Festive baby fashion from Next

With a son born so close to Christmas (23rd December to be precise – and trust me I did everything I could to get him out 15 days prior on his due date!) it would be rude of me not to embrace the Christmas spirit by bringing some festive fun to his wardrobe!

We’ve recently enjoyed a Christmas themed shoot celebrating his first ‘proper’ Christmas and also marking his upcoming first birthday. Here’s a selection I’m sharing with you, and I’ve linked to all of his outfits (all from Next)…

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15 Gifts for under £15 from Neal’s Yard Remedies

What I love about Neal’s Yard Remedies (beyond their ethical and organic credentials) is that it’s affordable luxury, and even more because a little goes a long way. No fillers are included meaning there is no need to use an excess amount – whether that’s skin care, body products or their essential oils.

The products look glamorous, but for good reason –  the packaging is recyclable, the blue glass preserves the product for longer and prevents UV rays causing damage to them – tick tick tick!

I’ve chosen 15 gift ideas, all for under £15 – whether it’s for a loved one, a Secret Santa idea or as a stocking filler.

Beyond skincare, Neal’s Yard Remedies is a lifestyle brand. With products for the body, mother/pregnancy and baby, hands and feet, essential oils, health products, teas, supplements, aromatherapy remedies,  mens products, hair care – the list is long and there really is something for everybody.

If you’re stuck for gift ideas, then hopefully there will be some inspiration here for you…

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Let’s talk vaginas with ease, with Eve…

How much do you know about vaginas? Yes that’s right, I just said the word VAGINA! Ask your boyfriend, husband, brother or father if they know what a vulva is! Your partner may have been down the “business end” during the birth of your children and still not know what a cervix is!

A shocking 25% of men aged 18 – 24 claim to know nothing about gynae health, or that gynae health is not a male issue.

Well, listen up boys! If your female partners, relatives and friends are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer, you will want to support your loved ones and be informed. Every woman who is diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer has a man in her life who cares about her.

As sexual partners, you are relied upon to spot any symptoms your partner may be unaware of. It is then also your life-saving responsibility to inform your sexual partner (or for some of you reading this – partners!) of any findings – it could save their life.

Far too many men and women don’t know the signs and symptoms of gynae cancers or are too embarrassed to do anything about them and we need to be more open with each other. Regardless of how many years, months, days or hours (!) you have been intimate with a partner, just think, you could save a loved one’s life by finding the confidence to speak up, and this post will help you to do so…

Let’s talk facts. In the UK alone, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer each year. This equates to 58 women being diagnosed every day. Sadly, 7,700 of these women will succumb to one of these cancers, which is of course is 7,700 too many. 😦

I have a long standing relationship with The Eve Appeal, the only UK charity raising awareness and funding research in all five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. It gives me such pleasure to continue working for them and help drive awareness of their latest campaigns – #IamAdam (for men to become more aware) and #knowyourbody (including a quiz for everyone to take part in).

Here I speak to Athena Lamnisos, Chief Executive Officer of The Eve Appeal who answers many important questions which will be useful for all of us. She talks signs and symptoms, how to approach a sexual partner if we’re concerned, why it’s important for men to be informed, how we can help spread awareness and get involved as well as an update of future screening tests for women (more than the cervical screening already on offer).

Thank you for reading. And please, to all men and women out there reading this post – share, share share!

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It’s time to face plant some strawberries and cream!

With summer finally here and with Wimbledon over in a blink, ’tis the season for strawberries and cream…in our tummies and ON OUR FACES! Yes you read that right.

Neal’s Yard Remedies have created an easy-to-make DIY mask to use at home to give our skin a fresher look and a radiant glow. It’s a 2-in-1 scrub and mask, and contains just three tasty ingredients… strawberries, cream and oats.

This scrub/mask combination is perfect for anyone with a super busy schedule, especially if you’re a relatively new mummy like me where getting out of the house for an hour long pampering facial can be challenging – there simple aren’t enough hours in the day.

It’s also a great idea to do with friends if you enjoy pamper parties. Perhaps with a glass of Pimms for the optimum summer treat…

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My pregnancy beauty faves

Not long after I fell pregnant, I noticed instant (and negative) changes to my skin and hair. “It’s completely normal” people told me, which didn’t necessarily make it okay when one spends a lot of time (& money!) on looking after their skin.

My skin became sensitive, noticed by a burning sensation feeling from a variety of beauty products I’d been using for a long time – cleansers, scrubs, masks and creams. Not long after receiving a “plus sign” on a pregnancy test my skin became dull, prone to breakouts and from the start it’s a constant battle against tiredness, sickness and a lack of energy – which inevitably becomes apparent in our skin (well for some of us it does…).

The books, apps and websites all promise us the all over “glow” as well as thick and glossy hair – but that promise doesn’t always deliver.

I wasn’t *too* strict about beauty products and their ingredients in pregnancy and I didn’t ditch everything I used/owned – I didn’t want to drastically switch to 100% organic/natural/parafen-free/fragrance-free products, but I did try a few new products which I genuinely fell in love with, and here I want to share with you some of my favourites which I’ll definitely use again next time (if there is a next time). Some I’m continuing to use now even without being pregnant.

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Random! This is the only untouched photo of just me and my face when I was pregnant!

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