Lordy Lordy I’m 40!

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This Virgoan usually skips past birthday shenanigans but this year as I am possibly half way through my life I decided to try to do a couple of things to commemorate my 40th. I have been feeling fine about turning 40 because I think you are as old as you feel. I still haven’t grown up yet like Peter Pan I don’t think I ever will. However the older I get the quicker the years are flying by and I realise time isn’t waiting for anyone so if you want to do something …make it happen.

I’ve had so many wonderful birthday messages with friends some who have said they were the best years of their lives. The thing is I have thoroughly enjoyed my 30s because my big life events happened then and I don’t know if it can get any better than that. I’ve read those poke fun at growing old greetings cards the ones that tell you it’s all downhill from here with pictures of balding heads and saggy body parts. Then I come across the following Daily Mail article and I laughed and laughed some more.  In my opinion it’s all utter nonsense. Everybody is entitled to their opinion of course.

Quit wearing Bikinis at 40

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This is my response William Hanson.

I may not be sipping cocktails on a beach and may still be lugging around my Milano Pacapod but the truth is I do love being an older mum because the baby we waited so long for is now an energetic loving toddler and life is never dull!  my energy levels aren’t quite the same as in my 20s or early 30s but whatever age you are when you become a parent you hope for the best in that you will be able to cope with the demands of parenthood and enjoy raising your children.

A few days before my actual birthday I was treated to a theatre show, Ghost The Musical.  Ever since I watched the classic film Ghost with Demi and Patrick in 1990 I was smitten. Mr M knows how much I am a fan of classic 80/90s films and booked a matinee performance. We had a great afternoon date it started with me feeling super hungry and literally running into Crepe Affaire before the matinee showing. I absolutely adore this place and then I managed a cheeky Nandos straight after. In the nearly eight years that we have known each other this was our first meal at Nandos. I enjoyed the performance despite it’s mixed reviews, and I thought Sarah Harding sang really well, despite her receiving mixed reviews.
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img_6129This by a long shot has been my favourite of birthdays and fortunately it was the warmest in living memory. Mr M decided to also treat me to a stay at the beautiful grade 1 listed Great Fosters Hotel in Egham, Surrey and I had a relaxing time while our Jay bird who was as usual spoilt by my parents who even managed a successful Pre-school drop off without me. It’s been an emotional few weeks for me with Jay starting Pre-school and my anxiety at sky scraper levels.  Sunny weather however always makes things better and our drive to Great Fosters was fast and painless. The check in was quick and we were shown to our room. I do feel quite lucky to live in Surrey as quite often on our drives we do see some beautiful villages and of course the houses catch my eye. We headed to the outdoor heated pool area and as it was glorious sun filled day, I had a mini snooze on the sun lounger while Mr M used the pool to do the 50 lengths or whatever the number is. He convinced me to go in and I swiftly came right back out as I felt it wasn’t warm enough. It was at this point that I nearly fell out of my bikini in dramatic fashion as I tried to climb out of the pool rather un-elegantly.  Mr M was amused.

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Before our belly bursting dinner we managed to take a walk around the picturesque grounds and the carefully manicured gardens. The gardener must be a perfectionist. May be he/she is a Virgo like me. Getting ready was fun I was glad to see and overly excited about the Molton Brown selection that was in the bathroom. I love their Pink Pepperpod body range  it smells divine! I wore a dress which I purchased from Lipsy back in May and went on to regret the fact that I didn’t wear elasticated trousers as  the food kept on coming.

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Dinner took place in The Estate Grill and we had a lovely time chatting and laughing with lots of compliments from Mr M. He does love me.  The following morning 15th September I woke up at 6.00am and looked at my phone as the alarm went off to the sounds of the Earth, Wind & Fire classic ‘September’ one of my favourite tracks ever. My brother tells me this track always reminds him of the birth of his baby sister, shame his card wasn’t funny.

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I was finally forty years old although technically not until 22.30 my time of birth. It feels good to kick-start another decade feeling a real sense of happiness of the wonderful things in my life. I spent the afternoon with my tribe.

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So what’s a Mummy Blogger/Vlogger to treat herself to when it comes to a certain milestone? well feast your eyes on this  retro mango hardwood desk from Atkins & Thyme helping me to organise my day. I decided it was high time I took my work seriously so I’ve carved out a corner in the house and set up a home work space.

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Desks usually mean lamps are necessary so here’s one from one of my favourite stores M&S. I’ve recently grown fond of pineapple designs and I think it’s a nice statement piece. The stylish Puerto Table Lamp fit the bill I thought.

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I couldn’t resist this Life is Better when you’re Laughing print from English fashion and beauty vlogger, blogger, make-up artist and author Tanya Burr. Laughter is the best medicine after all.

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This brings me onto the subject of you’re never too old to learn something new and more recently for me it was the art of  candle making. I’m a bona fide chandler now that’s right (Candlestick maker).  Mr M drove me to South East London one Saturday where I spent the day learning the very skill of creating these marvellous things. This was a great experience but I’ve got a long way to go to reach Jo Malone status.

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I was kindly gifted with stunning roses from my beautiful friend Anna and flowers from my wonderful neighbours and this stunning Pandora bracelet from my life long childhood friend Nina.

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I see no problem with looking, or feeling forty. Simply because forty is what you make of it. I am vibrant and most of the time happy and healthy.  Becoming a mother for the first time at thirty eight has been so good for me despite the anxiety issues since then  I feel really lucky to have this responsibility being ‘mum’.

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Sadly I have been hit with a personal event that reminds me how bitter-sweet life can be.  I have experienced a major low since turning forty miscarrying at nine and half weeks. This left Mark and I truly heartbroken as up until two weeks after my birthday life was simply perfect. I am writing a personal post on this and currently filming a video which will be on my YouTube Channel soon.

I’ve noticed that humans are in a cycle of never-ending changes, and it’s about possessing the ability to adapt to those changes and not be frightened by them. I know that I still have so much love to give and so much to still learn about myself. A close friend said to me during my sadness that I am equipped to handle the hand I’ve been dealt and to dust off my knees and start believing in my resiliency.

But I will remember my celebratory week mostly because I felt the love and warmth of my wonderful family and friends. I smiled a lot celebrating the 19th anniversary of my 21st birthday. I won’t regret growing older as it’s a privilege denied to many.

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 Thanks as ever to all that read my blog and you can catch my Birthday Vlog here,  I really do love what I do.

Bella

~X~

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Peppa Pig Party Bags and Supplies Review*

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I’ve always enjoyed event planning big or small and although there are for guaranteed times that you want to pull your hair out, I love seeing people come together and having a good time.  Now in the case of birthday parties for the little humans in your lives buying all the bits and bobs can take over your life for the weeks in advance of the special day.  After all you want it to be perfect.  I was asked by the team at Party Bags & Supplies whether I would like to review a party pack and because I love parties the answer was naturally yes!

As soon as I clicked on the link I quickly realised that there was a variety of options to impress the party goers. Take a look here to see what I mean.

Who hasn’t heard of Peppa Pig? Jay is fan and so am I so this was my choice of pack and I quickly received the delivery from the point of order. I was super excited to open the box and see what was inside. The pack retails at £28.00 and includes the following:

  • Plates x 8
  • Cups x 8
  • A wipe clean table cover
  • Napkins x 16
  • Pre-filled Peppa Pig party bags x 8
  • Peppa Pig Party Bag Sticker Sheet (paper stickers), 1 x Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Chocolate Bar, 1 x Giggle Stick and 1 x Ice Cream Popper Party Bag Toy. Age 3+.

 

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If you are in charge of planning a party I would definitely recommend you check out the items on Party Packs and Supplies on Facebook and Twitter as there may be offers you can take advantage of. In fact with a milestone birthday coming up for moi I will be ordering from here for sure.  The choice of accessories for all parties young and old is fantastic. Thank you Party Bags & Supplies.

Thanks for reading!

Bella

~X~

 

March Forward it’s Birthday Number 2

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I woke up on Saturday 5th March 2016 after a full night’s sleep which felt like a major victory and then went to see my little boy who’s name funnily enough means ‘Victorious’ in Sanskrit.

My little Jay bird is 2 years old!

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I banished the hideous labour memories to the back of my mind and took a moment to remind myself how far we’d both come.  He gave me a lovely smile as I walked into his room almost as though he knew the day was a little bit more special. I was treated to a rendition of his favourite nursery rhyme ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ and we both went downstairs to have breakfast. My parents had flown in from California the day before and showered him with kisses and cuddles

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This year we decided to have a much smaller birthday bash no where near 30 people like last year. As our mini space cadet is rocket mad I had decorated the house the night before.  I’ve come to realise that I really do love party decorations.  If I could I would have the house permanently adorned in party mode!

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To hear Jay say “Wow look at that amazing!” as he walked into our lounge made me go all weak at the knees. The helium balloons were a hit as well as the party wall banner with the dangling planets. He probably won’t remember any of this but I wanted to do something nice for him as well as celebrate with my immediate family. My mum-in-law kindly made a rocket cake for Jay which sadly suffered some mechanical problems in transit but I still thought it looked fine, it tasted even better.

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As far as dressing for the party I was torn between wearing a pretty dress but then opted for us all to match. Both Mr M and I wore T-shirts from the Samuel Oshin Space Centre in California and Master Jay was dressed in his rocket print shirt from M&S and red trousers.

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When everyone had arrived sadly Jay wasn’t in the the best of moods and decided he didn’t like us all singing “Happy Birthday” to him which led to tears. Perhaps it was our singing. Perhaps he wanted to watch the NASA rocket launches on YouTube that he is so fond of.  Once Jay had simmered down he started warming up to the atmosphere and thoroughly enjoyed opening his presents.

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I know I’m not alone in saying that children are sponges absorbing information around them.  I am really stunned by how much he remembers. My little newborn that caught me off guard and arrived early in 2014 is stringing words together often telling me when he wants to go outside and play and when he’s done a poo. (Let the Potty Training Summer Planning commence).

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I think his generation perhaps learn quicker with the advancement of technology. In other words I have YouTube to partly thank as he is comfortable reciting shapes, colours, letters, days of the week, and numbers up to 20. May be that’s pretty normal by today’s standards I really don’t know, but it’s fascinating to me. There was certainly no way I knew those things before the age of 2. But with the good comes the not so good and sadly his eating habits is where it has been incredibly tough. The photo below is rare he actually finished his dinner on this one occasion.

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Most of the time he takes no interest in food.  I’ve been told that babies that have had severe reflux struggle with certain textures. That obviously makes me sad for him and as frustrating as this situation is I hope this will change over the year and he will be swayed to try more foods other than beige coloured ones with the exception of kale and apples which have miraculously made the cut.

Being a stay at home parent is of course relentless and yes I feel the mummy guilt and wish I could do more for Jay taking him to new places and trying new activities amongst all the other daily chores. I am trying my best to show him lots of crafts and creative play too and attend classes with him, he loves painting.

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He will be starting Pre-school later this year (gulp) it will be good for him and for me too.  He is lucky to have immense love from all of his grandparents, whom he adores being with and is a kind boy making us laugh with the silly things he says and does.  Thank goodness he loves animals and is very gentle with them.

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Whether Mr M and I we will be blessed with another Rainbow baby remains to be seen which is why we are making the most of the moments we have with Jay celebrating his milestones.  I’m just so glad Jay chose me to be his:

‘The Mummy”

and that’s good enough for me.

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

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Pat-a-cake Pat-a-cake Baker Days

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Eating cake is definitely one of my favourite things in the whole wide world but sadly I’m no GBBO Star Baker.  Whilst looking for a birthday cake for the Jay bird who turns 1 next month my attention was brought to Baker Days by the lovely Beth at twinderelmo.co.uk.

To my great surprise the team at Baker Days asked whether I would like to review a Mother’s Day Letterbox cake. This instantly appealed to my tastebuds so it was a resounding yes!

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When the delivery arrived I had no idea that I was opening the Letterbox size cake cleverly disguised in a box that slipped right through the er… letterbox. My first impression was what a lovely surprise and then I thought you wouldn’t need to be in to take delivery of the cake.  I like this quirky no fuss concept of having a tasty fun gift delivered via post. The dimensions were 3-4 portions being a 5 inch cake (12cm x 2.5cm) suitable for 2 people or for 1 if you’re mad about cake!

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The cake was protected inside the lovely cake tin and mine was personalised. I chose a photo of Jay and I when he was 4 months old, I did feel guilty cutting into the cake but the guilt quickly passed!

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Prices start from £14.99 including delivery, which is a tad more than I would normally pay for the size of the cake but then it was simply delicious and I couldn’t fault the presentation.

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I would recommend using Baker Days as there are so many designs (500 to be exact) to choose from and ways to personalise a cake for pretty much any occasion. Dietary requirements such as gluten wheat free or dairy free cakes are catered for. They also do yummy Cupcakes and if you order before 2pm they can deliver the next working day.

Sometimes you can’t always be there to share a special occasion with a friend or loved one.  This is a unique way of showing them that you’re thinking of them. Mother’s Day is around the corner (wink wink).

Thanks for reading!

Bella

~X~

*Disclosure: The above cake was sent to me for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.