Nail art has been around since time immemorial and it is
fashion that will never go away. More and more ideas as coming in every now and
then. The products to make manicure and pedicure more beautiful keeps springing
from every corner and if you frequent social media, you’ll know what we are
talking about. With famous and talented individuals flooding our newsfeed with
their latest ideas, it’s hard not to be tempted not to try it.
No matter where you look, there’s just so many choices around. Each looking more stunning than the previous one. If you are still undecided what style to try this weekend, take a peek at our list of standout nail art that you can DIY using Opi Dip Colors.
1. Classic Brown
Sometimes nail art doesn’t have to be too elaborate to standout. Simple colors can be stunning too without trying too hard. Coconuts over OPI is nothing but stunning in every sense. The earthy touch looks good on every skin tone and will go with any outfit. It’s like wearing nude shoes that goes well from office to a dinner at a fancy restaurant.
2. Magenta Ombre
The clever polish names of OPI (Let Me Bayou a Drink, Taupe-less beach, Icelanded a bottle to name a few) is just one of the plenty reasons to love this brand. The formulation of the polish itself is more than enough reason. For one, it is formaldehyde-free that is safe for your nails. The impressive wide range of shades that they offer is also irresistible. Their Classic Nail Lacquer Collection has plenty of colors to make you go crazy like the rich shade of berries in three diluted shades of OPI’s Gel Color Collection: Another Ramen-tic, Arigato From Tokyo, and All Your Dreams.
While I was pregnant Carl and I had great plans for my maternity leave. He’s self-employed so has almost complete freedom when it comes to taking holidays so we were going to make the most of my new found freedom and take impromptu trips away, should it take our fancy. Well I can report that eight months in, all we’ve managed was a pre-arranged trip to Norfolk with my family.
So when an invite to the Baby & Toddler Show landed in my inbox, I thought I’d throw caution to the wind and include an overnight stay. The northern show just happens to be in Manchester, which holds a special place in our hearts as it’s where we spent our first non-wedding-night night as a married couple before jetting off on our honeymoon – sorry if I made your brain hurt with that mouthful – so I’m very excited to return to our second favourite city as a family.
The show runs 7-9th October and has a pretty impressive line up of brands, including Bugaboo, Cybex, Joolz, Mamas & Papas, Silver Cross & Maxi Cosi to name but a few – we’re in the market for a new car seat so the timing is perfect. There are expert speakers, products to test, a midwife drop in and, if that hasn’t sold it to you – a goody bag for all new mums and mums-to-be.
If you’d like to win tickets to the show, I have two to giveaway, valid for any date you chose. All you need to do is hit the Rafflecopter link below, and leave a comment telling me what your all time favourite baby / toddler products is!
If you don’t win tickets you can purchase with 1/3 off with the code BTN31.
If you’ll be at the Baby and Toddler Show let me know, it would be great to meet so fellow mamas!
I wish you the best of luck, but never fear, as if you don’t win you can book adult tickets for 1/3 off with the code BTN31
As you’ll know if you read my last post, this week we celebrated our little Hen’s first birthday, and I couldn’t resist a glass of prosecco to celebrate that Carl and I had successfully parented for a whole year. And I figured that this time last year, a prosecco might have taken the edge off a very long labour. So I owed it to my birthing self of a year prior to toast not only Henry’s birthday, but my birth-ed day. Justification right there, should ever I need it.
Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learnt after 365 days of playing the mum game:
Age old advice, but EVERYTHING IS A PHASE. I know it doesn’t help when you’ve not hoovered for a month and the blinds are sporting an inch thick layer of dust (who am I kidding, I’ve never cleaned blinds in my life) because your child has lost the ability to nap, but it’s true. Unfortunately good phases are still also phases. Four month sleep trickster, I’m looking at you.
Do what works at the time, regardless of what anyone else says. We’re currently co-sleeping (following Lullaby Trust guidelines). I’m aware that at some point it will become an issue, but at the moment we’re all getting more sleep, which means we’re all happier. You may be told you’re ‘making a rod for your own back’, but motherhood is blooming hard work and sometimes I need that rod to lean on.Trust your instincts, have confidence in your decision and move on.
A new dawn is a new day. Yesterday might have been a washout. You’ve been sicked on, snotted on, pooed on and achieved nothing more than wiping off said excrement with a baby wipe, but tomorrow could be incredible. (Parenting) Life is a Rollercoaster -ahh wise words Ronan.
Cutting little nails, cleaning first teeth and navigating a busy supermarket with a baby who’s on the wrong side of peckish all make you feel like you could play The Cube and win. Take your victories, however small.
Hormones have ALOT to answer for. Y’all know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that make you wail to your husband that you miss him WHILE HE’S SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU.
Words spoken in the depths of sleep deprivation should be taken with a pinch of salt. Daddy: she doesn’t really think life is easier when you’re at work. Mummy: he doesn’t really wish he’d stayed at work. Hopefully not anyway.
Accept that you will never wee alone, enjoy a hot beverage, sleep more than four to six consecutive hours, use an escalator, or any of these things my lovely friend Becky has listed in this hilarious post anytime in the near future. Then, if you do ever manage any you’ll have a whole new appreciation for them. Using an escalator is like Disney Land to me now….
Despite any challenges our offspring might throw our way, the joy they bring you is immeasurable and there is no problem in the world feels like it can’t be appeased by seeing your baby smile.
So I’m sure I’ve missed a few parenting words of wisdom, as a year does not an expert make. Do you have any to share?
I generally think I’ve got a pretty good level of tolerance for musical baby paraphenalia. But oh-my-days don’t those things have some catchy songs that’ll stick in your head far into the night, long after they’ve been put away (or discarded in a corner of the room) for the day.
My tolerance hit it’s peak the other night when I’d sneaked off upstairs for five minutes of bathtime peace. No sooner had I dipped my toe into the inviting, steaming hot, bubbled water did Carl, Henry and the feral pug make their way into the bathroom bringing with them the mother of all irritating toys – the V-Tech First Steps Walker. Carl then put on BBC news which was showing Donald Trump making a speech. Now let me tell you, you’ve not experienced annoyance until you’ve heard Donald Trump talking and various songs from the walker playlist AT THE SAME TIME.
So, I thought I’d list some of the frustratingly cheery ditties and phrases from various baby toys for you to guess what they’re from. A fun little way to see how much your brain is taken up by storing this nonsense….
Kicking things off with an easy one…
‘Welcome to ourr learninggg farmm, weee’ve got lotttsss to showww youuu’ – V-Tech First Steps Walker. I could’ve filled the whole list with this bloody thing.
‘Turn the pagess to exxplore!!’ – V-Tech Musical Rhymes book
‘Put a bawll in the monkeyss hat!’ – Bright Starts Having a Ball Hide and Spin Monkey
‘It’s a great day to visit the BEACH! Full steam ahead!’ – V-Tech Push and Ride Train
‘I have two feet; one purple, one blue. I have two feet! JUST LIKE YOU!’ – Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Puppy
CHUG, CHUG, CHUGGING RAIN OR SHINE! I hope you enjoy your riddddeee’ –– V-Tech Push and Ride Train
‘The cat in the square, is speaking out of there! Meow! Meow!’- V-Tech Turn and Learn Cube
‘Hop on board the animal train, come onnn EVERYONE! Learning about animals is really LOTS OF FUN!’ -Fisher Price Amazing Animals Train
I’ve put the answers in white, so if you highlight the whole page you can see how many you got right. Clever eh? If you’re on a phone you may have to copy and paste into notes to see the answers. Sorry about that. Extra points if you know another song from the same toy.
Despite their annoying sounds I actually quite like all of these toys, Henry dances to the music they make which is just the CUTEST thing.
If I had a pound for everyone who gifted me with this nugget of ‘advice’ when I was pregnant, I probably would’ve had change left over even after we cleaned out the Nursery Department in John Lewis. However, sleep isn’t the only thing children change, here are a few more things that will never be the same again:
Social occasions. No longer are social occasions a time to indulge in food, mindless chatter and one too many glasses of prosecco. They’re now spent grabbing mouthfuls of food in between chasing around a toddler who just wants to leg it over to the old ladies at the next table because he’s clearly spent too much time in M&S cafe and knows that they’ll shower him with attention (you know, because he gets none of that from me. None at all. Pfftttt.) And all I can manage is a sip of prosecco because we’ve developed a co-sleeping habit and I’m terrified that if I drink too much I’ll fall into a deep sleep and not wake up if he rolls out of bed, falls on the floor, gets up and walks out of the room and tumbles down the stairs. Which leads me to….
When we talk about sleep, it’s not just a reduction in hours. I don’t think I ever fall into a blissfully deep sleep anymore, I just lay with my eyes closed, like a TV on standby ready to jump back into action. Well, roll and stumble back into action with my eyes half closed until I’ve woken myself up with a coffee.
That Friday feeling. Everyday is a workday. Or everyday is a weekend. However you want to look at it. But losing the Friday feeling also means losing the Sunday night feeling and I don’t miss that one little bit.
How much milk we get through. There’s three of us and we get through about 15 pints a week. Craziness.
Shopping. It’s hard to reach to the back of the rail for your size while simultaneously trying to keep your child from teetering off the edge of meltdown mountain, keeping one hand on the pushchair so they’re not abducted while your back is turned and apologising to the poor woman you’ve unintentionally trapped in the corner with your pushchair. However, as much as I used to love clothes shopping, there’s now a million other things I’d rather do that Henry loves too that will make for much better memories.
The use of both arms. There is very little I can’t do with one hand. Make coffee, hoover, hang the washing out… I’ve even made a one-handed spaghetti bolognese and it wasn’t half bad.
So ‘things that will never be the same again’ might be a little bit dramatic for a title. Before long I know that Henry will be independent and I’ll regain the time to shop, use both hands and eat a meal at my own pace. I’ll pine for our first few years together, filled with milestones, playdates, lazy mornings, and long walks. Things are different, but different in the best way.
Friday. The fifth day of the week. To me, that was the fifth day of endless whinging, tugging at my pyjama top with such force that my boob popped out, body-stiffening-head-thrown-back-tantrum-having and food throwing. I am of course talking about my toddler, who this week has been IMPOSSIBLE to please.
His objections have included, but are not limited to;
Reaching the third verse – or my third verse of, ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ (does anyone sing that song in the same order?!). Anyway, apparently touching your nose is NOT something you do if you’re happy and you know it. It’s something you do if you’re utterly grumpy and want to cry hysterically.
Throwing himself on the floor in Ernest Jones because I wouldn’t let him run out of the shop. For once I was thankful I wasn’t in there to pick myself a 2 carat diamond because I don’t imagine that selecting expensive finger-ware would have the same effect to the soundtrack of screaming.
Because when we went for a walk, he didn’t want to walk. I picked him up, he didn’t want to be carried. I put him down, he didn’t want to walk. I picked him up, and he didn’t want to be carried. So I put him in the car and he wasn’t all that happy about that either.
I’m all about picking your battles in parenting because I feel if I oppose everything that’s mildly irritating I’d never be able to follow through with everything and so how is he to know when no really means no? In other words, I want my child to take me seriously. Which evidently he doesn’t as when I tell him not to do something, even in my most stern tone (must work on that) he laughs in my face and goes right back to doing said thing anyway and the whole cycle is repeated. What does one do in that situation?! Answers on a postcard.
I really am confused in this area. My pre-parent self – who I know think was a total kn*b – always wondered how people were so lacks in the discipline department that they ended up on Supernanny. Now I fear that it all started with their thirteen-month-old laughing at them when they were told not to climb on the fireplace. What actually do I do?!
Thankfully after a testing week where ‘FFS’ was said in my head, or under my breath (and I NEVER drop the F-bomb) countless times, he’s been a dream this weekend. His usual happy, funny self AND he seemed to understand that he’s not allowed to walk in the street without holding my hand. Definite progress. And so hopefully last week was a phase? TELL ME IT WAS A PHASE?! I’m sure the experienced parents among you are also going to tell me that there will soon be a similar phase and so I don’t mind if you lie to me, or alternatively share a funny story? Lets make light of toddler-logic together.
I love to say that I’m the kind of gal who can rustle up a culinary delight with just a few ingredients, rather than reaching for the takeaway menu or visiting the Colonel when the fridge is looking a bit sparse. But I’m not. I love to cook healthy food from scratch but for the most part I’m a recipe planner. I also love nothing more than a good cookbook. My happy place is flicking through my faves with a cup of tea, comfortable in the knowledge that I’ve become quite easy to please.
So I thought I’d share with you my favourites, all of which are packed with healthy recipes the whole family can enjoy. I can tell I love a book when all the pages are stuck together…steady… I mean with food splashes.
Everyday Superfood – Jamie Oliver
So I had to resist the temptation to call this post ‘I love Jamie Oliver’ and a list of all his recipe books as I have ALOT. I just don’t think I’ve ever been let down by a Jamie recipe. Anyway, there are some real treats in this book. It’s healthy food that doesn’t taste healthy and the fish tacos are incredible, as is the kedgeree and the butternut squash lasagne. It’s easy to follow, nothing takes forever to make and Henry started eating recipes from here as soon as he started eating solids.
Ready Steady Glow – Madeleine Shaw
Oh-em-gee I just love Madeleine. I discovered her beautiful blog when I was trying to eat foods that would help my skin in preparation for my wedding and so I was quick to pre-order her first book – Get the Glow when it came out in 2015. She followed it up with Ready Steady Glow last year and while both are incredible I think the healthier chocolate chip cookies tip the scales in second book favour. She’s gorgeous, she oozes positivity and she’s recently announced she’s pregnant so I’m excited to follow her baby journey as well as her foodie journey. I’ve also met her and she’s just as lovely in real life – I just had to get that in there.
Superfood for Superchildren – Tim Noakes, Jonno Proudfoot and Bridget Surtees
This is my favourite book for lunch ideas that aren’t sandwiches. I’ve made cheese muffins, cauliflower tots and dips which have gone down a storm with both me and Henry. There’s not a focus on carbs in this book and while it’s an interesting read I’m not into excluding food groups altogether so I like to litter some recipes from here into our weekly menu to try and make sure we’re eating a diet as varied as possible. There’s sections on first foods, foods for teenagers, packed lunch ideas and breakfasts but we’ve eaten from every chapter regardless of what it’s aimed at.
Superfood Family Classics – Jamie Oliver
After eating out of Everyday Superfood every week for about six months I just had to add this to my collection after my friend Hannah made us the fish pie. It’s my most used at the moment and my go to when I’m planning what we’ll eat. The section on pasta and risotto has some corkers and there’s even a healthy take on doughnuts for breakfast which I can’t wait to try.
Deliciously Ella – Ella Woodward
So I know this isn’t really aimed at families, but I’ve been a Deliciously Ella fan for a while and there’s a few really good recipes in here that we all really enjoy. We have a few meat free days a week to keep costs down and Ella is vegan so it’s a good book to get some recipes from. The bean chilli is my favourite. It’s quick to make, delicious, healthy and has minimal fresh ingredients so a good one to throw together when the ‘big shop’ day is looming. As all of her recipes are free from refined sugars, I often whip up a batch of something sweet to nibble on which I’m happy for Henry to eat too.
I’ve included Jamie’s Fifteen Minute Meals in the picture as I love the recipes but have a little bit of an issue with that they don’t take fifteen minutes for me to make them – I need to work on my chopping skills!
I hope you enjoyed my list. I have a bit of a cook book addiction so I’d love to hear any recommendations.