn.

Thursday, 2 March 2017
As a first time mum, baby guidelines and advice are something you rely on heavily. With so much to learn, you feel like you can do some kind of preparation by learning the 'basics' of having a baby. For me, the basics were that a baby should always sleep in his own cot, should always sleep on his back and shouldn't be near any loose covers or blankets that could cover him. I almost felt like I was preparing for an exam when I was pregnant, so you can imagine my devastation when the baby arrived and the questions were totally not what I'd  studied for. It turned out my baby wouldn't sleep on his back at all. He'd fall asleep easily on my chest but the second he was put on his back, he'd be wide awake and screaming. We tried every 'trick' in the book but absolutely nothing worked.

After three weeks of sleepless nights, I was having a total meltdown at the thought of another night of repeating the same failing process and gave in, letting him sleep on my chest while I sat up in bed. I propped myself up with pillows behind and on either side so that I couldn't move, pulled the duvet back and placed a light blanket over him. I was doing something I said I'd never do and I knew that, but I felt like I had no choice. It was complete desperation. That night Oliver slept for 5 hours straight for the first time and I woke up feeling much better for the sleep, but racked with guilt that I'd risked sleeping that way. 

Over the next few weeks, we continued to try to put Oliver down on his back every night but would inevitably end up co-sleeping half way through the night when we got too tired. It would have taken some unimaginable will power to stay up all night, knowing you could get a few hours rest if you let him sleep how he wanted to sleep. I also worried that Oliver would suffer from not getting to sleep and even felt guilty about depriving him of it, just because I wouldn't allow him to sleep how he wanted to. 

Maisy Meow Co Sleeping With Baby and Why

When people asked 'how's he sleeping?' (which is the standard first question when people see a baby), I'd feel so embarrassed telling them he slept on my chest. I felt like they'd judge me and think I was a silly irresponsible mother who didn't care about the safety of her child. I did, but I had exhausted the process of trying to get him to sleep on his back. It was against all the safe-sleeping guidelines and I knew that, but I felt I had no choice.  We also discovered that he was happy tummy-sleeping, but after doing some research and reading this article, we decided against that too.

We continued to co-sleep until Oliver was 8 weeks old at which point, something just clicked and he let us put him down (see this post about that). Having my own space in bed again, and being able to let myself go into a deep sleep was the best feeling and I was so proud of Oliver for going it alone. I have to say though, I did miss having those sleepy baby cuddles every night!

So what do I think about co-sleeping now? I agree that the safest way to have your baby sleep is on it's own, on it's back and without any covers or blankets near them. There's years and years of research to back it up and you only have to read that article above to realise how much of an impact it can have. I also understand, though, that while everyone should aim to follow the guidelines, its not always possible and, to an extent, you need to just do what works for you and your baby in the safest way possible. 

What's your thoughts on co-sleeping?

Ikea Skoghall Table Hack | How to Hide Your TV boxes

Tuesday, 28 February 2017
When I put up my hanging pendant light, it drew attention to an area of the living room that I wasn't too keen on. It was down the side of the couch, where all our cable, xbox and wifi boxes were stored alongside an abundance of cables and wires. The problem was that the sky box needed to be visible in order for us to use the remote and even if we picked up a magic eye adaptor, I couldn't think of a way to store the boxes somewhere without having a cable hanging out the top. 

I spent a few weeks looking on line for ideas but couldn't find anything that didn't involve hand-building my own table - not an option as me and Andy are utterly useless at DIY. I eventually came across the Ikea skoghall beside table and realised this might be the solution for hiding the tv boxes. It was narrow enough to fit in the space, could be used for storage as it had a lid and since it had holes all over it, I'd be able to poke the cables through and store all the mess inside. 

Maisy Meow Ikea Skoghall Table Hack Hiding TV Boxes Cables

The table was just £15 and super easy to build, even for me. The tricky bit was removing all the cables from the boxes and making sure I could put them all back in the right place (tip: take a photo before removing the tables so you know what it's supposed to look like when you put them back in!). 

The plan worked a treat and I was able to put the big bulky boxes inside the table and then feed the wires through the holes at the back and plug them in. Luckily, we didn't need a magic eye adaptor as the remote still works through the holes at the front of the table - how lucky is that?

I love that this is now it's own little area, rather than being written off as a storage area for the boxes. The Skoghall table is the perfect solution for hiding cable boxes and I'd definitely recommend trying this out if you have a similar storage issue in your living room or bedroom.

Make sure you're following my Pinterest for lots of home inspo and ideas! 

Maternity Leave: Expectations vs. Reality

Sunday, 26 February 2017
I remember watching people finish up for maternity leave in work and thinking, 'oh my god, you're going to be off work for a full year'. You have a year of continuous weekends ahead. No getting up for work, no clock-watching at your desk, you're just free to do whatever you want whenever you want. And you'll have a beautiful little sleeping baby snuggled into you.

Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Blog Maternity Leave Expectations vs Reality Mother and Son

Oh, the naivety! Firstly I just want to say, I do love maternity leave. I love being at home with my baby and I'm completely dreading going back to work but let me tell you this, maternity leave is not a holiday. It's a harder job than I did before. It's 24/7, there's no tea breaks and the boss is relentless.

Expectations: I'll spending my afternoons having lunch dates with friends.
Reality: Everyone else is at work. And if you manage to find a willing participant to accompany you, the dark cloud of maternity pay is constantly hanging over you. Funding a year of constant weekends is something I didn't take into account. 

Expectations: I'll be super productive when the baby's napping. Babies sleep all the time!
Reality: Either your baby doesn't nap (been there) or if he does, he'll only nap while pinning you down on the couch (been there too). Or if you're extremely lucky and have a top sleeper, you'll probably be using nap times to catch up on all the things you've been unable to do while baby's been awake ie. showering, getting dressed. Oh and by the way, babies are instinctively programmed to wake up the second you think about doing something productive.

Expectations: I'll be away from temptation at work so I'll eat really well and become extra healthy.
Reality: You're lucky if you get the time to eat and if you do, it's probably a cereal bar or something with little to no prep time. Oh, and when you're sleep deprived there's nothing more appealing than carbs, lucozade, coffee .. basically, all the calories. 

Expectations: I'll exercise loads when I'm off and lose the baby weight in no time. 
Reality: If you get a baby free hour, the last thing you want to do is exercise. You want to sleep, shower, sit in silence. The most exercise I get is a long walk with the pram every day which, admittedly, is better than sitting at my desk but definitely not the workout I had planned! On a positive note, all the baby lifting is definitely toning my arms!

Was your maternity leave what you expected it to be?

Hanging Bulb Feature Light

Thursday, 23 February 2017
The living room has been my biggest project since we started properly decorating. I've always got one or two projects ongoing and it's never quite 'finished' - remember that living room tour I keep saying I'll post? It's constantly on stand-by as I've always got 'one more thing to do' before it's officially finished. I will post it soon though. In the mean time, I wanted to share a mini project I've finished recently. A few of you were asking about it on instagram so I'd chat about in on here too. 

I've wanted a hanging light feature ever since I noticed a few on Pinterest. I just thought the bare bulb and loose wire looked really different and I loved how creative some people were with how they'd hang them. Some of the lights were wrapped around shelf brackets, wall hooks or even bed frames. This corner of my living room needed light, but it's also the corner where all our cables and tv boxes were stored so there wasn't any floor space for a standing lamp, so it was the perfect place for it.

Maisy Meow Interiors Hanging Bare Bulb Feature Light over Wall Hooks DIY

The wall hooks were a nightmare to find. Some places were charging £16 per wall hook and I refused to pay almost £50 for three bits of wood. Then by total chance, I found these wooden wall hooks reduced to £7.50 for 3. The rubber edging peeled off and I was so happy that I'd gotten exactly what I was looking for for such a good price. They're back up to full price at £15.00 but it's still excellent value compared to others on the market!

I have a lot of copper accents in the room so went for this copper pendant light from Amazon. It took about 3 weeks to arrive and I'm pretty sure it came from China, so be prepared to wait if you order it. It was super easy to put up thanks to Andy's friend drilling the holes in the wall (we're both useless like that), and then it was just a case of wrapping it round and plugging it in - easy!

I absolutely love how this turned out, and I'm really glad I waited to find exactly what I wanted for a fair price. If you're thinking of doing something similar, I think it's best to chose somewhere that you have a piece of furniture underneath as it can look messy if you can see the wire touching the ground. We put in a small table unit to hide the wire at the bottom. Also, make sure it's near to a plug point as the wire needs to hang loosely for full effect, and that's lost if you need to pull it tight to plug it in.

Check out my Pinterest board on hanging pendant lights to see some other ideas I loved.

What do you think of this light feature?

Oliver's 4 Month Update

Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Recently I found myself reading back through my pregnancy posts. I remember wondering at the time if there was any point in writing them - there was nothing out of the ordinary and they're similar to any other pregnancy update. But, actually, I loved reading back through them even a few months later and that's how I feel about these baby updates too. They're probably not too different from other babies of the same age, but I love having an online diary of my boy that I'll be able to look back on in months or even years to come. I love the baby stage and I don't want to forget any little detail. 

So, Oliver is now 4 months old. Almost 18 weeks actually, but I think there's a certain point you stop counting weeks and start counting month to month so, as of the 20th February, he was officially 4 months. 

Oliver is such a smiley boy and I'm not joking when I say I almost cry every morning when he wakes up, sees my face and gives me the biggest grin in the world. He's been sleeping well most of the time, usually from 10pm until 5.30am, then back down until half 7ish. However, this week has been a tough one. We've been trying to bring his bed time forward to 7/8ish and in doing that, we've thrown his whole sleep pattern out. He's been waking for two bottles during the night and despite my efforts, he won't take a dream feed before I go to bed. I'm going to persevere with it though and hope he gets used to it because it's been absolute heaven having my evenings to myself. He's still swaddled for his night time sleep - he just won't sleep without it and I'm starting to worry if we'll ever be able to phase them out. His arms still fly all over the place when he's lying down and it wakes him up instantly.

mother and son parenting blogger 4 month old baby

Acid reflux is still a pain and it's his trademark to leave a circle of sick on the shoulder of anyone who holds him. We go through a ridiculous amount of clothes and bibs every day which, coupled with the fact that he's sick all over us too, means our washing machine is constantly on the go. Luckily, he is still happy and doesn't even flinch when he's sick so it's not bothering him too much. I'm hoping it'll get better once he can be upright in a baby-walker, or when I can eventually start weaning him. 

He's been better at  tummy time ever since I started using his elephant toy as a support. His legs, neck and back are getting really strong and he absolutely loves sitting up if I hold his hands or again, use the elephant for support behind him. Having a new perspective is really exciting for him, and he's so curious to watch everything from a new angle. I laugh every time I hold him upright on my knee, he gives me this cheeky, show-off kind of look as if he's really proud of his new trick.  

He's also getting so much better with his hands - he can grasp onto his rattle and he loves holding onto his comfort blanket (who we've named Fraser Fox). He still won't take a dummy, but this is the substitute and one of the easiest ways to send him to sleep is to pop it by his face so he can suck it or, alarmingly, cover his face with it. Apparently this is a common thing for babies to do but seriously, I can't handle the anxiety it gives me when I see him like that on the monitor.

Sleeping 4 Month Old Baby - Update Progress

Oliver went into his 3-6 month clothes when he was around 16 weeks. I haven't had him officially weighed in a few weeks, but this morning I weighed myself and then the two of us together and he came in at 14.2 pounds. That's more than double his birth weight and explains why I've noticed my arms getting a bit of muscle for the first time ever! 

His latest development started in the last few days, and it's constant 'singing'. It's as if he's found his voice and he just babbles away constantly, loudly, while pulling different faces as if he's explaining something really complicated. It's hilarious and adorable, I feel like I'm actually having a conversation with him sometimes and he's started imitating the noises that I make to him. He's not quite mastered a full on laugh, but he does a little half-giggle which I absolutely love. 

Every little development Oliver makes is so exciting and I love that me and Andy can now chat to him, get big smiles and play with him. He is just the sweetest little boy and I can't imagine life without him. As I write this, he's having a day out with his dad and although I was super stressed before they left, I miss him already and I can't wait to give him a huge cuddle when he's home!

If you want to keep up with regular baby updates/outfits/rants/general wonderings - make sure you're following my instagram - I post every day with home and family updates!

Home | Interior Wellbeing

Sunday, 19 February 2017
I've been thinking about my blog content recently as I'm conscious it's been very baby-focused since Oliver arrived. I write about things that are on my mind and as you can see, it's been baby 24/7. Now that I'm more on top of things and we're back to a somewhat normal life (well, our new 'normal'), I want to get back to writing about my other love .. interiors! I have so many home and interiors posts for you over the next few weeks and I'm looking forward to sharing all the home updates I've made over the last few months. 

Today's post fits in well with interiors making a comeback on my blog. It's a collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing, a mobility company providing customers with healthcare and mobility products to meet their individual needs, as part of their Interior Wellbeing campaign. Styling your home isn't just about the aesthetics - your home needs to work for you and your family too whether that's making it child friendly, mobility friendly or even having a dedicated office space where you can work in peace. 

Today I'm sharing some of my favourite interior trends for this year, and how you can incorporate purpose furniture, such as recliner chairs, into your home while keeping it stylish and modern. 

The easiest way to keep your home modern and on-trend, in my opinion, is to keep the furniture neutral. Think white, beige, tan, black - colours like this allow you to easily change your whole room decor just by throwing in a few new cushions, a rug, throw or hanging new art on the walls. These riser reclining chairs are available in all the easy neutrals which will allow you to do just that, making your furniture the perfect 'base' for an ever-changing decor, while still being super practical for your family and their needs. 

One of my favourite trends for this year is colourful patterns. I'm a neutral decor kind of girl, but I do love to add a pop of colour in there somewhere. If you're extra brave, mixing bright patterns is a new trend for 2017 and can give so much depth to a room if done in the right way. Pom poms are everywhere too and although I was sceptical at first, I'm definitely on board with a bit of pom pom detailing this year.

A 'trend' that's just slightly updated every year is wood in the home. I love having different tones of wood throughout my house - in the flooring, furnishings and with different accessories and ornaments. Don't shy away from mixing different types and colours of wood together - I find doing this can actually make two pieces really compliment each other and stand out. 

What are your favourite home trends for this year? 

*this post is in collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing

5 Ways To Conquer the Sunday Night Dread

Sunday, 12 February 2017
There's a certain point on a Sunday evening when the atmosphere changes. The happy weekend vibes fade and suddenly the Sunday night dread kicks in. It's a universal feeling. I'm on maternity leave and I still get it. But there's ways to tackle it and if you do it right, you can go to bed on a Sunday night feeling happy, organised and ready to take on Monday with a clear head. Here's some tips..

Tidy Home, Tidy Mind - I totally live by this saying. If your home is clean and tidy, you feel like you have it together. Set some time aside on a Sunday morning or afternoon to clean the house, catch up with washing, change your bed linen or if you've got time, de-clutter or clear out your wardrobe. Your stress levels will thank you for it. 

The Sunday Spa - Exfoliate, moisturise, fake tan, deep condition your hair or just do whatever you can to feel nice. I try and do this on a Sunday night so I can start the week feeling good about myself and now that I've got Oliver, it helps to do as much beauty things in advance so I look a little less horrendous if I have to pop out to the shops without make-up.  Extra points if you pop your PJs over the radiator so they're nice and warm for you coming out!

Sleep on it - Never underestimate the power of a good nights sleep (says me, who hasn't had one since June). Your brain processes all your thoughts and emotions while you sleep, which is why you sometimes wake up having made a decision overnight (hence the saying 'sleep on it') and it's also why you can end up extra emotional when you don't sleep enough (hence me..all the time). Resist the temptation to drag out the weekend by staying up extra late on a Sunday and have an early night. 

Do Your Diary - I talked about the benefits of having weekly goals recently but I like to use a Sunday to plan my whole week. Mark up any appointments you have, shifts for work, classes at the gym or even programmes you want to watch on the telly. Looking at the week ahead and knowing when you're free and when you're busy helps to make Monday a bit less heavy on the brain. 

Prep everything - I don't mean this in the #prepsundays sense where you need to cook 7 chicken breasts while squatting and drinking green smoothies. A Sunday should be prep day for everything. Wash and iron your clothes for the week, stock up your fridge with everything you'll need, pack your bag for work. The more preparation you do on a Sunday, the more smoothly your Monday is going to go and if Monday goes well, you've set yourself up for a good week.

Do you have any Sunday night rituals?

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