Making a comeback? | Vlog

I usually keep my blog and Youtube channels separate but seen as I had disappeared from vlogging for a few months I just wanted to share my recent upload. I am hoping to come back in full swing with weekly vlogs but D-day for the second little man is in 4 days which may throw a spanner in the works. I will of course share a video once he is born but I don’t know how much of it will be outside of my bed never mind outside the house. But, for now, here is what we got up to over the past week and a little look at how much Aidan has grown in the past few months….

28-32 Week Pregnancy Update

28-32How I’m feeling:

I am super lucky and have had no complaints at all with this pregnancy. I thought I was lucky when I was pregnant with Aidan but it seems that I am going along the same road this time around too. I have been getting some Braxton Hicks which are getting more annoying now that the baby is getting bigger but over all they aren’t that bad. Heartburn has arrived but it’s not as bad as I remember it with Aidan – yet anyway.

Skin:

My skin is in the best condition it’s been in the longest time! I will be doing a post on my current skincare routine including the products that I think have cleared my cystic acne.

Cravings:

Nothing really. I still enjoy sugary treats when Aidan goes to bed but nothing much else. My obsession with cleaning and the smell of cleaning products has reached a whole new level and has me scrubbing the house every free minute of the day!

Size of baby:

At my last hospital appointment (at 28 weeks) my bump was measuring right on average – 12 inches. My app (ovia) tells me that the baby is currently the same size as a plastic scooter board/ florida pomelo/ pain d’epi/ naked tailed armadillo. I use this app because it lets you chose different things to compare baby’s size to rather than just the normal fruit and veg suggestions. I have gained 8kg since falling pregnant which is right on track too.



Can I see my toes?:

Honestly? I’m not sure and I am too lazy to get up off the sofa to check so I am just going to say no.

Stretch marks or swelling?:

No swelling and no new stretch marks yet but there is still plenty of time for them to rear their ugly head.

Sex:

It’s a boy! We have only had one scan (20 weeks) to determine the sex compared to several with Aidan so I am sticking to fairly neutral colours just incase!

Also…

I have my whooping cough injection this week and our next hospital appointment is at the end of the month. I have all the stuff for my hospital bag ready (just not actually in the bag yet). We are going to get the baby’s cot-bed tomorrow. And, I am starting to get very nervous about life with a toddler and a newborn!

Mommy does make up | P.S beauty range

Ever since I can remember I have been obsessed with make up and was always the first to try out new products. However, from having Aidan to all my skin problems I completely neglected my stash and myself for a while. After attending the Deise Bloggers masterclass, recieving so many new products and discovering new brands my passion was rekindled – much to the dismay of my bank account. Since the event I have began to restock some old favourites, add some new brands and most importantly finally do something I enjoy that’s just for me.

PSBeauty3

I have splurged on some things that definitely aren’t worth their hype but that’s for another post. Somethings that have really lived up to the hype is the PS Beauty range from Penneys (Primark). I have tried several pieces from their range and I don’t think I have been disappointed by anything!

PS Beauty

Their brush range is fab! I use their double ended stippling brush for highlighting and contouring, their double ended foundation brush for applying foundation and concealer and the angled contour brush for applying powder contour. I have washed all brushes and there has been no shedding or effect on their performance. For around €3 each they are definitely worth having in your make up bag.

Next up I tried their foundation sticks. I got the colours Ivory and Tan – the lighter shade for highlighting and the darker shade for contouring. While the paler shade wasn’t an ideal match for my skin tone the darker one I use for my contour every time. It is easy to apply and blends easily. It is a full coverage foundation too which is a must for me!

Other things I have tried and liked are their lip pencils, lipsticks, lip crayons, eye liner, individual false lashes, brush cleaner, highlighter powder and blusher. Like the foundation stick, the blush colour did not suit my personal skin tone but the pigmentation was great for the price – I would love them to start stocking more shades. Luckily, they are always expanding their beauty range meaning that we are in for lots of new treats in the future. Their latest releases I have yet to try are their eyeshadow palettes, powder contour kit and new shaped beauty sponges. The PS beauty range is extremely affordable while also being fantastic products and I would recommend them to everyone. You could have a full make up bag for less than €30!

Here is a look I created using the PS beauty range products listed…
Foundation sticks in Tan & Ivory
Individual lashes
Lip liner in the shade Burgandy
Lip crayon in the shade Deep Purple
Highlighter 
Double ended stippling brush
Angled contour brush
PS Beauty

Have you tried the PS beauty range? What’s your favourite product or what just didn’t work for you?

Whose to blame for body shaming?

Everyday there seems to be another celebrity under the ‘size spotlight’. From shaming pregnant women who have swollen ankles to those who have lost some weight in recent months, it seems that passing comments on the shape and size of people is the new ‘norm’.

Today I seem to be facing body shaming on every platform I visit. It started with a radio station turning a conversation about Cheryl V-F’s divorce into a conversation about her current weight and image. Yes, it is true that Cheryl has recently gone through a tough time in her life and perhaps she has lost weight but does that mean that society has the right to pass their judgement on her?

Then again on Facebook under a post about the Golden Globes the following argument ensued…
#1

#2#3I typed out my reply but didn’t press send. I chose not to get involved in a Facebook feud where my point would get dissolved in peoples views and emotions, so I decided to use my platform to share my views.

Here is what I typed…
”Paula, while I see your point, it is not the individual women who cause these body image issues. It is the media, brands and other platforms who have created the idea that being a size 0 is the average or normal body size. It is those who have women and young girls trying to reach an almost unachievable goal thus leading to them being unhappy with their appearance. That does not mean that being a size 0 is wrong, in the same way it is not wrong to be a size 20, once each individual is happy and healthy in their own skin. Body shaming of any sort needs to stop – what makes it ok to say ‘she needs to eat a burger’ but not ‘she has eaten too many burgers’?

My point – instead of tearing down someone for being skinny or fat empower the individuals in your life to be comfortable in their own skin. It is not the responsibility of any skinny celebrity for the insecurities of a teenage girl, it is the platforms that support the unhealthy, highly edited images. It is the fact that people now feel like these photoshopped images are how real life men and women look – which is of course not true. But, by tearing down and body shaming skinny or fat celebrities you only give one more skinny or overweight girl at home, who also reads your opinion, another comment that she feels is directed at her. So while your words fall on deaf celebrity ears, there are many ears a lot closer to home who might just hear how ‘she is so fat’ or ‘she needs to eat a good dinner’.

This photo appeared on my Facebook timeline a while ago and it is one of the most powerful things I have seen in relation to body shaming.

bodyshaming

 

When we limit what is allowed to be called beautiful, we also limit who is allowed to feel confident, empowered, important, sexy, brave and proud.

Our Netflix Binges

Making a Murderer
So unless you have been living under a rock you will have heard about Making a Murderer. Everyone and their mother is watching it, literally – my mother is now watching it! It follows the trial of a once wrongfully convicted man, Steven Avery, as he now faces a new accusation – the brutal murder of a woman. As the evidence is presented and the statements are read the story only gets more and more shocking. I would recommend everybody to watch it as it is definitely eye opening to the many flaws in how justice systems operate.

Making a murderer

 

Jessica Jones
I am not a superhero/ Marvil fan in any sense of the word. While Clayton has watched all of the Marvil and DC series to date it has not been something I have ever been interested in. However, Jessica Jones seemed to receive major hype and build up in the weeks before it’s release and so I got sucked in. It also stars David Tennent who I loved in Broadchurch so I thought it was worth a shot. We watched the entire series in about 2/3 days! It had the right mix of suspense and mystery without too much sci-fi or supernatural stuff.

Jessica Jones

90210
I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to rematch my teenage guilty pleasure that was 90210. Like most things I completely forgot about it until Adele’s ‘Hello’ video was released which stars one of the characters from the old show. I have been really enjoying this during Aidan’s nap times. It is light watching in comparison to the others I’ve mentioned making it great for some mid-day binge watching.

90210


KIDS

Masha and the Bear
This is very much new in our house having only watched it over the past few days but my goodness does it make Aidan laugh. Honestly, I am not really sure why because there aren’t too many words in it but he finds the whole thing hilarious and will sit and watch it with a huge grin on his face.

nasha and the bear
New Peppa Pig
I hate Peppa Pig! Even more so I hate re watching the same episodes of Peppa and her constant whining over and over again. So, when season 2 of Peppa was released I got a little excited to add some variety to her moans. As much as I hate the little pink pig she does something to toddlers that I wish she would teach me! He will just sit there is awe of her as she bullies her little brother, George…. Uh Oh maybe he is picking up tips?!

peppa pig
Paw Patrol
The geniuses behind paw patrol have laughed all the way to the bank this new year with Paw Patrol toys being sold out everywhere from here to Timbuktu this Christmas. We are only recent jumpers to the bandwagon but those tiny, helpful pups are already a firm favourite round here.

paw patrol


STILL TO WATCH:

Luther
It seems I am the last person left not to be watching Luther so I plan to give that a try once I finish my current 90210 binge.

luther
Narcos
Again, last to the party I believe. In my defence (sort of) I did start watching Narcos but I fell asleep reading the subtitles. I always read before I fall asleep so I have to remember in future I cannot watch Narcos in bed because my brain will shut off.

narcos


COMING THIS YEAR

Pretty Little Liars – Season 6B
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Season 2
Orange is the New Black – Season 4
Better Call Saul – Season 2
Fuller House
Grace and Frankie – Season 2

Also, this week Netflix has announced that it is now available WORLDWIDE meaning that if you are living abroad (lucky you!) or travelling or simply on holidays you don’t have to miss out on your favourite series. You can binge watch in the sun – now that sounds like my kind of ‘Netflix and Chill’.

 

*Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and received a Netflix subscription and an Apple TV in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own. I also already had a personal subscription before joining the Stream Team.

15 from ’15

I wanted to do a round up style post for 2015 but wasn’t sure how I wanted to approach it. The lovely Sadhbh from Where Wishes Come From is hosting her annual linky so what better way to round up my year than by joining in with my 15 things from 2015. Be sure to check out her post and feel free to add your round up post to the linky too.

1. Most Popular Blog Post:

At the beginning of the year I wrote a post during one of Aidan’s night time parties, I did not expect the response it received. My ‘How to Prepare for a Newborn‘ post was shared on the front page of Mumsnet, My Kidstime, by several other bloggers and many other online platforms. It is a humorous look at the things they ‘forget’ to mention in all the parenting books – which I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one experiencing. 12 months on and the laundry pile is still as high!

2. Favourite Post

This may be my pregnancy cravings speaking but the post I revisit a lot is my Chocolate Cupcake recipe. I originally made these for the Glensik blogger competition but they have been made over and over again since and are often requested by people who have tried them previously.

3. Favourite Photo

O-KEEFFE_ellen_artist_Esquisse_NB.1_20c_Tl_1V_fedex-eco-INTERNATIONAL_9326.479.VP

Technically this isn’t a photo it is a digital image but it is based on a photo, which I also love. This print from Votre Portrait is one of my favourite possessions, I admire it every day.

4. Best Adventure:

Taking Aidan on his first foreign holiday (assuming Wales doesn’t count as foreign?) was definitely an adventure. We went to Nerja in Spain for 10 days at the end of June. We though June was a good time of year as it wouldn’t be too hot – we were very wrong! Temperatures were 33-36 degrees the entire time we were there! Luckily Aidan didn’t mind the heat and honestly just slept through it mostly. We had a villa with our own private pool so it meant that we could still be out enjoying the sun while he was inside watching TV or having a nap. However, sometimes he napped in the pool too!
June


5. Favourite Craft:

After seeing The Dadventurer’s canvas he made with Baby L I had to give it a go myself. I didn’t actually write a post on it but here is a link to Dave’s post for you to check out. It was an extremely messy but fantastic craft to do with a baby or toddler.

6. Most Common Theme:

The search term most popular from google, which pops up several times a week landing people on my blog is ”immersion”. Yes, immersion. They end up on my post about ‘Irish slang’ which has also proven to be a very popular post this year.

7. Favourite Vlog:

I really struggle to manage the blog and the Youtube channel at the same time. I love both but right now I think blogging better suits my life. With vlogging it is an all day, constant job with several hours editing at the end where as blogging can be done around Aidan’s schedule and tantrums. This year I hope to find a balance between the two because I do love having the vlogs to watch back but end up abandoning the camera by mid day after dealing with Aidan’s early onset ‘terrible two phase’.

My favourite video from this year is between ‘SURPRISE‘ and ‘POOLS, PLANES AND PROMENADE‘ both captured two very sepcial weeks this year and they alone remind me of why I want to keep up vlogging.

8. Favourite Celebration:

This is a tough one because there are two very special celebrations that happened this year. Firstly, in May Aidan turned one. We had a lovely party for him some of which I captured on video. It is definitely a day we will always remember.

Secondly, in June my Grandad turned 80 and the entire family went away for the weekend. It was so nice to spend time with everyone together. We had a lovely meal together over the weekend, all the ladies visited the spa and the babies had a ball playing with each other (with a toy shop only metres from the hotel you can only imagine how spoilt they were). We also brought home a new family member that weekend – we just didn’t know it yet.

9. My Best Move:

This year I rebranded the blog. While El and Baby A was a suitable name in the beginning it wasn’t a good fit in the long run. After lots of thinking I decided on Bumps and Roundabouts as we cannot ‘outgrow’ it and also it doesn’t limit me to any specific types of posts.

10. Favourite Freebie:

Bluestone! I cannot speak highly enough about Bluestone. We had such a lovely week there and we have all said we can’t wait to go back. If you are looking for family friendly, relaxing and very unique holiday then Bluestone is definitely one to look at.

BlueLagoonAidan

11. Best Blog Moment:

Being on the front page of Mumsnet was such a great moment for the blog. I was only blogging a few months at the time so to see my work recognised in such a way was a huge honour.

Being a finalist in the Irish Parenting Blogger awards back in April is definitely something I am extremely proud of. As fantastic as it was to be named as a finalist, the night and the community of IPB that I met at the event were definitely one of the highlights of my year.

12. Worst Blog Moment:
Making the move from El and Baby A to Bumps and Roundabouts was quite a stressful migration. Although everything went relatively smoothly it was like starting from scratch with several sites like Tots. It was quite disheartening to log in and see all my previous rankings take such a hit. I don’t spend too much time stressing over these rankings but it is nice to see the numbers go up when you put the work in.

13. Favourite Title:

‘We’ve been keeping a secret…’
Obviously, announcing that we are expecting our second baby was really exciting. I made a video to announce it and wrote a post too. That seems like only yesterday but in less then 10 weeks our second little man will be here, hopefully.

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 22.07.21

14. Favourite Blog-Series:

I am going to cheat on this one a little because I haven’t really followed any blog series or partaken in any linkies in quite a while so I decided to talk about my favourite series. This year I discovered ‘How to get away with murder’ and oh my god I am hooked! Every episode leaves you on the edge of your seat and makes for great binge watching. Series 1 is on Netflix and I definitely suggest checking it out.

15. What My Blog Did For Me In 2015:

Both my blog and Youtube channel gave me a place to record my pregnancy, Aidan’s milestones and our many adventures of the year. It has given me a place to put memories that I probably didn’t even realise would be so special at the time. It has given me a space to revisit in times of sadness, hardship or darkness and gives me one hundred reasons to smile. There is no freebie, ranking or popular post that can trump the everyday moments I managed to capture on camera or in a post.

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What Aidan got for Christmas

 

 

It is almost Christmas! I must say that this year I am very prepared and have some of these presents since October – yeah, I am as bad as the supermarkets. I thought I would share what I got Aidan for Christmas this year because I always find these posts really helpful when trying to decide on presents for other people.

Living around the corner from Smyths means that it is way too easy to just pop in and pick up one or two things, hence the excessive amount of stuff I managed to accumulate. His main present is a wooden kitchen and we decided on this one from Little Tikes as I wanted something really sturdy – 6 hours later and it is still being put together! He has a rapidly growing obsession with anything on wheels, and also a few crafty bits to help us get through the wet and miserable winter months ahead.

Kitchen collage

Little Tikes Wooden Kitchen || Melissa & Doug Food Groups || Melissa & Doug Fridge Food || Melissa & Doug Pots 

carcollage

Duplo My First Bus || Press & Dash Vehicles || Wooden Tractor || Melissa & Doug Safari Shape Sorter

craft collage

Wooden Magnetic Standing Girl Puzzle || Wooden Magnetic Farmer Puzzle || Crayola Minions Mess Free Markers || Crayola Twistables || Aquadoodle

And that is the majority of what we got Aidan this Christmas, not including the bits I picked up for his stocking like chocolates, mini cars, a sippy cup and so on. Also, there are several books we got him for Christmas which I haven’t included but I do plan to do a post about his book collection very soon so keep an eye out for those in there.

Now I just need to find the time to wrap them all, as well as gifts for everyone else! How did you do this year? Were you prepared early or are you a last minute dasher?




The Perfect Gift | Votre Portrait Review

Did you ever get an email that literally made you squeal with excitement? I did! 

As a blogger, and like most first time parents, I take many, many, MANY photos of Aidan. The poor kid is so used to it now that if he sees a flash he instinctively turns towards it sporting his cheesiest grin. Like most people these photos remain only in digital form and are only appreciated in moments of nostalgia, remembrance or when you are in search of one suitable to a blog post.

A few weeks back my friend Eimear from The Two Darlings shared a print she had received from Votre Portrait (your-portrait.co.uk). I immediately fell in love with it – it was beautiful! I visited the companies website and decided that after Christmas I would treat myself to my own print from them. Then I got the email – they asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their prints! Ehh.. YES!

The service was fantastic. From placing my order to receiving my print to my door took 3 days and I was informed of each step as it happened. I chose the artist sketch portrait, sent the photo that I had chosen and when the artist had finished they sent me a proof to ”approve” before sending it to print. I fell in love with it immediately.

IMG_20151025_125358-2
This is the photo I chose
Here is the artist sketch digital print
Here is the artist sketch digital print

A few days later when the print arrived it looked even better than what I had imagined. While 20x20cm is small in size I personally think it suits the style of the art work perfectly. It now has pride of place in our hallway so that everyone will see it as soon as they walk in the door.

I cannot speak highly enough of Votre Portrait, both their service and their fantastic talent. I have already chosen another photo of Aidan to get done and I will be getting some of the new baby when he arrives too (it’s only fair, right? haha). If you are looking for a gift for a grandparent, new parent or even yourself then I would definitely suggest one of these pieces. The prints are also available on photo paper and phone cases.

20151212_201425
This canvas is a 20x20cm Artist Sketch Portrait, one face – costing €65.00

*I was sent the canvas print in exchange for a review but as always all opinions are my own, 100% honest thoughts.

Octagon 4D Cards | Review & Giveaway

‘Twas some nights before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that some Octagon cards would be there…

octa4d

I have a toddler who can work an iPad like a teenager – It originally started out him watching a few youtube videos while having his dinner, then a few games and now he bloody loves the thing. A recent study suggests that 72% of Irish children use the internet daily meaning Aidan is not alone in his love for technology.

A few weeks ago when Octagon got in touch with me and asked if Aidan would like to review their new 4d interactive alphabet cards. Aidan has yet to venture into the world of words so anything that might help him is always of interest to me, especially when it is digital because it will hold his attention like nothing else.

Octaland 4D cards are alphabet cards that teach kids about several different professions, from Albert the Astronaut to Matt the Magician and Zack the Zookeeper. Each character moves and looks at the screen while staying true to their profession. For example, Albert the Astronaut hovers a few inches above the card as if he were in space.

octagon cards

As well as the 4D images there is a 2D section where the child can flick through each character and learn more about their job.

octagon cards

 

Octagon also have an Animal card range. For me, this was utterly jaw dropping! As I already knew what to expect from playing with the occupation series I jumped straight into the animal cards expecting a similar cartoon type graphic. However, the animal graphics are extremely realistic looking and acting – I literally spent an entire nap time playing around with the animal series before even showing it to Aidan.

octagon cards

 

These cards would make a great stocking filler for children – it makes learning interesting by making simple flashcards come to life in their hands. I think these will get a lot of use in our house over the next few years.

 

I have a set of the Octaland 4D Occupation series and Animal series to giveaway to you! This competition is open worldwide, simply follow the steps below to enter. Good luck!

Octagon 4D Card Giveaway

 

*We were sent some Octagon cards to review and giveaway but as always all opinions are our own, 100% honest thoughts.

I Wish We Co-Slept!

Co-sleeping is always a topic that causes much debate amongst parents (and non-parents too). Some people swear by it while others choose to completely avoid it. I can understand both arguments but once everyone is getting a decent sleep I think that is the most important thing. As a baby Aidan would co sleep with me when his Dad was at work, I don’t ever remember the three of us being in the bed together – perhaps on a rare occasion. This was not because I was against co-sleeping, I really enjoyed the time spent cuddling my little baby, he just settled better in his own space.

When Aidan moved into his own room he took to it like a duck to water. I did however at this point make a commitment to not bring him into our bed unless he woke up with a genuine reason, like a temperature, nightmare or extreme upset. I never had to actually find out if I would stick to this as Aidan much preferred having his own space and his own room. He would never wake to come into our bed or even our room. At the time I thought I was really lucky that we were all getting our sleep and space. And, I am still thankful that he doesn’t mind being in his own room, I would hate for him to not like his room or to dread going to bed at night. (He gets so excited at bedtime and nap time it is actually weird!)

However, last weekend our house was struck with a vomiting bug. Luckily I have managed to avoid it so far which meant I was able to run between the two patients. Aidan was being sick all night and because he is so used to sleeping in his own room he wouldn’t settle in our bed. This meant that each time I cleaned him up I had to put him back into his cot and sit outside the door listening incase he was sick again – which he was. I spent the entire night wishing that I co-slept so that I could get some rest and still know that Aidan was ok. Eventually at 7am he was so tired, and I think a little scared, that he fell asleep in my arms on our bed and we both got an hours sleep before he realised that he wasn’t in his own bed.

Thankfully he was fine the next day apart from everyone being tired. While I understand all the arguments people have about co-sleeping I would have given my right arm to co-sleep with my sick little man that night. It would definitely have been the best option for everyone.

co sleeping