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So, I was just sat here typing out a caption for tomorrow's Instagram post - a picture of me holding Ava in my arms as she reaches up to grab some leaves off of the flowery bush just above our heads - and this huge wave of sadness swept over me as I realised that soon it won't just be me and Ava anymore.

As much as I am so excited about having another baby and Ava having a little brother to grow up with, I feel like I am almost losing something. For the last almost two years, it has been me and Ava all day every day. There hasn't be an entire day that I have been away from her. And we have become a little team. In so much as I am her world, she is mine. And all of that is about to change. As much as she will still mean everything to me, she won't be the only one in need of my time and attention. And I am scared. I am scared of how I will feel. And how she will feel. And I don't want to lose this connection we have. I don't want to lose us.


Our lives are about to change in a big way and it is going to be a whole new adventure. We will adapt and find new ways to have fun together. Our routines will adjust eventually. And I know that Ava will be an incredible older sister but, almost selfishly, part of me does want to keep her almost all to myself. Because I know that, come October, it will be all breastfeeding and sleepless nights and nappy changes and people visiting the baby. In the turmoil, there won't be time for one-on-one hot chocolate dates and slow walks around the park looking for leaves. It will be a new kind of exciting. And that's how I need to look at it. Not as a loss of what I had but as a gain of something even better.

So, for now, I am focusing on making her smile. Making memories together. Making the most of everyday. And trying to get myself used to the idea of mothering two rather than just one.

You may also like:
Pregnancy Diaries #1 #2 #3
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
An Ava Update
How I Find Time To Blog As A Stay-At-Home Mum

Pregnancy Diaries #4: Second Time Mum Blues


So, I was just sat here typing out a caption for tomorrow's Instagram post - a picture of me holding Ava in my arms as she reaches up to grab some leaves off of the flowery bush just above our heads - and this huge wave of sadness swept over me as I realised that soon it won't just be me and Ava anymore.

As much as I am so excited about having another baby and Ava having a little brother to grow up with, I feel like I am almost losing something. For the last almost two years, it has been me and Ava all day every day. There hasn't be an entire day that I have been away from her. And we have become a little team. In so much as I am her world, she is mine. And all of that is about to change. As much as she will still mean everything to me, she won't be the only one in need of my time and attention. And I am scared. I am scared of how I will feel. And how she will feel. And I don't want to lose this connection we have. I don't want to lose us.


Our lives are about to change in a big way and it is going to be a whole new adventure. We will adapt and find new ways to have fun together. Our routines will adjust eventually. And I know that Ava will be an incredible older sister but, almost selfishly, part of me does want to keep her almost all to myself. Because I know that, come October, it will be all breastfeeding and sleepless nights and nappy changes and people visiting the baby. In the turmoil, there won't be time for one-on-one hot chocolate dates and slow walks around the park looking for leaves. It will be a new kind of exciting. And that's how I need to look at it. Not as a loss of what I had but as a gain of something even better.

So, for now, I am focusing on making her smile. Making memories together. Making the most of everyday. And trying to get myself used to the idea of mothering two rather than just one.

You may also like:
Pregnancy Diaries #1 #2 #3
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
An Ava Update
How I Find Time To Blog As A Stay-At-Home Mum

As I write this, I am currently sat in Costa. Ava is at home with her dad and I am eating a big slice of carrot cake. Sounds like heaven, right? A rare bit of me time without having to worry about my coffee date having a screaming fit on the floor. I should be having the time of my life but, surprise surprise, I am absolutely consumed by mum guilt. As I went to leave the house, Ava saw me putting on my shoes and then went to the shoe rack, got her shoes, and passed them to me to put on her. When I ignored her request - feeling like a complete monster - she tried to shove her little toes into the shoes herself. And I almost couldn't leave her. But I did.

That is what trying to do anything outside of caring for your child is like. Every part of you goes into mumzilla mode and screams at you to drop everything and just snuggle that baby for the next four hours. Even though you know they are safe and happy with who you are leaving them with, you still know it isn't you. And you kinda want them to miss you like you miss them, right? But also that is your worst nightmare.

So, today I wanted to chat about how I find time to run this blog and create content and reply to a whole lot of emails whilst also being a stay at home mum to a rather energetic toddler.

Get your kid involved in photos
When Ava was newborn, it wasn't that difficult to find time to blog. I mean, I could put her down anywhere and she would most likely sleep or just lie there staring at things. But now she gets into everything. The second you open the laptop, she will pounce on you and start pushing all the keys like there's no tomorrow. And don't even get me started on trying to take flatlay photos when she is around. So, one solution I have found is getting her involved where I can. I know that trying to take perfect pictures in cafes or hotels that I am reviewing isn't feasible so I let Ava run around and get in the shot. I make her presence in the shot a feature of it rather than trying to keep her out of the way. I let her little hands find their way into flatlays and I embrace the madness.


Ask if events are kid-friendly
When I am invited to local events, whether I am able to attend usually depends on Isaac's work schedule. But, instead of just refusing if Isaac's work clashes with the event time, I have recently started asking if the event is kid-friendly. More often than not, it isn't (and sometimes it can be a bit daunting to think of turning up with an unpredictable toddler in tow) but it is also good to start creating this dialogue and possibly make those holding the events consider adapting to working mums in future. An example of a great kid-friendly event was the Britax Roemer event we attended in London last summer.

Utilise nap time
After a full morning of looking after your little one, it can often feel like the last thing you want to do is open your laptop and start typing but naptime is a great time to make use of. I usually use naptime to update social media and reply to emails as these don't require quite as much effort as writing up a post or shooting content but you are still ticking something off of your never-ending to-do-list. I then use the time in the evening when Ava is asleep for writing up posts and reading other people's blog posts.

Get out and about with your tripod
My tripod has been my saving grace over the last year and a half. It allows me to take outfit pictures and share the kind of content I want to without relying on Isaac to take my pictures for me. It gives me so much freedom and allows me to take control of my time and content. I tend to take Ava along with me, put her in her pushchair, and give her a bottle as I shoot a few pictures. It often means I only get between 5 - 8 shots but I have gotten to the stage now where the first three are usually the best anyway. I wrote a whole post about my top tips for shooting with a tripod recently so make sure you check that out.

What I'm Wearing (aff links):
Jumpsuit: Miss Selfridge
Trainers: Primark
Necklace: Liars & Lovers via ASOS

You may also like:
An Ava Update
Reclaiming My Identity Post-partum
My Name Isn't Mum
Why I'll Never Be A Mummy Blogger
My Top Tips For New Bloggers

How I Find Time To Blog As A Stay-At-Home Mum


As I write this, I am currently sat in Costa. Ava is at home with her dad and I am eating a big slice of carrot cake. Sounds like heaven, right? A rare bit of me time without having to worry about my coffee date having a screaming fit on the floor. I should be having the time of my life but, surprise surprise, I am absolutely consumed by mum guilt. As I went to leave the house, Ava saw me putting on my shoes and then went to the shoe rack, got her shoes, and passed them to me to put on her. When I ignored her request - feeling like a complete monster - she tried to shove her little toes into the shoes herself. And I almost couldn't leave her. But I did.

That is what trying to do anything outside of caring for your child is like. Every part of you goes into mumzilla mode and screams at you to drop everything and just snuggle that baby for the next four hours. Even though you know they are safe and happy with who you are leaving them with, you still know it isn't you. And you kinda want them to miss you like you miss them, right? But also that is your worst nightmare.

So, today I wanted to chat about how I find time to run this blog and create content and reply to a whole lot of emails whilst also being a stay at home mum to a rather energetic toddler.

Get your kid involved in photos
When Ava was newborn, it wasn't that difficult to find time to blog. I mean, I could put her down anywhere and she would most likely sleep or just lie there staring at things. But now she gets into everything. The second you open the laptop, she will pounce on you and start pushing all the keys like there's no tomorrow. And don't even get me started on trying to take flatlay photos when she is around. So, one solution I have found is getting her involved where I can. I know that trying to take perfect pictures in cafes or hotels that I am reviewing isn't feasible so I let Ava run around and get in the shot. I make her presence in the shot a feature of it rather than trying to keep her out of the way. I let her little hands find their way into flatlays and I embrace the madness.


Ask if events are kid-friendly
When I am invited to local events, whether I am able to attend usually depends on Isaac's work schedule. But, instead of just refusing if Isaac's work clashes with the event time, I have recently started asking if the event is kid-friendly. More often than not, it isn't (and sometimes it can be a bit daunting to think of turning up with an unpredictable toddler in tow) but it is also good to start creating this dialogue and possibly make those holding the events consider adapting to working mums in future. An example of a great kid-friendly event was the Britax Roemer event we attended in London last summer.

Utilise nap time
After a full morning of looking after your little one, it can often feel like the last thing you want to do is open your laptop and start typing but naptime is a great time to make use of. I usually use naptime to update social media and reply to emails as these don't require quite as much effort as writing up a post or shooting content but you are still ticking something off of your never-ending to-do-list. I then use the time in the evening when Ava is asleep for writing up posts and reading other people's blog posts.

Get out and about with your tripod
My tripod has been my saving grace over the last year and a half. It allows me to take outfit pictures and share the kind of content I want to without relying on Isaac to take my pictures for me. It gives me so much freedom and allows me to take control of my time and content. I tend to take Ava along with me, put her in her pushchair, and give her a bottle as I shoot a few pictures. It often means I only get between 5 - 8 shots but I have gotten to the stage now where the first three are usually the best anyway. I wrote a whole post about my top tips for shooting with a tripod recently so make sure you check that out.

What I'm Wearing (aff links):
Jumpsuit: Miss Selfridge
Trainers: Primark
Necklace: Liars & Lovers via ASOS

You may also like:
An Ava Update
Reclaiming My Identity Post-partum
My Name Isn't Mum
Why I'll Never Be A Mummy Blogger
My Top Tips For New Bloggers

For the past 6 years, I have been writing this blog and, in that time, I have made many online friends, I have had some awesome opportunities to work with brands big and small, and I have documented all the adventures and big life moments that have occurred during that time too. What I haven't done is made this blog into a big income generator for me (albeit not through lack of trying). So, you may be wondering why I am sat here penning a blog post of top tips for new bloggers if I haven't really made it myself. Well, I guess, there is no one more qualified than me to share what you should avoid doing as a new blogger and share with you what I have learnt over the last 6 years of being involved in the blogging community and also the industry side of blogging too.

Get social
Blogging is all about forming relationships. You are offering your readers something - be it an opinion, a bit of advice, or even directions on where to buy the cutest summer staples - and they will want to interact with you and offer a response. So, set up comment sections on your posts (honestly, there is nothing worse than a blog without a comments section) - I have found that Disqus is really easy to use and great for starting a conversation. And get on social media - the biggies you should have are Twitter and Instagram - and make them easily clickable on your blog page. Then just get chatting. Take time to get to know other people in the blogging community and take an interest in their content. One of the best things about the blogging community is how supportive most people are of each other but be aware that spammy comments and not-so-genuine interactions are possibly the easiest way to stop your blogging career dead in its tracks.

Another type of relationship you'll be forming is a working relationship with PRs. These are the people who will contact you with opportunities on behalf of brands. My top tip for dealing with PR people is to always be polite and professional. If an opportunity doesn't interest you, politely decline it. Don't talk bad about certain PR companies online as it will deter others from wanting to work with you. And keep your cool. As a smaller blogger, you will often get emails that feel a little insulting - like those asking for at least 8 hours of work in return for exposure - but try not to get annoyed. Simply decline and move on.

Don't allow your niche to restrict you
Every blogger and their mum will tell you that you need a niche (aka an area that your blog focuses on - like fashion or travel) but I am going against the grain a little here by saying that finding a niche shouldn't worry you too much. It isn't the be all and end all of blogging. For the longest time, I defined myself as a 'little bit of everything' blogger because there were so many different things that interested me. Lately, I would say that I have focused in on family and travel - honestly, I would love to be able to be a full-on travel blogger but my bank account is still sobbing from our Mallorca trip - but I find that I personally need to have a bit of flexibility and allow myself to write about whatever I want to. Limiting yourself to a niche can sometimes feel a little bit restrictive. Sure, people know what you're about but we all grow and adapt so why shouldn't our blogs grow with us?

Link relevant posts
This is a piece of advice that I got from the wonderful Fran Rockey in her blog post Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging and that is so link new blog posts to relevant old blog posts as it helps to boost your SEO (which is a techy term for your blog's googly stats. Yeah, I don't know what it is but it sounds important). Just scroll down to the bottom of this post and you will find a section that says 'you may also enjoy' then I have linked a few blog posts that chat about similar topics. You can also link key words throughout your post to old posts too. If you look at the paragraph before this, you will see the word Mallorca in bold. I have linked that to one of my blog posts about my trip to Mallorca. So, give that a go. But maybe go back and tidy up your ode to galaxy leggings from 2014 first before presenting it to the world. Yknow, for embarrassment control and all that.

Set up affiliate links
Another thing I have been doing lately is setting up affiliate links. Peep the 'what I am wearing' section at the bottom of this post and the shop section on my homepage. Both of these contain affiliate links which give me a little bit of cash with every click through and purchase. I use the site ShopStyle which is just a fashion related affiliate site but there are loads of others out there. So far, I have made just over £1 commission (lol) but that is after just a couple of months using it is worth just setting it up as a few pounds will add up either way and it is really easy to use so why not.

Experiment with different apps
After reading Corinne's post on 5 Apps To Up Your Instagram Game, I decided to have a play around with some different apps and that is how I found Planoly. They are an app where you can schedule your Instagram posts and it has just made everything so much easier. I would also suggest giving Adobe Lightroom a go for editing - I think they do a free trial - as that is what I use to edit and I love it (especially as you can play God and make people disappear from the backgrounds of your photos).

Consistency
My final tip is to just keep going. There's a saying that the last thing a fruit tree does is produce fruit and I often think about that in terms of my blog and social media. There is no quick fix to making it in this industry - only producing consistently good content and engaging with others will get you there. So, keep going and enjoy the process.

What I'm Wearing (aff links):
Blouse: Primark (similar linked)
Leggings: Primark
Hat: Primark

You may also enjoy:
Allowing Your Blog To Grow With You
Can You Make It As A Blogger If You Suck At Instagram?
Shooting With A Tripod: My Top Tips
How To Overcome Writer's Block As A Blogger
Learning To Switch Off As A Blogger

My Top Tips For New Bloggers


For the past 6 years, I have been writing this blog and, in that time, I have made many online friends, I have had some awesome opportunities to work with brands big and small, and I have documented all the adventures and big life moments that have occurred during that time too. What I haven't done is made this blog into a big income generator for me (albeit not through lack of trying). So, you may be wondering why I am sat here penning a blog post of top tips for new bloggers if I haven't really made it myself. Well, I guess, there is no one more qualified than me to share what you should avoid doing as a new blogger and share with you what I have learnt over the last 6 years of being involved in the blogging community and also the industry side of blogging too.

Get social
Blogging is all about forming relationships. You are offering your readers something - be it an opinion, a bit of advice, or even directions on where to buy the cutest summer staples - and they will want to interact with you and offer a response. So, set up comment sections on your posts (honestly, there is nothing worse than a blog without a comments section) - I have found that Disqus is really easy to use and great for starting a conversation. And get on social media - the biggies you should have are Twitter and Instagram - and make them easily clickable on your blog page. Then just get chatting. Take time to get to know other people in the blogging community and take an interest in their content. One of the best things about the blogging community is how supportive most people are of each other but be aware that spammy comments and not-so-genuine interactions are possibly the easiest way to stop your blogging career dead in its tracks.

Another type of relationship you'll be forming is a working relationship with PRs. These are the people who will contact you with opportunities on behalf of brands. My top tip for dealing with PR people is to always be polite and professional. If an opportunity doesn't interest you, politely decline it. Don't talk bad about certain PR companies online as it will deter others from wanting to work with you. And keep your cool. As a smaller blogger, you will often get emails that feel a little insulting - like those asking for at least 8 hours of work in return for exposure - but try not to get annoyed. Simply decline and move on.

Don't allow your niche to restrict you
Every blogger and their mum will tell you that you need a niche (aka an area that your blog focuses on - like fashion or travel) but I am going against the grain a little here by saying that finding a niche shouldn't worry you too much. It isn't the be all and end all of blogging. For the longest time, I defined myself as a 'little bit of everything' blogger because there were so many different things that interested me. Lately, I would say that I have focused in on family and travel - honestly, I would love to be able to be a full-on travel blogger but my bank account is still sobbing from our Mallorca trip - but I find that I personally need to have a bit of flexibility and allow myself to write about whatever I want to. Limiting yourself to a niche can sometimes feel a little bit restrictive. Sure, people know what you're about but we all grow and adapt so why shouldn't our blogs grow with us?

Link relevant posts
This is a piece of advice that I got from the wonderful Fran Rockey in her blog post Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging and that is so link new blog posts to relevant old blog posts as it helps to boost your SEO (which is a techy term for your blog's googly stats. Yeah, I don't know what it is but it sounds important). Just scroll down to the bottom of this post and you will find a section that says 'you may also enjoy' then I have linked a few blog posts that chat about similar topics. You can also link key words throughout your post to old posts too. If you look at the paragraph before this, you will see the word Mallorca in bold. I have linked that to one of my blog posts about my trip to Mallorca. So, give that a go. But maybe go back and tidy up your ode to galaxy leggings from 2014 first before presenting it to the world. Yknow, for embarrassment control and all that.

Set up affiliate links
Another thing I have been doing lately is setting up affiliate links. Peep the 'what I am wearing' section at the bottom of this post and the shop section on my homepage. Both of these contain affiliate links which give me a little bit of cash with every click through and purchase. I use the site ShopStyle which is just a fashion related affiliate site but there are loads of others out there. So far, I have made just over £1 commission (lol) but that is after just a couple of months using it is worth just setting it up as a few pounds will add up either way and it is really easy to use so why not.

Experiment with different apps
After reading Corinne's post on 5 Apps To Up Your Instagram Game, I decided to have a play around with some different apps and that is how I found Planoly. They are an app where you can schedule your Instagram posts and it has just made everything so much easier. I would also suggest giving Adobe Lightroom a go for editing - I think they do a free trial - as that is what I use to edit and I love it (especially as you can play God and make people disappear from the backgrounds of your photos).

Consistency
My final tip is to just keep going. There's a saying that the last thing a fruit tree does is produce fruit and I often think about that in terms of my blog and social media. There is no quick fix to making it in this industry - only producing consistently good content and engaging with others will get you there. So, keep going and enjoy the process.

What I'm Wearing (aff links):
Blouse: Primark (similar linked)
Leggings: Primark
Hat: Primark

You may also enjoy:
Allowing Your Blog To Grow With You
Can You Make It As A Blogger If You Suck At Instagram?
Shooting With A Tripod: My Top Tips
How To Overcome Writer's Block As A Blogger
Learning To Switch Off As A Blogger

We all know that I love a good hotel. Everything from diving head first into that meringue nest of a bed at the end of a long day of exploring to the promise of an absolute feast every morning in the shape of an unlimited buffet breakfast (you will usually find me hanging around the pastry section with a plate piled full of croissants and pain au chocolat). I would go as far as saying that a hotel can make or break a holiday for me. So, with that in mind, I was slightly dubious about booking our stay as part of a package deal online. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much but BQ Apolo turned out to be the best hotel I think I have ever stayed in.




The room
I had seen pictures of the rooms online before Isaac booked the deal he found through Opodo but I never tend to trust those professional photos you see on hotel websites because of the amount of times I have booked somewhere expecting a gorgeous room to find out that the picture was actually of an executive suite costing a cool £500 per night. But, let me tell you, this place was just as luxurious as the website suggests. The room is a beautiful turquoise colour with white details and it came with a balcony - which, I assume, all of the rooms do. It had a nicely decorated slate grey bathroom with a reasonably sized shower and all the toiletries you could ever need (including everything from a mini toothbrush to a shoe shiner). The room also came with a fridge but, unfortunately, no tea and coffee making facilities (although the bar staff were more than happy to provide us with hot water and milk for Ava whenever we asked free of charge). The best thing about the room had to be the TV though. It had BBC1, BBC2, ITV, and CBeebies on it which was an absolute godsend as it meant that Ava could fall asleep watching her favourite programmes which greatly decreased her tantrum count.




The food
As part of our deal, we had breakfast included but I can fully say that we would have upgraded to half board if possible. There were so many options for the breakfast. You could have everything from churros with chocolate sauce to scrambled eggs and chorizo. And that is not even scratching the surface of the options. There was so much fruit, so many pastries, at least 6 varieties of milk for my diary-avoiding pals. And there was something new everyday. My favourite had to be the boiled potatoes with herbs they served one morning as my morning sickness was playing up but those potatoes soon settled my stomach. I honestly can't think of anything that was lacking at all.

One evening, we opted to pay extra and have the buffet dinner. It was $20 per adult but I can honestly say that it was worth it. They had a huge variety of veggie, meat, and fish dishes as well as a huge salad station and a whole corner dedicated to desserts and cheeseboards. I really went in on the cold foods whilst Isaac devoured a whole lot of rice and curried veg and fish of every kind.

In terms of drinks, there were a good amount of options at the bar. As I can't drink and Isaac chooses not to, we didn't really explore them very well but we did give an alcohol-free Pina Colada a go which, if I remember rightly, costed about $5 each. It was lovely and fresh and fruity but maybe a little sweet. I wouldn't have minded trying out their alcohol-free Mojito or San Francisco either.



The facilities
The hotel itself isn't the hugest in comparison to many hotels and resorts you will find in Mallorca. It had 6 floors, a bar, a restaurant located downstairs, a luggage room, an indoors pool, and an outdoors pool with sun loungers dotted around it. My one issue with the pools were that they were absolutely freezing! I guess, they don't heat them but rather let the sun heat them. As we travelled at the start of the season (May), the sun hadn't really worked its magic yet. As Isaac put it, the indoors pool was like something out of a bushtucker trial. Ava loved the indoors pool though. Despite the coldness, it was quite nice to have a dip and, most days, we had the pool entirely to ourselves which was nice as it meant no-one had to see me wincing as I lowered myself into the icy pool or hear the words that I uttered as I lowered myself into said icy pool.


The atmosphere
I think one thing that every parent worries about when travelling with a toddler is how the hotel is going to react to said toddler. I mean, you never know whether people will treat your child running around like a nuisance or if they will be accommodating to the additional needs a child brings. But, I have to say, the staff at BQ Apolo were what really made the trip - especially the restaurant staff. I have never seen people go out of their way to make such a fuss over Ava and make her feel really special - especially when she has already approached them at least 50 times that day to say 'hi'. The staff, in general, were just so lovely. As it was my birthday on the penultimate day of our trip, they gave me a big slice of cake with a candle in it at breakfast and, when we returned to our rooms, we found a bottle of Cava and two chocolates had been left for us with a note (in German but that's not a problem for this German speaker *hair flick*) wishing me a very happy birthday. Although I couldn't drink the Cava (I left it with a note in Spanish for the housekeeper to take home), it was such a lovely touch and made my day even more special.



Location
The hotel was located just off of the Can Pastilla beach and had lots of little shops and restaurants nearby. There was also a bus stop about 5 minutes walk from the hotel that could take you into the capital city of Palma within 20 minutes. The hotel was 10 minutes taxi journey from Palma Airport. It was really nicely located as Can Pastilla isn't overly hectic or wild like Magaluf but it is close to Palma and has so much to do nearby too.

Honestly, I can't say enough good things about this hotel. There were very few things that I would change about our stay and the staff really went above and beyond to make our stay special which means so much to me.

You may also enjoy:
Our Stay At Hampton By Hilton In Edinburgh's West End
A Local's Guide To Visiting Devon
Berlin Travel Guide
Everything We Ate In Berlin
Cardiff Travel Guide

Our Stay At BQ Apolo In Can Pastilla, Mallorca


We all know that I love a good hotel. Everything from diving head first into that meringue nest of a bed at the end of a long day of exploring to the promise of an absolute feast every morning in the shape of an unlimited buffet breakfast (you will usually find me hanging around the pastry section with a plate piled full of croissants and pain au chocolat). I would go as far as saying that a hotel can make or break a holiday for me. So, with that in mind, I was slightly dubious about booking our stay as part of a package deal online. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much but BQ Apolo turned out to be the best hotel I think I have ever stayed in.




The room
I had seen pictures of the rooms online before Isaac booked the deal he found through Opodo but I never tend to trust those professional photos you see on hotel websites because of the amount of times I have booked somewhere expecting a gorgeous room to find out that the picture was actually of an executive suite costing a cool £500 per night. But, let me tell you, this place was just as luxurious as the website suggests. The room is a beautiful turquoise colour with white details and it came with a balcony - which, I assume, all of the rooms do. It had a nicely decorated slate grey bathroom with a reasonably sized shower and all the toiletries you could ever need (including everything from a mini toothbrush to a shoe shiner). The room also came with a fridge but, unfortunately, no tea and coffee making facilities (although the bar staff were more than happy to provide us with hot water and milk for Ava whenever we asked free of charge). The best thing about the room had to be the TV though. It had BBC1, BBC2, ITV, and CBeebies on it which was an absolute godsend as it meant that Ava could fall asleep watching her favourite programmes which greatly decreased her tantrum count.




The food
As part of our deal, we had breakfast included but I can fully say that we would have upgraded to half board if possible. There were so many options for the breakfast. You could have everything from churros with chocolate sauce to scrambled eggs and chorizo. And that is not even scratching the surface of the options. There was so much fruit, so many pastries, at least 6 varieties of milk for my diary-avoiding pals. And there was something new everyday. My favourite had to be the boiled potatoes with herbs they served one morning as my morning sickness was playing up but those potatoes soon settled my stomach. I honestly can't think of anything that was lacking at all.

One evening, we opted to pay extra and have the buffet dinner. It was $20 per adult but I can honestly say that it was worth it. They had a huge variety of veggie, meat, and fish dishes as well as a huge salad station and a whole corner dedicated to desserts and cheeseboards. I really went in on the cold foods whilst Isaac devoured a whole lot of rice and curried veg and fish of every kind.

In terms of drinks, there were a good amount of options at the bar. As I can't drink and Isaac chooses not to, we didn't really explore them very well but we did give an alcohol-free Pina Colada a go which, if I remember rightly, costed about $5 each. It was lovely and fresh and fruity but maybe a little sweet. I wouldn't have minded trying out their alcohol-free Mojito or San Francisco either.



The facilities
The hotel itself isn't the hugest in comparison to many hotels and resorts you will find in Mallorca. It had 6 floors, a bar, a restaurant located downstairs, a luggage room, an indoors pool, and an outdoors pool with sun loungers dotted around it. My one issue with the pools were that they were absolutely freezing! I guess, they don't heat them but rather let the sun heat them. As we travelled at the start of the season (May), the sun hadn't really worked its magic yet. As Isaac put it, the indoors pool was like something out of a bushtucker trial. Ava loved the indoors pool though. Despite the coldness, it was quite nice to have a dip and, most days, we had the pool entirely to ourselves which was nice as it meant no-one had to see me wincing as I lowered myself into the icy pool or hear the words that I uttered as I lowered myself into said icy pool.


The atmosphere
I think one thing that every parent worries about when travelling with a toddler is how the hotel is going to react to said toddler. I mean, you never know whether people will treat your child running around like a nuisance or if they will be accommodating to the additional needs a child brings. But, I have to say, the staff at BQ Apolo were what really made the trip - especially the restaurant staff. I have never seen people go out of their way to make such a fuss over Ava and make her feel really special - especially when she has already approached them at least 50 times that day to say 'hi'. The staff, in general, were just so lovely. As it was my birthday on the penultimate day of our trip, they gave me a big slice of cake with a candle in it at breakfast and, when we returned to our rooms, we found a bottle of Cava and two chocolates had been left for us with a note (in German but that's not a problem for this German speaker *hair flick*) wishing me a very happy birthday. Although I couldn't drink the Cava (I left it with a note in Spanish for the housekeeper to take home), it was such a lovely touch and made my day even more special.



Location
The hotel was located just off of the Can Pastilla beach and had lots of little shops and restaurants nearby. There was also a bus stop about 5 minutes walk from the hotel that could take you into the capital city of Palma within 20 minutes. The hotel was 10 minutes taxi journey from Palma Airport. It was really nicely located as Can Pastilla isn't overly hectic or wild like Magaluf but it is close to Palma and has so much to do nearby too.

Honestly, I can't say enough good things about this hotel. There were very few things that I would change about our stay and the staff really went above and beyond to make our stay special which means so much to me.

You may also enjoy:
Our Stay At Hampton By Hilton In Edinburgh's West End
A Local's Guide To Visiting Devon
Berlin Travel Guide
Everything We Ate In Berlin
Cardiff Travel Guide

What with all the pregnancy posts I have been writing lately, I feel like this blog is starting to miss a little something. Or, should I say, a little someone? That someone being my tearaway toddler Ava!

Yes, the mum guilt even extends to which child I am choosing to write about on the blog. Even though I have kinda told myself to keep the Ava content limited, it's really about time that I write a whole post all about her, right? I mean, she is basically my shadow in real life so it is only fair to give her the opportunity to make herself known here too.

Milestones
So, let's start with the basics. Last time I wrote about Ava, she had started weaning and wasn't having a great time with it (crazy as I can't seem to stop eating yet she can't seem to even start). Unfortunately, not much has changed. She just hates food (apart from chocolate obvs) and it does still feel like a bit of a battle to get her to eat as much as I would like her to but now, I guess, I have gotten used to her patterns and know how and when she is most likely to eat more and we just work with that. And, if all else fails, I tell her that slice of roast beef in front of her is made of chocolate and watch her shove it into her mouth and swallow it whole before realising it definitely isn't chocolate. Parenting 101.

She is doing pretty fab with the other milestones though. She is walking really well - if we go out just in our town, we leave the buggy home and just put her harness on her to avoid her running for the hills the second I open the front door (kinda insulting really). And her speech is getting there. She has started saying 'no' very occasionally (including when anyone other than her tries to hug me) and she also knows 'hi', 'bye', 'baby', 'three', and 'bird'. She understands a lot more though. I can give her instructions like to put her shoes on and she will go and get her shoes and Isaac and I have to now spell out some words in case she hears them (like when it is nearing bedtime and I ask Isaac to prepare her M-I-L-K which she will demand the second she knows it is coming her way).


Character
I am absolutely loving this age because her character is really shining through - and what a character she is! She is the most confident child you will ever meet. She says 'hi' to everyone in the street and runs up to cats and dogs saying 'awh babyyy' trying to cuddle them. She is an absolute delight to be around. That's not to say that she doesn't have her off moments. She can be very whingey when she isn't getting her own way but 9 times out of 10 a bit of Peppa Pig and a cuddle soon solves that.

One thing I wasn't prepared for though was quite how much energy she has. She wants to walk everywhere and will rarely sit down quietly and watch TV for longer than ten minutes. She loves being on the go and taking everything in. Which, as you can imagine, is lovely but totally exhausting for me too.

Looking forward
I don't think Ava has quite grasped the fact that her position as only child is soon to be toppled. She does kiss my bump and say 'baby' but she also flashes her belly at anyone and everyone saying 'baby' too so I can't really count that as her totally getting this whole pregnancy thing. She loves babies though so I am confident she won't be too unhappy when the baby does arrive. My only worry is that she is quite possessive over me and likes to have my full attention so I'm unsure how she will take to having to share my time a bit more. We are considering starting her in nursery soon so she gets used to not always having me by her side 24/7 and so she can have more interaction with other kids.

But, in case you haven't guessed it yet, I think Ava is pretty awesome (I know all mums think that about their kids) and I feel truly blessed to have such a lovely little lady in my life - and constantly by my side.

You may also enjoy:
My 24 Hour Labour Story
Ava Is One!
Things I Wish I'd Been Told About The Newborn Stage
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant

An Ava Update


What with all the pregnancy posts I have been writing lately, I feel like this blog is starting to miss a little something. Or, should I say, a little someone? That someone being my tearaway toddler Ava!

Yes, the mum guilt even extends to which child I am choosing to write about on the blog. Even though I have kinda told myself to keep the Ava content limited, it's really about time that I write a whole post all about her, right? I mean, she is basically my shadow in real life so it is only fair to give her the opportunity to make herself known here too.

Milestones
So, let's start with the basics. Last time I wrote about Ava, she had started weaning and wasn't having a great time with it (crazy as I can't seem to stop eating yet she can't seem to even start). Unfortunately, not much has changed. She just hates food (apart from chocolate obvs) and it does still feel like a bit of a battle to get her to eat as much as I would like her to but now, I guess, I have gotten used to her patterns and know how and when she is most likely to eat more and we just work with that. And, if all else fails, I tell her that slice of roast beef in front of her is made of chocolate and watch her shove it into her mouth and swallow it whole before realising it definitely isn't chocolate. Parenting 101.

She is doing pretty fab with the other milestones though. She is walking really well - if we go out just in our town, we leave the buggy home and just put her harness on her to avoid her running for the hills the second I open the front door (kinda insulting really). And her speech is getting there. She has started saying 'no' very occasionally (including when anyone other than her tries to hug me) and she also knows 'hi', 'bye', 'baby', 'three', and 'bird'. She understands a lot more though. I can give her instructions like to put her shoes on and she will go and get her shoes and Isaac and I have to now spell out some words in case she hears them (like when it is nearing bedtime and I ask Isaac to prepare her M-I-L-K which she will demand the second she knows it is coming her way).


Character
I am absolutely loving this age because her character is really shining through - and what a character she is! She is the most confident child you will ever meet. She says 'hi' to everyone in the street and runs up to cats and dogs saying 'awh babyyy' trying to cuddle them. She is an absolute delight to be around. That's not to say that she doesn't have her off moments. She can be very whingey when she isn't getting her own way but 9 times out of 10 a bit of Peppa Pig and a cuddle soon solves that.

One thing I wasn't prepared for though was quite how much energy she has. She wants to walk everywhere and will rarely sit down quietly and watch TV for longer than ten minutes. She loves being on the go and taking everything in. Which, as you can imagine, is lovely but totally exhausting for me too.

Looking forward
I don't think Ava has quite grasped the fact that her position as only child is soon to be toppled. She does kiss my bump and say 'baby' but she also flashes her belly at anyone and everyone saying 'baby' too so I can't really count that as her totally getting this whole pregnancy thing. She loves babies though so I am confident she won't be too unhappy when the baby does arrive. My only worry is that she is quite possessive over me and likes to have my full attention so I'm unsure how she will take to having to share my time a bit more. We are considering starting her in nursery soon so she gets used to not always having me by her side 24/7 and so she can have more interaction with other kids.

But, in case you haven't guessed it yet, I think Ava is pretty awesome (I know all mums think that about their kids) and I feel truly blessed to have such a lovely little lady in my life - and constantly by my side.

You may also enjoy:
My 24 Hour Labour Story
Ava Is One!
Things I Wish I'd Been Told About The Newborn Stage
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant

Tomorrow I am having my first scan and I am so nervous. I don't remember being this nervous the first time around. But, saying that, this pregnancy has been rather different to my first. I mean, I remember even saying in my first pregnancy that 'my body just knows how to be pregnant' because I hardly had any sickness (I know, I want to punch me too). This pregnancy has taught me that my body is just very mad at this whole situation and isn't doing much to keep that a secret from me. But, yknow what, I am starting to feel a bit better. So much so that I think I have my first craving: pickled onions. Those little things are insane. And crunchy. And gorgeous. Yum.

Anyway, I wanted to jot down a few predictions before I go for my scan tomorrow so that we can look back on them and either hail me as some kinda prophet or laugh at me. Probably the latter, to be fair.

So, when I first realised I was pregnant, I had a funny feeling that it may be twins because I had been ravenously hungry and had put on a fair amount of weight. The following weeks strengthened that thought because the intense nausea coupled with intense hunger made me think that there couldn't just be one baby in there causing this amount of disruption to my life. I thought I would probably have twin girls.

Now I have changed my mind. Now I think I am just carrying one baby. And I think it is a girl - a very big girl. I am predicting a huge child. I am so sure of it being a girl that I have already chosen a name.

So, by tomorrow, I will know just how many babies are living inside me but I won't know the sex for a little while yet. But, as I will be posting this in a few weeks, you guys will probably already have the answers anyway. So, drop a comment below laughing at me over my twins predictions (please, God, one baby is enough) or consoling me as I panic buy wooden planks from Homebase and attempt to build multiple cots for my offspring.

All jokes aside though, I kinda want to be a twin mum. Imagine the cute matching outfits.

You may also enjoy:
Pregnancy Diaries #1
Pregnancy Diaries #2
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
Can Maternity Clothes Actually Look Cute?

Pregnancy Diaries #3: Predictions


Tomorrow I am having my first scan and I am so nervous. I don't remember being this nervous the first time around. But, saying that, this pregnancy has been rather different to my first. I mean, I remember even saying in my first pregnancy that 'my body just knows how to be pregnant' because I hardly had any sickness (I know, I want to punch me too). This pregnancy has taught me that my body is just very mad at this whole situation and isn't doing much to keep that a secret from me. But, yknow what, I am starting to feel a bit better. So much so that I think I have my first craving: pickled onions. Those little things are insane. And crunchy. And gorgeous. Yum.

Anyway, I wanted to jot down a few predictions before I go for my scan tomorrow so that we can look back on them and either hail me as some kinda prophet or laugh at me. Probably the latter, to be fair.

So, when I first realised I was pregnant, I had a funny feeling that it may be twins because I had been ravenously hungry and had put on a fair amount of weight. The following weeks strengthened that thought because the intense nausea coupled with intense hunger made me think that there couldn't just be one baby in there causing this amount of disruption to my life. I thought I would probably have twin girls.

Now I have changed my mind. Now I think I am just carrying one baby. And I think it is a girl - a very big girl. I am predicting a huge child. I am so sure of it being a girl that I have already chosen a name.

So, by tomorrow, I will know just how many babies are living inside me but I won't know the sex for a little while yet. But, as I will be posting this in a few weeks, you guys will probably already have the answers anyway. So, drop a comment below laughing at me over my twins predictions (please, God, one baby is enough) or consoling me as I panic buy wooden planks from Homebase and attempt to build multiple cots for my offspring.

All jokes aside though, I kinda want to be a twin mum. Imagine the cute matching outfits.

You may also enjoy:
Pregnancy Diaries #1
Pregnancy Diaries #2
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
Can Maternity Clothes Actually Look Cute?
[gifted ad]

Pregnancy does wild things to your body - and your perception of yourself too. Everyone seems to have an opinion on whether you are carrying low or high or whether you are showing early or hardly showing at all. But, despite the running commentary on how you body looks from everyone you know - and even some you don't - it can also feel super liberating to be pregnant. In my first pregnancy, I remember feeling so good about my body. I loved that my stomach was meant to be big rather than opting for clothes that hid that little bulge of lower belly pudge that my pre-pregnancy self felt super self-conscious about. I loved that my body had a function and it was doing something amazing. And, this time around, I feel much the same.

However, this time, I am a lot more determined to dress my pregnant body is clothes that make me feel just as confident. So, since I peed on a stick and found out I was carrying human life inside my stomach, I have spent a whole lot of time browsing online for the cutest maternity clothes money can buy - and adding up quite a sum in a few different online shopping baskets (I may need to take out a loan). Given my newfound dedication to maternity fashion, you guys can imagine how excited I was when Pink Blush got in touch and offered to gift me two items from their website. They are a US-based company but I can vouch for their super fast delivery service (can you believe I got these dresses in like 3 days after placing my order?!) and, more importantly, for the cuteness of the dresses. Guys, both of the dresses have pockets. Need I say anymore?



They combine all the comfort that you need as a preggo lady with the fashionable designs you want. It took me a fair while to narrow down my choices to just two items but, in the end, I went for these two dresses. Although they were closely contended with a cute pair of blue rinse ripped leg jeans and some adorable blouses.

I went for this first dress as the print is just so me. I love a dark floral print and the cut is gorgeous. It comes in just above the bump (empire line, I guess) and skims over your bump before ending just past your knees. It is quite fitted on the top with a slightly rounded neckline and the sleeves cover your upper arms. The upper part of the dress is double layered so there is no chance of any sheerness (no one needs to see my Bridget Jones bra) and, guys, I just love it. I will deffo be wearing this well into post-partum.



I chose the second dress as it is a little different to anything else I own. The striped pattern isn't something I usually opt for but, in this colour palette, I was really into it. And I absolutely adored the details on the sleeves and hemline. I feel like this dress is so fun and the colour is beautiful. But the best thing about this dress is the material. I don't what it is made from but it is so soft. It is literally like a dress made from clouds. I am obsessed.

So, to answer the question 'can maternity clothes actually look cute?', I wanna say a big, fat yes. Especially if you shop at Pink Blush.

You may also like:
Maternity Clothes and The Self-Confidence Crisis
An Open Letter To My Pregnancy Body
Support Other Women And Their Choices
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2

Can Maternity Clothes Actually Look Cute?

[gifted ad]

Pregnancy does wild things to your body - and your perception of yourself too. Everyone seems to have an opinion on whether you are carrying low or high or whether you are showing early or hardly showing at all. But, despite the running commentary on how you body looks from everyone you know - and even some you don't - it can also feel super liberating to be pregnant. In my first pregnancy, I remember feeling so good about my body. I loved that my stomach was meant to be big rather than opting for clothes that hid that little bulge of lower belly pudge that my pre-pregnancy self felt super self-conscious about. I loved that my body had a function and it was doing something amazing. And, this time around, I feel much the same.

However, this time, I am a lot more determined to dress my pregnant body is clothes that make me feel just as confident. So, since I peed on a stick and found out I was carrying human life inside my stomach, I have spent a whole lot of time browsing online for the cutest maternity clothes money can buy - and adding up quite a sum in a few different online shopping baskets (I may need to take out a loan). Given my newfound dedication to maternity fashion, you guys can imagine how excited I was when Pink Blush got in touch and offered to gift me two items from their website. They are a US-based company but I can vouch for their super fast delivery service (can you believe I got these dresses in like 3 days after placing my order?!) and, more importantly, for the cuteness of the dresses. Guys, both of the dresses have pockets. Need I say anymore?



They combine all the comfort that you need as a preggo lady with the fashionable designs you want. It took me a fair while to narrow down my choices to just two items but, in the end, I went for these two dresses. Although they were closely contended with a cute pair of blue rinse ripped leg jeans and some adorable blouses.

I went for this first dress as the print is just so me. I love a dark floral print and the cut is gorgeous. It comes in just above the bump (empire line, I guess) and skims over your bump before ending just past your knees. It is quite fitted on the top with a slightly rounded neckline and the sleeves cover your upper arms. The upper part of the dress is double layered so there is no chance of any sheerness (no one needs to see my Bridget Jones bra) and, guys, I just love it. I will deffo be wearing this well into post-partum.



I chose the second dress as it is a little different to anything else I own. The striped pattern isn't something I usually opt for but, in this colour palette, I was really into it. And I absolutely adored the details on the sleeves and hemline. I feel like this dress is so fun and the colour is beautiful. But the best thing about this dress is the material. I don't what it is made from but it is so soft. It is literally like a dress made from clouds. I am obsessed.

So, to answer the question 'can maternity clothes actually look cute?', I wanna say a big, fat yes. Especially if you shop at Pink Blush.

You may also like:
Maternity Clothes and The Self-Confidence Crisis
An Open Letter To My Pregnancy Body
Support Other Women And Their Choices
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2

I am a pretty easy-going girl - just give me a pastry and a hot drink and I am happy as can be. But if you happen to add gorgeous, pink interiors and some cute chinaware into the mix then best believe I will be beside myself - and mentally making notes to incorporate all of those things into my future home.

So, when we happened upon Sara's Petite Cuisine in Topsham on our way through to Exmouth the other day, you can imagine my joy. A cute café? Here? In Devon? Words failed me - well, other than the words I used to beg Isaac to take my picture from every angle in front of the pink shopfront. But, unfortunately, the café itself was closed on that day so the very next day, Ava and I made the trip back to Topsham to try this café out.

And, let me just say, we were impressed.


The interior of the café was just as cute as the exterior with a flower wall, a menu made of tile letters placed on the wall, and three round marble tables with velvet chairs surrounding them. There was a lovely selection of cakes and pastries. And the two women working there were so nice and friendly. Oh, and I spotted a bright pink Smeg fridge that I absolutely need in my life.

After awkwardly standing around umming and ahhing over what to get, I opted for the breakfast brioche which had an almondy, frangipane topping and fruits perched on top of it. I also got a hot chocolate to share with Ava and a pot of unicorn tea because when else am I ever going to be able to try unicorn tea? The hot chocolate was lovely and they made it only slightly warm so Ava could have it straight away (although she was more occupied with throwing Pom Bears in every direction). And the unicorn tea was indeed an experience. The lovely lady who served us poured it out for me and it came out blue - apparently it was some sort of pea leaves which have a slightly sweet but not overpowering flavour - and then she added lemon juice to my cup which created a swirl of purple in the middle. It looked amazing but the taste, for me, wasn't my cup of tea (pardon the pun). It was quite earthy and didn't have a huge amount of flavour but, for someone more refined who actually drinks herbal tea, this might have been a great experience. I am very happy I tried it though - even just for the visual effect.



Overall, I would definitely go back to Sara's Petite Cuisine. I loved the food and the décor but, with only three tables, it was quite small to navigate with a pushchair. Deffo one to keep in mind for mates dates in future though.

What I'm Wearing (aff links):
Tshirt: Wednesday's Girl via ASOS
Cardigan: ASOS
Necklace: Liars & Lovers via ASOS
Maternity Jeans: ASOS

You may also like:
My Fave Independent Coffee Shops In Exeter
Places To Eat In Exeter: Sacred Grounds
Places To Eat In Exeter: Comptoir Libanais
Places To Eat In Exeter: Bella Italia

Breakfast Brioche & Unicorn Tea at Sara's Petite Cuisine, Topsham


I am a pretty easy-going girl - just give me a pastry and a hot drink and I am happy as can be. But if you happen to add gorgeous, pink interiors and some cute chinaware into the mix then best believe I will be beside myself - and mentally making notes to incorporate all of those things into my future home.

So, when we happened upon Sara's Petite Cuisine in Topsham on our way through to Exmouth the other day, you can imagine my joy. A cute café? Here? In Devon? Words failed me - well, other than the words I used to beg Isaac to take my picture from every angle in front of the pink shopfront. But, unfortunately, the café itself was closed on that day so the very next day, Ava and I made the trip back to Topsham to try this café out.

And, let me just say, we were impressed.


The interior of the café was just as cute as the exterior with a flower wall, a menu made of tile letters placed on the wall, and three round marble tables with velvet chairs surrounding them. There was a lovely selection of cakes and pastries. And the two women working there were so nice and friendly. Oh, and I spotted a bright pink Smeg fridge that I absolutely need in my life.

After awkwardly standing around umming and ahhing over what to get, I opted for the breakfast brioche which had an almondy, frangipane topping and fruits perched on top of it. I also got a hot chocolate to share with Ava and a pot of unicorn tea because when else am I ever going to be able to try unicorn tea? The hot chocolate was lovely and they made it only slightly warm so Ava could have it straight away (although she was more occupied with throwing Pom Bears in every direction). And the unicorn tea was indeed an experience. The lovely lady who served us poured it out for me and it came out blue - apparently it was some sort of pea leaves which have a slightly sweet but not overpowering flavour - and then she added lemon juice to my cup which created a swirl of purple in the middle. It looked amazing but the taste, for me, wasn't my cup of tea (pardon the pun). It was quite earthy and didn't have a huge amount of flavour but, for someone more refined who actually drinks herbal tea, this might have been a great experience. I am very happy I tried it though - even just for the visual effect.



Overall, I would definitely go back to Sara's Petite Cuisine. I loved the food and the décor but, with only three tables, it was quite small to navigate with a pushchair. Deffo one to keep in mind for mates dates in future though.

What I'm Wearing (aff links):
Tshirt: Wednesday's Girl via ASOS
Cardigan: ASOS
Necklace: Liars & Lovers via ASOS
Maternity Jeans: ASOS

You may also like:
My Fave Independent Coffee Shops In Exeter
Places To Eat In Exeter: Sacred Grounds
Places To Eat In Exeter: Comptoir Libanais
Places To Eat In Exeter: Bella Italia

The first huge indicator that I was pregnant came quite early on. Out of nowhere, my chocolate-loving self just couldn't stomach chocolate anymore. I mean, my first thought at that moment was 'wow, yeah, we're gonna have another baby' because it was so unusual for me. But, other than that, there were no big clues that anything was different. I hadn't been sick or felt more tired than usual (I'm always tired anyway so it's hard to tell). But as my period got later and later, I just knew that I was pregnant. I kept pushing the thought to the back of my mind but I couldn't stop that feeling. The feeling of knowing.

It was actually the day before our trip to Berlin that I took the pregnancy test that confirmed that I was, in fact, pregnant. We were in Cardiff for the day as we were flying from there the following morning and I had left Isaac changing Ava in the public toilets whilst I went to H&M to buy an outfit for an interview I had coming up. But this feeling of being pregnant and basically the desperation to know one way or another meant that I couldn't focus on anything. I kept telling myself that I should wait to find out until after the trip as a positive result will likely send us all into panic mode but, somehow, I found myself in Boots buying a pack of the cheapest pregnancy tests they had to offer just to do a little test. I took the tests to the same public loos - the exact cubicle! - that I had done my first test with Ava and decided to get it over and done with.

A faint line. Same as last time - a very faint line. So, I rushed back to H&M and pretended I had spent the whole time sizing up pencil skirts all whilst necking as much water as possible so I could do a second test. I eventually made my way to another set of loos and did the second test. Another faint line. There was no denying, these weren't negative tests.


It was then that I had to tell Isaac. In all honesty, I think he kinda already knew as he had seen me fidgeting around and worrying all day long. And, bless his heart, he panicked. A lot. But I get it - it seems like only yesterday that we had Ava and another child would totally change everything (but I am pleased to report that he is now very excited and the panic has worn off).

We headed back to Boots and got a digital test. I returned to the same loos again and this time there was no mistaking the result. 3 weeks pregnant.

I can't explain how I felt in that moment. Scared, of course, but not as scared as I was when I found out about Ava. I did worry about how I would cope with two young kids but, more than anything, I was kinda excited. The thought of Ava having a brother or sister seemed so wonderful to me and I felt like the timing wasn't too bad. I mean, a two year age gap isn't what we planned but it is nice all the same.

What I'm Wearing (aff links):
Tshirt: ASOS
Skirt: Primark
Jacket: Ebay
Boots: New Look

You may also enjoy:
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Ava
Pregnancy Diaries #1
Pregnancy Diaries #2
My 24 Hour Labour Story
I Got Married At 19

How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2


The first huge indicator that I was pregnant came quite early on. Out of nowhere, my chocolate-loving self just couldn't stomach chocolate anymore. I mean, my first thought at that moment was 'wow, yeah, we're gonna have another baby' because it was so unusual for me. But, other than that, there were no big clues that anything was different. I hadn't been sick or felt more tired than usual (I'm always tired anyway so it's hard to tell). But as my period got later and later, I just knew that I was pregnant. I kept pushing the thought to the back of my mind but I couldn't stop that feeling. The feeling of knowing.

It was actually the day before our trip to Berlin that I took the pregnancy test that confirmed that I was, in fact, pregnant. We were in Cardiff for the day as we were flying from there the following morning and I had left Isaac changing Ava in the public toilets whilst I went to H&M to buy an outfit for an interview I had coming up. But this feeling of being pregnant and basically the desperation to know one way or another meant that I couldn't focus on anything. I kept telling myself that I should wait to find out until after the trip as a positive result will likely send us all into panic mode but, somehow, I found myself in Boots buying a pack of the cheapest pregnancy tests they had to offer just to do a little test. I took the tests to the same public loos - the exact cubicle! - that I had done my first test with Ava and decided to get it over and done with.

A faint line. Same as last time - a very faint line. So, I rushed back to H&M and pretended I had spent the whole time sizing up pencil skirts all whilst necking as much water as possible so I could do a second test. I eventually made my way to another set of loos and did the second test. Another faint line. There was no denying, these weren't negative tests.


It was then that I had to tell Isaac. In all honesty, I think he kinda already knew as he had seen me fidgeting around and worrying all day long. And, bless his heart, he panicked. A lot. But I get it - it seems like only yesterday that we had Ava and another child would totally change everything (but I am pleased to report that he is now very excited and the panic has worn off).

We headed back to Boots and got a digital test. I returned to the same loos again and this time there was no mistaking the result. 3 weeks pregnant.

I can't explain how I felt in that moment. Scared, of course, but not as scared as I was when I found out about Ava. I did worry about how I would cope with two young kids but, more than anything, I was kinda excited. The thought of Ava having a brother or sister seemed so wonderful to me and I felt like the timing wasn't too bad. I mean, a two year age gap isn't what we planned but it is nice all the same.

What I'm Wearing (aff links):
Tshirt: ASOS
Skirt: Primark
Jacket: Ebay
Boots: New Look

You may also enjoy:
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Ava
Pregnancy Diaries #1
Pregnancy Diaries #2
My 24 Hour Labour Story
I Got Married At 19

Guys, I need to come clean. I can't stop buying clothes from asos. It is like I open up my laptop and suddenly an hour has past, there are about 7 items in my basket, and my fingers are typing in my PayPal password without even consulting me. And it is starting to become a bit of an issue - especially as I keep telling my husband that all the parcels are brand collabs and he basically thinks I have become the new Zoella overnight.

The thing is, I love wearing something new. I love the feeling of a brand new dress or a cool tshirt. And, most notably, I love taking pictures in new stuff. I find this burst of motivation to produce better and more creative content when I have something hanging in my wardrobe that I haven't shared online before. And being able to share something that people will be able to click through and buy for themselves only makes the whole thing better. Not just because I can put an affiliate link but because I feel like I am engaging with you guys and directing you towards an item of clothing that is so cute that I want you all to own it too.

But it just isn't sustainable. I can't keep buying new clothes and using the excuse of being a fashion blogger because my bank balance is suffering and so is the environment. But sharing something that is new is such a big part of being a fashion blogger - and I think we kinda need to address this. The pressure to keep refreshing and updating your wardrobe so you are ahead of the trends and able to profit through affiliate marketing is real in the whole fashion blogger/influencer world. And I think this is especially true when you are just starting out - I mean, you are trying to grow your accounts so you feel like you have to prove that you're current and relevant and worthy of that follow.


And that is the trap I feel like I have fallen into - albeit slightly subconsciously. It is no secret that I would love to make an income from my blog and social media sites so that I could stay home with my baby (soon to be babies!) but getting there is heavily reliant on my follower count - especially on Instagram. And everyone knows pictures of people do best on Instagram. And people just like seeing outfits that they can go to shop and get themselves.

There is no real solution. Fashion blogging relies on fast fashion and I don't see that changing any time soon. But we can try to take a look at ourselves every so often and ask whether we need to make that many orders from asos in a week. Do we even like the clothes or are they just what is in? Do we already own something similar? In the words of the almighty Kondo, does it really spark joy? And sometimes post an outfit made up of old clothes just like the one I am wearing in these pictures (in fact, you can see the same dress in this blog post from my last pregnancy) because we need to start normalising the whole rewearing thing on social media.

What do you think? Has asos taken over your life too?

What I'm wearing (aff links):
Dress: Topshop
Top: New Look
Boots: New Look
Necklace: Liars & Lovers via ASOS

You may also be interested in:
How I Am Learning To Love The Clothes I Already Own
Fast Fashion & Me
Escaping The Cycle Of Throwaway Fashion

Is Fashion Blogging Making Me Shop More?


Guys, I need to come clean. I can't stop buying clothes from asos. It is like I open up my laptop and suddenly an hour has past, there are about 7 items in my basket, and my fingers are typing in my PayPal password without even consulting me. And it is starting to become a bit of an issue - especially as I keep telling my husband that all the parcels are brand collabs and he basically thinks I have become the new Zoella overnight.

The thing is, I love wearing something new. I love the feeling of a brand new dress or a cool tshirt. And, most notably, I love taking pictures in new stuff. I find this burst of motivation to produce better and more creative content when I have something hanging in my wardrobe that I haven't shared online before. And being able to share something that people will be able to click through and buy for themselves only makes the whole thing better. Not just because I can put an affiliate link but because I feel like I am engaging with you guys and directing you towards an item of clothing that is so cute that I want you all to own it too.

But it just isn't sustainable. I can't keep buying new clothes and using the excuse of being a fashion blogger because my bank balance is suffering and so is the environment. But sharing something that is new is such a big part of being a fashion blogger - and I think we kinda need to address this. The pressure to keep refreshing and updating your wardrobe so you are ahead of the trends and able to profit through affiliate marketing is real in the whole fashion blogger/influencer world. And I think this is especially true when you are just starting out - I mean, you are trying to grow your accounts so you feel like you have to prove that you're current and relevant and worthy of that follow.


And that is the trap I feel like I have fallen into - albeit slightly subconsciously. It is no secret that I would love to make an income from my blog and social media sites so that I could stay home with my baby (soon to be babies!) but getting there is heavily reliant on my follower count - especially on Instagram. And everyone knows pictures of people do best on Instagram. And people just like seeing outfits that they can go to shop and get themselves.

There is no real solution. Fashion blogging relies on fast fashion and I don't see that changing any time soon. But we can try to take a look at ourselves every so often and ask whether we need to make that many orders from asos in a week. Do we even like the clothes or are they just what is in? Do we already own something similar? In the words of the almighty Kondo, does it really spark joy? And sometimes post an outfit made up of old clothes just like the one I am wearing in these pictures (in fact, you can see the same dress in this blog post from my last pregnancy) because we need to start normalising the whole rewearing thing on social media.

What do you think? Has asos taken over your life too?

What I'm wearing (aff links):
Dress: Topshop
Top: New Look
Boots: New Look
Necklace: Liars & Lovers via ASOS

You may also be interested in:
How I Am Learning To Love The Clothes I Already Own
Fast Fashion & Me
Escaping The Cycle Of Throwaway Fashion

Warning: this post is basically all about vomiting. If you're not into that kinda thing, lemme refer you to one of my nicer posts. Like this Devon travel guide. Or this one about weddings.

You may remember a few weeks ago, I had horrible nausea near-on constantly and absolutely hated life. Well, I am happy to say that I am finally past the nausea as I have reached the 12 week mark. But I am less happy to tell you that it has been replaced with a whole lot of vomiting. Today I vomited because a dog in a TV show was called 'salty'. I mean, yeah, 'salty' is a minging name but did it call for that kinda reaction? Apparently my body thought so.

I honestly don't know what is worse - feeling constantly nauseated or feeling ok but being sick like 5 times a day. I hate going anywhere at the moment because literally anything could set me off and then I have like 5 seconds to run to a bathroom or into the street before I am ill. It is just horrible.

But it has taught me a couple of things. First of all, doner kebabs should not be the food of choice in the first trimester. Nor frappes. And definitely not all you can eat buffets. Trust me, it is just not worth it. Secondly, getting hold of a midwife at this stage is a real struggle. I know, the NHS are doing their best in the awful situation they're in but when I have been sick 4 times in 10 minutes, I kinda just want someone to answer the phone and give me some kinda guidance. Before I sick up a lung or something.

So, yeah, here's hoping my next entry will be a lot more joyous (it should be a predictions one or maybe one about my first scan that is coming up later this week). In the mean time, please send sympathy and/or chocolate.

Edit: thank you for all your lovely messages on my previous pregnancy diary entry. Thankfully, these instalments were written a few weeks back and I am currently feeling a lot better as I am now around the 16 week mark.

Previously:
Pregnancy Diaries #1

Pregnancy Diaries #2: Coming To You Live From My Bathroom Floor


Warning: this post is basically all about vomiting. If you're not into that kinda thing, lemme refer you to one of my nicer posts. Like this Devon travel guide. Or this one about weddings.

You may remember a few weeks ago, I had horrible nausea near-on constantly and absolutely hated life. Well, I am happy to say that I am finally past the nausea as I have reached the 12 week mark. But I am less happy to tell you that it has been replaced with a whole lot of vomiting. Today I vomited because a dog in a TV show was called 'salty'. I mean, yeah, 'salty' is a minging name but did it call for that kinda reaction? Apparently my body thought so.

I honestly don't know what is worse - feeling constantly nauseated or feeling ok but being sick like 5 times a day. I hate going anywhere at the moment because literally anything could set me off and then I have like 5 seconds to run to a bathroom or into the street before I am ill. It is just horrible.

But it has taught me a couple of things. First of all, doner kebabs should not be the food of choice in the first trimester. Nor frappes. And definitely not all you can eat buffets. Trust me, it is just not worth it. Secondly, getting hold of a midwife at this stage is a real struggle. I know, the NHS are doing their best in the awful situation they're in but when I have been sick 4 times in 10 minutes, I kinda just want someone to answer the phone and give me some kinda guidance. Before I sick up a lung or something.

So, yeah, here's hoping my next entry will be a lot more joyous (it should be a predictions one or maybe one about my first scan that is coming up later this week). In the mean time, please send sympathy and/or chocolate.

Edit: thank you for all your lovely messages on my previous pregnancy diary entry. Thankfully, these instalments were written a few weeks back and I am currently feeling a lot better as I am now around the 16 week mark.

Previously:
Pregnancy Diaries #1

Having lived in Devon for so many years now, I feel like I often take it for granted and it is only when I stop for a second and appreciate how much loveliness I have on my doorstep that I feel grateful that I live here. This weekend was one of those times. With almost four whole days free from work (ok, two were spent at home feeling ill and sorry for ourselves and I had to work another one of them), we decided to go exploring. We feasted on pizza in Exeter and found a new park that Ava absolutely adored (mostly because it was full of dogs). And we even ventured out to Exmouth for ice cream and arguments with a view (keeping it real lol).

All this long weekend fun made me start thinking about all the other parts of Devon I want to revisit. Some parts that I haven't been to since I was probably about 12 and some which I just can't stop visiting. So I thought I would compile a little list of all the places I would recommend to anyone coming to visit Devon so that you can get a bit of a local's insight into where is worth visiting.


Sidmouth
Let's start with possibly my favourite place in Devon: Sidmouth. This small, seaside town is absolutely picture perfect and basically what I think Americans imagine the UK to be like. It is full of independent shops (and even some old worldy sweet shops where you buy the sweets by weight). It has a large expanse of beautiful pebble beach and - admittedly the main draw for me - a café situated on the top of one of the cliffs in an old clocktower which serves literal slabs of cake (which is quite aptly named The Clocktower). There are also beautiful gardens that will make you feel like you have taken a wrong turn and found yourself in Seville which are located right next to The Clocktower. And there are plenty of places to fill up on fish and chips too. Deffo worth a visit (and, if you are looking for a place to camp nearby, I can highly recommend Oakdown as we stayed there last year and had a lovely time).

Exmouth
Fun fact: Exmouth was where I had my first proper outing with my friends as a teen - and it was a pretty good call that 15 year old me made. Exmouth has all the trappings of a perfect seaside destination. There is a big, sandy beach, a moderate size town (with a KFC, just fyi), a big park, and a newly opened bowling/soft play/restaurant place that looks pretty cool. And it is only about 40 minutes on the bus from Exeter and even quicker by train. I love taking Ava here as it isn't too far out and I can just let her run on the beach without worrying about any pebbles or rockpools or anything. If you are looking to stay near Exmouth, I would highly recommend Devon Cliffs by Haven as it is right near Sandy Bay - a smaller beach on the Exmouth shoreline - and has loads of stuff to do on-site (including a Papa John's and a lush café overlooking the sea which do amazing flavoured coffees). And, if you are travelling with kids, be sure to stop in on The World Of Country Life - Ava absolutely loves it there!


Exeter
Exeter is one of my favourite places to visit in the whole of Devon - we only live about 20 minutes outside of Exeter so I go there several times per week. It is quite a small city but there is still a fair amount to do (although I usually just stick to Primark). On the high street, you will find all the usual suspects like McDonald's etc but, if you search around a little bit, there is a wealth of independent shops and restaurants just waiting to be uncovered too. I recently wrote a whole post detailing my fave independent coffee shops but, if I had to name one, I would say you have to try out Sacred Grounds for some lush plant-based brunch and absolutely chilled vibes. And, in terms of shopping, you deffo need to pop into Hyde And Seek and Chococo. There is also a museum and a very big, very beautiful cathedral to see too.


Killerton House
Killerton House is a National Trust property not far from Exeter and a lovely destination if you want to learn more about local history. The property consists of a large house which is decorated as it would have been kept back in the day as well as a lot of land and woodland to explore. There is also a hut that the family used to keep a black bear in and a big underground ice house where the family used to store 40 tonnes of ice (for some reason?). And, as if all this oddness hasn't already won you over, there are 3 cafes and a gift shop that sells jam. Absolute win.

A La Ronde
A La Ronde is another National Trust property that is situated just outside of Exmouth. The property consists of a hexagonal house that was inhabited by two sisters. They designed the house so that the light would follow them around throughout the day (starting in the breakfast room and moving around the house as they did). The most fascinating part of this property though is the grotto which is totally encrusted with shells which the two sisters collected throughout their lives. It is such an interesting place to see and, despite the property being quite small, it is deffo worth the visit.




Charmouth
I went to Charmouth for the first time last summer and I really enjoyed it. It is on the Jurassic Coast which is renowned for its fossils - and the beach was absolutely full of them. We spent a good few hours sitting in the sun searching through the pebbles and breaking some open to find any fossils hidden within and we managed to find about 5 different ones. I can't wait to visit again this summer.

Have you ever visited Devon? Where is your favourite place?

You may also enjoy:
My Fave Independent Coffee Shops In Exeter
7 Things To Do In And Around Exeter
An Afternoon At Killerton House
Fossil Hunting In Charmouth
Exploring Devon's Coastline

A Local's Guide To Visiting Devon


Having lived in Devon for so many years now, I feel like I often take it for granted and it is only when I stop for a second and appreciate how much loveliness I have on my doorstep that I feel grateful that I live here. This weekend was one of those times. With almost four whole days free from work (ok, two were spent at home feeling ill and sorry for ourselves and I had to work another one of them), we decided to go exploring. We feasted on pizza in Exeter and found a new park that Ava absolutely adored (mostly because it was full of dogs). And we even ventured out to Exmouth for ice cream and arguments with a view (keeping it real lol).

All this long weekend fun made me start thinking about all the other parts of Devon I want to revisit. Some parts that I haven't been to since I was probably about 12 and some which I just can't stop visiting. So I thought I would compile a little list of all the places I would recommend to anyone coming to visit Devon so that you can get a bit of a local's insight into where is worth visiting.


Sidmouth
Let's start with possibly my favourite place in Devon: Sidmouth. This small, seaside town is absolutely picture perfect and basically what I think Americans imagine the UK to be like. It is full of independent shops (and even some old worldy sweet shops where you buy the sweets by weight). It has a large expanse of beautiful pebble beach and - admittedly the main draw for me - a café situated on the top of one of the cliffs in an old clocktower which serves literal slabs of cake (which is quite aptly named The Clocktower). There are also beautiful gardens that will make you feel like you have taken a wrong turn and found yourself in Seville which are located right next to The Clocktower. And there are plenty of places to fill up on fish and chips too. Deffo worth a visit (and, if you are looking for a place to camp nearby, I can highly recommend Oakdown as we stayed there last year and had a lovely time).

Exmouth
Fun fact: Exmouth was where I had my first proper outing with my friends as a teen - and it was a pretty good call that 15 year old me made. Exmouth has all the trappings of a perfect seaside destination. There is a big, sandy beach, a moderate size town (with a KFC, just fyi), a big park, and a newly opened bowling/soft play/restaurant place that looks pretty cool. And it is only about 40 minutes on the bus from Exeter and even quicker by train. I love taking Ava here as it isn't too far out and I can just let her run on the beach without worrying about any pebbles or rockpools or anything. If you are looking to stay near Exmouth, I would highly recommend Devon Cliffs by Haven as it is right near Sandy Bay - a smaller beach on the Exmouth shoreline - and has loads of stuff to do on-site (including a Papa John's and a lush café overlooking the sea which do amazing flavoured coffees). And, if you are travelling with kids, be sure to stop in on The World Of Country Life - Ava absolutely loves it there!


Exeter
Exeter is one of my favourite places to visit in the whole of Devon - we only live about 20 minutes outside of Exeter so I go there several times per week. It is quite a small city but there is still a fair amount to do (although I usually just stick to Primark). On the high street, you will find all the usual suspects like McDonald's etc but, if you search around a little bit, there is a wealth of independent shops and restaurants just waiting to be uncovered too. I recently wrote a whole post detailing my fave independent coffee shops but, if I had to name one, I would say you have to try out Sacred Grounds for some lush plant-based brunch and absolutely chilled vibes. And, in terms of shopping, you deffo need to pop into Hyde And Seek and Chococo. There is also a museum and a very big, very beautiful cathedral to see too.


Killerton House
Killerton House is a National Trust property not far from Exeter and a lovely destination if you want to learn more about local history. The property consists of a large house which is decorated as it would have been kept back in the day as well as a lot of land and woodland to explore. There is also a hut that the family used to keep a black bear in and a big underground ice house where the family used to store 40 tonnes of ice (for some reason?). And, as if all this oddness hasn't already won you over, there are 3 cafes and a gift shop that sells jam. Absolute win.

A La Ronde
A La Ronde is another National Trust property that is situated just outside of Exmouth. The property consists of a hexagonal house that was inhabited by two sisters. They designed the house so that the light would follow them around throughout the day (starting in the breakfast room and moving around the house as they did). The most fascinating part of this property though is the grotto which is totally encrusted with shells which the two sisters collected throughout their lives. It is such an interesting place to see and, despite the property being quite small, it is deffo worth the visit.




Charmouth
I went to Charmouth for the first time last summer and I really enjoyed it. It is on the Jurassic Coast which is renowned for its fossils - and the beach was absolutely full of them. We spent a good few hours sitting in the sun searching through the pebbles and breaking some open to find any fossils hidden within and we managed to find about 5 different ones. I can't wait to visit again this summer.

Have you ever visited Devon? Where is your favourite place?

You may also enjoy:
My Fave Independent Coffee Shops In Exeter
7 Things To Do In And Around Exeter
An Afternoon At Killerton House
Fossil Hunting In Charmouth
Exploring Devon's Coastline

Trigger warning: this post may be triggering to those who suffer/have suffered from eating disorders

Lately I have been thinking about life. And about how you can't really plan for everything. I was thinking about how I worked so hard through school and college so I could go to uni. And how I managed to graduate but, two years on, I still don't have a job in the field I would have liked. It is crazy how the small choices we make can have such a monumental impact on the course of our lives. That being said, I don't hate my life. I love the life I have. I love that I have achieved so much and have a husband who supports me and a wild, loving little daughter who I get to spend everyday with.

But I do have one regret - how much time I wasted caring so much about my appearance. I hate that my teens were filled with goal weights and diet plans. I hate that I lapped up weight loss magazine articles like a man dying of thirst being handed a glass of water. I hate that my uni days were mostly spent typing up every bite of food I ate into an app so I could train myself to reduce my calorie intake everyday. At these times in my life, I didn't see the whole world that was at my feet waiting for me. I didn't see the opportunities that were right there - ripe for the picking. The days when I had no responsibilities and could have travelled the world and learnt languages and volunteered for charities and used my time to enrich my own life and plump up my CV so that now I could easily enter a job that I would love. Those days were spent looking in the mirror at that one fat roll that wouldn't budge no matter how many sit-ups I did.

This society and the toxic diet culture it subscribes to can make you think that the lower your weight, the higher your worth. It can make you obsessed - it wants you to be obsessed because then you buy the products, join the programmes, you spend spend spend for a shred of validation from an industry that capitalises on your own self-loathing.


And, in all honesty, it is exhausting. It makes me so unhappy when I see young women fixated on losing weight because I was that woman for way too long. And it never brought me any happiness - even when my size 16 self reached my never-in-my-wildest-dreams goal of being a size 8, I still wasn't happy. I still looked in the mirror and hated my reflection. I still thought I wasn't skinny enough - and that the weight had just come off the wrong places like my chest and butt.

Weight loss is a slippery slope. Of course, I am not saying that no one should ever try to lose weight - it is your body and you should feel comfortable in it - but when it comes from a place of self-hatred and almost self-punishment, that is when it can easily become wildly unhealthy. When it consumes your every waking thought and future plans and identity, that is when you need to take a look at yourself and ask what your real motives are. Because weight loss engulfed so many years of my life and took so many opportunities away from me because I believed being a bit chubby was the worst thing I could be and changing that was more important than friendships and my relationship and my studies and travel.

But I am now living for that girl whose life was put on hold until she felt she was skinny enough - good enough - to be allowed to enjoy life. I am eating all the pizza and raising my daughter to love herself right. I am letting my weight rise and fall as it wants. I am wearing clothes I never would have looked at twice and sharing pictures online even if I have three chins or you can see the outline of a fat roll. I am being the person I wish I could have always been my whole life. And I am happy.

What I'm Wearing (aff links):
Dress: ASOS
Necklace: ASOS
Shoes: Primark
Bag: Primark

You may also enjoy:
Body Neutrality And What It Means To Me
I'm Not Bothered About My Baby Weight
Things I Do To Make A Bad Day Brighter
Body Trends And Why They Need To Stop
Why Midsize Representation Is Important

Looking Back On The Time I Wasted Hating My Body


Trigger warning: this post may be triggering to those who suffer/have suffered from eating disorders

Lately I have been thinking about life. And about how you can't really plan for everything. I was thinking about how I worked so hard through school and college so I could go to uni. And how I managed to graduate but, two years on, I still don't have a job in the field I would have liked. It is crazy how the small choices we make can have such a monumental impact on the course of our lives. That being said, I don't hate my life. I love the life I have. I love that I have achieved so much and have a husband who supports me and a wild, loving little daughter who I get to spend everyday with.

But I do have one regret - how much time I wasted caring so much about my appearance. I hate that my teens were filled with goal weights and diet plans. I hate that I lapped up weight loss magazine articles like a man dying of thirst being handed a glass of water. I hate that my uni days were mostly spent typing up every bite of food I ate into an app so I could train myself to reduce my calorie intake everyday. At these times in my life, I didn't see the whole world that was at my feet waiting for me. I didn't see the opportunities that were right there - ripe for the picking. The days when I had no responsibilities and could have travelled the world and learnt languages and volunteered for charities and used my time to enrich my own life and plump up my CV so that now I could easily enter a job that I would love. Those days were spent looking in the mirror at that one fat roll that wouldn't budge no matter how many sit-ups I did.

This society and the toxic diet culture it subscribes to can make you think that the lower your weight, the higher your worth. It can make you obsessed - it wants you to be obsessed because then you buy the products, join the programmes, you spend spend spend for a shred of validation from an industry that capitalises on your own self-loathing.


And, in all honesty, it is exhausting. It makes me so unhappy when I see young women fixated on losing weight because I was that woman for way too long. And it never brought me any happiness - even when my size 16 self reached my never-in-my-wildest-dreams goal of being a size 8, I still wasn't happy. I still looked in the mirror and hated my reflection. I still thought I wasn't skinny enough - and that the weight had just come off the wrong places like my chest and butt.

Weight loss is a slippery slope. Of course, I am not saying that no one should ever try to lose weight - it is your body and you should feel comfortable in it - but when it comes from a place of self-hatred and almost self-punishment, that is when it can easily become wildly unhealthy. When it consumes your every waking thought and future plans and identity, that is when you need to take a look at yourself and ask what your real motives are. Because weight loss engulfed so many years of my life and took so many opportunities away from me because I believed being a bit chubby was the worst thing I could be and changing that was more important than friendships and my relationship and my studies and travel.

But I am now living for that girl whose life was put on hold until she felt she was skinny enough - good enough - to be allowed to enjoy life. I am eating all the pizza and raising my daughter to love herself right. I am letting my weight rise and fall as it wants. I am wearing clothes I never would have looked at twice and sharing pictures online even if I have three chins or you can see the outline of a fat roll. I am being the person I wish I could have always been my whole life. And I am happy.

What I'm Wearing (aff links):
Dress: ASOS
Necklace: ASOS
Shoes: Primark
Bag: Primark

You may also enjoy:
Body Neutrality And What It Means To Me
I'm Not Bothered About My Baby Weight
Things I Do To Make A Bad Day Brighter
Body Trends And Why They Need To Stop
Why Midsize Representation Is Important

If you are reading this, I have survived this dreadful bout of morning sickness. Or someone has uncovered my body collapsed in a pile of ginger nut biscuit wrappers and chunks of cheddar cheese and then obtained access to my computer to post this for me. I am hoping for the former but, two weeks in and without an end in sight, the latter doesn't sound all that bad either.

Yes, morning sickness is kicking my arse - worse than it ever was with Ava. So, I have turned to the internet for sympathy as I sit on my bed with gifted ad items to one side of me that I am yet to photograph and a very messy front room and kitchen just through the door on the other side of me that I am yet to clean. And I am feeling very sorry for myself. And also kinda like I want to order an Indian takeaway at 2pm in the afternoon. But also like I would gag the second I smelt it.

I am currently 8 weeks pregnant and have been to a pharmacist twice to beg for any form of relief/horse tranquilisers/my will to live. Apparently all I need is just ginger. Ginger makes me gag. So, there's that. I am feeling nauseated all of the time. I feel especially bad when I am hungry. But also when I am full. But the nausea that I get when I am hungry doesn't die down until I am absolutely full. Then the nausea from feeling full kicks in about ten minutes later. So, basically, my body hates me, this baby is already out for revenge at the ripe old age of two months (for what, I am unsure but it is very clear this baby has a vendetta against me), and Ava is pretty confused about the sheer amount of time I spend lying on the floor groaning these days.

Hopefully the next time I sit down to write up one of these diary entries, I will be past the morning sickness, my pasty green complexion will have been swapped for that pregnancy glow, and I will be pretty much a maternal goddess with a cute bump and even cuter clothes. Here's hoping.

You may also enjoy:
Pregnancy Diaries #2
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
We're Having Another Baby!
Can Maternity Clothes Actually Look Cute?

Pregnancy Diaries #1: Morning Sickness Woes


If you are reading this, I have survived this dreadful bout of morning sickness. Or someone has uncovered my body collapsed in a pile of ginger nut biscuit wrappers and chunks of cheddar cheese and then obtained access to my computer to post this for me. I am hoping for the former but, two weeks in and without an end in sight, the latter doesn't sound all that bad either.

Yes, morning sickness is kicking my arse - worse than it ever was with Ava. So, I have turned to the internet for sympathy as I sit on my bed with gifted ad items to one side of me that I am yet to photograph and a very messy front room and kitchen just through the door on the other side of me that I am yet to clean. And I am feeling very sorry for myself. And also kinda like I want to order an Indian takeaway at 2pm in the afternoon. But also like I would gag the second I smelt it.

I am currently 8 weeks pregnant and have been to a pharmacist twice to beg for any form of relief/horse tranquilisers/my will to live. Apparently all I need is just ginger. Ginger makes me gag. So, there's that. I am feeling nauseated all of the time. I feel especially bad when I am hungry. But also when I am full. But the nausea that I get when I am hungry doesn't die down until I am absolutely full. Then the nausea from feeling full kicks in about ten minutes later. So, basically, my body hates me, this baby is already out for revenge at the ripe old age of two months (for what, I am unsure but it is very clear this baby has a vendetta against me), and Ava is pretty confused about the sheer amount of time I spend lying on the floor groaning these days.

Hopefully the next time I sit down to write up one of these diary entries, I will be past the morning sickness, my pasty green complexion will have been swapped for that pregnancy glow, and I will be pretty much a maternal goddess with a cute bump and even cuter clothes. Here's hoping.

You may also enjoy:
Pregnancy Diaries #2
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
We're Having Another Baby!
Can Maternity Clothes Actually Look Cute?
[gifted ad]

I feel like Easter is often a little bit overlooked when it comes to holidays. Of course, Christmas is the big one but other holidays like Halloween and Valentine's Day are certainly up there too. But Easter seems to never get that same level of hype - despite the fact that it is basically a holiday where you are obliged to eat as much chocolate as humanly possible.

This being said, I love Easter. I love how it signals the move out of the freezing temperatures of winter and brings us ever closer to the long summer days spent at the beach or BBQing everything in sight. And I love the chocolate, of course.

This year, the lovely people at Lir Chocolates sent us over an egg to try and it looks pretty fancy. It is decorated with colourful flecks across it and has four different chocolates that accompany it - all in unusual and exciting flavours. Naturally, this is a pretty amazing egg but there's something that makes Lir Chocolates even sweeter.

Lir Chocolates are a total girl boss company. They have two female founders, a female MD, and a female master chocolatier (um, where do I apply for this role pls?). I absolutely love supporting a company like Lir because they have such gender diversity across the board and they are ethically minded as well. They source their cocoa respectfully and carefully and work closely with ethical sourcing boards to ensure everything is above board.

So, this Easter, consider giving Lir a go! They sell their eggs in Tesco for £12 and be sure to keep your eyes on my insta for an honest review of the egg come Sunday (if it survives that long!).

Do you have any Easter traditions?

You may also enjoy:
An Alternative Easter Gift

Lir Chocolates: The Girl Boss Chocolate Company

[gifted ad]

I feel like Easter is often a little bit overlooked when it comes to holidays. Of course, Christmas is the big one but other holidays like Halloween and Valentine's Day are certainly up there too. But Easter seems to never get that same level of hype - despite the fact that it is basically a holiday where you are obliged to eat as much chocolate as humanly possible.

This being said, I love Easter. I love how it signals the move out of the freezing temperatures of winter and brings us ever closer to the long summer days spent at the beach or BBQing everything in sight. And I love the chocolate, of course.

This year, the lovely people at Lir Chocolates sent us over an egg to try and it looks pretty fancy. It is decorated with colourful flecks across it and has four different chocolates that accompany it - all in unusual and exciting flavours. Naturally, this is a pretty amazing egg but there's something that makes Lir Chocolates even sweeter.

Lir Chocolates are a total girl boss company. They have two female founders, a female MD, and a female master chocolatier (um, where do I apply for this role pls?). I absolutely love supporting a company like Lir because they have such gender diversity across the board and they are ethically minded as well. They source their cocoa respectfully and carefully and work closely with ethical sourcing boards to ensure everything is above board.

So, this Easter, consider giving Lir a go! They sell their eggs in Tesco for £12 and be sure to keep your eyes on my insta for an honest review of the egg come Sunday (if it survives that long!).

Do you have any Easter traditions?

You may also enjoy:
An Alternative Easter Gift

Since I found out I was pregnant with baby #2, all I have felt like writing is parenting content. I have several instalments of my pregnancy diaries sat in my drafts just waiting for the pictures to accompany them as well as think pieces about our journey into the unknown world of being a family of four and even a little bit of pregnancy fashion too. But something has been holding me back from posting all of this.

I have written before about not wanting to become a mummy blogger and, at the time, that was because I didn't want my whole online presence and 'brand' to be centred around my child and my relationship with her. I didn't feel comfortable sharing that much online. And, in all honesty, I still don't. I don't share a huge amount of pictures of Ava and the pictures I do take, I like to be organic and spontaneous rather than trying to get her to pose a certain way for a shot. And this is mostly for the same reasons - I don't want my blog and social media sites to always be The Ava Show. I don't want my whole brand to be reliant on my child co-operating to take pictures with me on a regular basis. I mean, I take my hat off to all the insta-mums out there because getting Ava to sit still for 30 seconds is an absolute task and it usually ends with me chasing her around the house trying to get my camera back before she smashes it. I just don't have to patience for it (*cut to hormonal me sobbing surrounded by flatlay props as my toddler rips the heads off of a whole £8 bouquet of flowers*).

But the other thing holding me back is that I don't think the content I am writing fits the demographic of my audience. I mean, most of my audience are women in their twenties and I can bet that most of them are young professionals rather than stay-at-home mums like me. My fear is that I will lose all the followers I have if I change up my content and start sharing more mum stuff on here.

That's when it hit me. Including parenting content on my blog doesn't mean I have to commit to being a mummy blogger. I don't even have to put a label on what niche I fit into. I started this blog when I was at sixth form. I am now married and a soon-to-be mum of two. My whole world is so different now and I can't still be creating them same content now as I did back then. I have to be free to let my blog grow with me rather than writing what I think will be well-received.

I think we all need to take stock a bit when it comes to our blogs and remember that they are ours and we dictate what we write about. We need to be creating content that we are passionate about rather than what we think will perform well. And we need to remember how fun blogging was when we started out and try to recapture that fun and excitement if it has started to fade.

How has your blog changed since you started it?

You may also enjoy:
Why I'll Never Be A Mummy Blogger
My Name Isn't Mum
Reclaiming My Identity Post-partum
What My Digital Detox Taught Me
Learning To Switch Off As A Blogger

Allowing Your Blog To Grow With You


Since I found out I was pregnant with baby #2, all I have felt like writing is parenting content. I have several instalments of my pregnancy diaries sat in my drafts just waiting for the pictures to accompany them as well as think pieces about our journey into the unknown world of being a family of four and even a little bit of pregnancy fashion too. But something has been holding me back from posting all of this.

I have written before about not wanting to become a mummy blogger and, at the time, that was because I didn't want my whole online presence and 'brand' to be centred around my child and my relationship with her. I didn't feel comfortable sharing that much online. And, in all honesty, I still don't. I don't share a huge amount of pictures of Ava and the pictures I do take, I like to be organic and spontaneous rather than trying to get her to pose a certain way for a shot. And this is mostly for the same reasons - I don't want my blog and social media sites to always be The Ava Show. I don't want my whole brand to be reliant on my child co-operating to take pictures with me on a regular basis. I mean, I take my hat off to all the insta-mums out there because getting Ava to sit still for 30 seconds is an absolute task and it usually ends with me chasing her around the house trying to get my camera back before she smashes it. I just don't have to patience for it (*cut to hormonal me sobbing surrounded by flatlay props as my toddler rips the heads off of a whole £8 bouquet of flowers*).

But the other thing holding me back is that I don't think the content I am writing fits the demographic of my audience. I mean, most of my audience are women in their twenties and I can bet that most of them are young professionals rather than stay-at-home mums like me. My fear is that I will lose all the followers I have if I change up my content and start sharing more mum stuff on here.

That's when it hit me. Including parenting content on my blog doesn't mean I have to commit to being a mummy blogger. I don't even have to put a label on what niche I fit into. I started this blog when I was at sixth form. I am now married and a soon-to-be mum of two. My whole world is so different now and I can't still be creating them same content now as I did back then. I have to be free to let my blog grow with me rather than writing what I think will be well-received.

I think we all need to take stock a bit when it comes to our blogs and remember that they are ours and we dictate what we write about. We need to be creating content that we are passionate about rather than what we think will perform well. And we need to remember how fun blogging was when we started out and try to recapture that fun and excitement if it has started to fade.

How has your blog changed since you started it?

You may also enjoy:
Why I'll Never Be A Mummy Blogger
My Name Isn't Mum
Reclaiming My Identity Post-partum
What My Digital Detox Taught Me
Learning To Switch Off As A Blogger

As I get older, there are things that I am finding myself appreciating more and more. Things like evenings in spark a level of joy inside me that my teenage self would have sneered at but, in all honesty, there is nothing quite like putting on my PJs and slippers as I settle down in front of the TV for an evening of American comedy reruns. I have also come to realise the awesomeness of garden centres - and the huge candle sections within them. And, most notably, I have become a bit of a coffee fiend. Gone are the days that coffee shops were just a place to pick up a frappe and/or slab of chocolate cake. Now they are basically my second home and I love tracking down new places to try out. So, I thought I would share some of the hidden gems that I have uncovered in my local city in case you are ever around here and in need of caffeination.


Sacred Grounds
Sacred Grounds is located in McCoy's Arcade just down the hill heading towards St Thomas (or Pizza Hut, depending on your priorities) and it is an absolute wonder. The whole café is completely plant based but, as a non-vegan, there really is something for everyone. They do all kinds of coffees (even beetroot lattes!) and things like waffles, sandwiches, and smorgasbords. Their seating stretches out into the main arcade area which I love as it means that I can put Ava in a high chair and not worry about her noisiness disturbing anyone (she is a real chatterbox). The whole place is so instragrammable and absolutely lovely. Personally, I always opt for a hot chocolate (they make it with oat milk) when I go there because it is divine but their iced coffees are insane as well.


March Coffee
March Coffee is a coffee shop that I actually came across on Instagram but had never even seen in real life. But once I did track it down, I couldn't stop going back. For one big reason: they make their own donuts. And they are insane. Everyday they have different flavours - everything from classic jam to passionfruit meringue. You never know what you are gonna find there. And the interior is just gorgeous. It has a real industrial feel with lots of plants scattered around and pops of colour from the blue tableware. I absolutely adore this place and am ever grateful to Instagram for, once again, leading me in the direction of the best cafes (and donuts).


Ebdon's Refreshments
Ebdon's is the kinda place I love to hide away in on a rainy day. Everyone who works there is so friendly and helpful and the whole place has such a homely, calm vibe. They do lush coffees, a selection of foods like soups and salads, and delicious cakes. But my favourite thing about Ebdon's is that they have a delicatessen stocked full of so many different types of cheese - a lot of which are locally produced.

Pink Moon
I felt like I had to put Pink Moon on this list too despite me only having visited it once. Pink Moon opened last week near Exeter Central station and I felt my jaw hit the ground as I caught sight of it on my walk past. The decor is just so instragrammable - and very pink! I went with Ava and got a hot chocolate and she loved running around introducing herself to everyone who worked there and posing for a couple of pics too (what a baby blogger). I will definitely be going back soon to try more of their menu - and to get some more cute pics!


Have I missed any off of the list? Which are your favourites?

My Fave Independent Coffee Shops In Exeter


As I get older, there are things that I am finding myself appreciating more and more. Things like evenings in spark a level of joy inside me that my teenage self would have sneered at but, in all honesty, there is nothing quite like putting on my PJs and slippers as I settle down in front of the TV for an evening of American comedy reruns. I have also come to realise the awesomeness of garden centres - and the huge candle sections within them. And, most notably, I have become a bit of a coffee fiend. Gone are the days that coffee shops were just a place to pick up a frappe and/or slab of chocolate cake. Now they are basically my second home and I love tracking down new places to try out. So, I thought I would share some of the hidden gems that I have uncovered in my local city in case you are ever around here and in need of caffeination.


Sacred Grounds
Sacred Grounds is located in McCoy's Arcade just down the hill heading towards St Thomas (or Pizza Hut, depending on your priorities) and it is an absolute wonder. The whole café is completely plant based but, as a non-vegan, there really is something for everyone. They do all kinds of coffees (even beetroot lattes!) and things like waffles, sandwiches, and smorgasbords. Their seating stretches out into the main arcade area which I love as it means that I can put Ava in a high chair and not worry about her noisiness disturbing anyone (she is a real chatterbox). The whole place is so instragrammable and absolutely lovely. Personally, I always opt for a hot chocolate (they make it with oat milk) when I go there because it is divine but their iced coffees are insane as well.


March Coffee
March Coffee is a coffee shop that I actually came across on Instagram but had never even seen in real life. But once I did track it down, I couldn't stop going back. For one big reason: they make their own donuts. And they are insane. Everyday they have different flavours - everything from classic jam to passionfruit meringue. You never know what you are gonna find there. And the interior is just gorgeous. It has a real industrial feel with lots of plants scattered around and pops of colour from the blue tableware. I absolutely adore this place and am ever grateful to Instagram for, once again, leading me in the direction of the best cafes (and donuts).


Ebdon's Refreshments
Ebdon's is the kinda place I love to hide away in on a rainy day. Everyone who works there is so friendly and helpful and the whole place has such a homely, calm vibe. They do lush coffees, a selection of foods like soups and salads, and delicious cakes. But my favourite thing about Ebdon's is that they have a delicatessen stocked full of so many different types of cheese - a lot of which are locally produced.

Pink Moon
I felt like I had to put Pink Moon on this list too despite me only having visited it once. Pink Moon opened last week near Exeter Central station and I felt my jaw hit the ground as I caught sight of it on my walk past. The decor is just so instragrammable - and very pink! I went with Ava and got a hot chocolate and she loved running around introducing herself to everyone who worked there and posing for a couple of pics too (what a baby blogger). I will definitely be going back soon to try more of their menu - and to get some more cute pics!


Have I missed any off of the list? Which are your favourites?

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