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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?

Baby | Chicco Next To Me Review

Thursday, 9 February 2017
I was so indecisive when buying baby products but one thing that I had my heart set on from day one was the Chicco Next to Me side-sleeping crib. I liked the idea of keeping my baby as close to me as possible in the first few months, but I also wanted to make sure I was following all the safe sleeping guidelines. The Next to Me acts like an extension of your bed creating a space where your baby can sleep beside you. The area for baby is obviously free from pillows, away from your duvet and takes away the risk of you rolling over onto the baby while still allowing you to 'co-sleep'.

I looked at a few side sleepers, but we liked that the Next to Me was big, doubled as a travel cot and could last up until 6 months. A lot of babies outgrow their moses basket within a couple of weeks, and it made sense to spend money on one thing that would last until he goes into his own room.


We bought the Next to Me Circles which is a neutral grey colour that matches our room perfectly. I know it shouldn't really matter much but when you take pride in your home, it's really nice to have something neutral that doesn't disrupt the room decor too much. 

The main selling point of the side-sleeper is the fact that during the night,you don't have to get out of bed to check on your baby. If Oliver wants fed or needs settled during the night, I just have to reach over to get him. This was a godsend in the really early days when I was checking him constantly. At first I thought this benefit would be lost on me since I'm not breastfeeding (because I'd still have to get up to make a bottle), but we actually used to take the Tommy Tippee Perfect Prep machine upstairs and have it sitting on my bedside table so I had everything to hand. An alternative to that is to use the ready made bottles during the night if you're formula-feeding (which is what we do now). 


I'd heard of a lot of people using the Sleepyhead pod inside the Next to Me, and after reading reviews on both we decided to do the same. The crib is quite big on it's own, and would probably have been huge for a newborn to lie in so the Sleepyhead makes it more snug and secure for a tiny baby. I can't really give an opinion on the crib without the Sleepyhead inside, as we've always used it this way. You can read my Sleepyhead Deluxe Review here. 

There's two cons of the Next to Me, in my opinion. The first being that it doesn't rock like the other popular side-sleeping crib, the Snuzpod. However, you can still gently shake the cot which helps tip the baby back over into sleep if he starts to wake during the night.


The other negative is really an issue with having a side sleeper in general. When I was recovering from labour, it was really frustrating that I couldn't just get out of the bed. Instead, I had to shuffle down past the crib which could be pretty painful at times. Also, sometimes staying in bed to settle the baby isn't an option - if Oliver's being particularly fussy during the night, he needs me to walk with him for a bit which means I need to shuffle down the bed while also holding a wriggling baby, which isn't easy.

The price of the Next to Me seems to have went up slightly since we bought ours in October, but if you're planning on getting one I'd recommend looking out for voucher codes on We managed to get 20% off ours as it was our first credit order so we saved about £30.00.

I'd definitely recommend the Next to Me side-sleeping crib. The long nights can be the most difficult times in the newborn days and anything that makes them slightly easier to bear is a blessing!

Did any of you use a side-sleeping crib? 

*this is not a sponsored post

DIY Newborn Photo Shoot

Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Is there anything sweeter than a sleeping newborn baby? We've all seen those adorable newborn photo shoots with the tiny naked baby in a knitted hat, with their beautiful little bum in the air. Newborn photo shoots have grown so much in popularity over the last few years and I seriously considered paying for one in the weeks before Oliver was born. That was, until I realised how expensive they were. With a baby shopping list the size of my arm bump, there was no way I could justify spending so much money on a photoshoot, so I decided I'd give it a go myself. 

I'm definitely not a photographer and although I've always wanted to learn, I've never got any further than watching YouTube tutorials and reading some photography tips blog posts. One thing I had on my side was my good old friend Pinterest for inspiration and the benefit of being able to take the photos at any time. There was no risk of a screaming, hungry baby during our two hour time slot with a paid photographer. Our set-up was just a few feet away, and we could wait until Oliver was suitably fed, and in a super deep sleep before we attempted anything. 

I took our photos on a canon 600d SLR, but you definitely do not need a camera like that to do your own photos. The cameras on iphones and new smart phones are enough to produce really good quality images, especially if you use an editing tool afterwards.

So, here's my tips for a DIY newborn photoshoot: 

How to take your own newborn photos

1. Get inspired - my top source of inspo for everything in life is Pinterest and I got so many ideas from searching newborn photography. My advice would be to avoid over-ambitious poses like when the baby has their head in their hands - leave those poses to the professionals (and photoshop). Luckily babies are so beautiful that you don't have to do much to get a lovely result. 

2. Photo props - Oliver was born in October so I went for an autumnal theme and picked up some artificial leaves and wicker pumpkins. We already had a wicker basket in our living room which, once we'd padded it out with a few throws, worked perfectly. Search newborn photography props on Amazon for beautiful knitted outfits, cushions and everything else you might need. 

How to do your own newborn photoshoot

3. Create the set - Find the place in your house that gets the most natural light, set up any props you have and take a few test photos to check the light and find the best angle. Do all of this in advance so that once your baby is fed and in a deep sleep, you can pop him/her in place and get snapping. 

4. Prepare before nap time - Make sure you don't need to do anything other than move your baby from one place to another for the photo. If you want your baby to be naked then make sure they're naked when they fall asleep. We let Oliver fall asleep in his nappy, wrapped up in this big blanket and all we had to do was lift him from the couch into the basket when he was fast asleep. 

Once you're finished you can lighten, brighten, sharpen or do whatever you like with editing apps or software on your computer. I used basic Picasa editor to lighten mine ever so slightly. We ordered copies of the photos from snapfish and we even ended up using vistaprint to make them into thank you cards for all our gifts. I'm so glad we have some lovely photos of our baby in his first few days and I'll always cherish them. Even now, just three months later, I can't believe how tiny he used to be.

Did any of you do your own newborn photo shoot? 

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