Like most of the nation, I was shocked last week when all of a sudden I woke up to single figure temperatures, it was only the beginning of the month that I was still in a maxi skirt down in Cornwall! So, swiftly I am in need of a new warm coat. There are so many great options out there and because a coat is something you can wear more than once a week it means it’s worth a splurge! I thought I would share 5 great options which I’ve found if you too are looking to make your coat purchase of the new season.

1. Animal print is the trend which thankfully will not leave the catwalk & shops year after year and this short length coat is a nice subtle option if you’re not confident in wearing a full on bold patterned leopard print.

Zara leopard printed double breasted coat, £79.99

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2. The Parker is a staple a/w wardrobe feature, and this one is a smarter version which I really love.

ASOS Formal Parka With Fur Trim Hood, £90

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3. The Trench is a lightweight, waterproof coat and looks great with both smart and more casual looks. This one is half price, so a great bargain!

La Redoute Mid-Length Belted Trench, £49.50

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4. Unfortunately, for my personal preference, tartan is back on the runway and therefore in the shops. Dreaded memories of dodgy fashion choices from the first year of senior school come flooding back. How am I old enough to see a trend do a full circle?! So, if you’re looking to relish in the trend of the season this cape coat is a bold option which would look great with a pair of cropped trousers or coated jeans.

Zara Checked Studio Cape, £159

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5. Last year was all about the faux fur coat, this year there’s still a lot of textured, luxurious materials in our shops, coupled with the cocooning boyfriend cut, this is a super on trend look which is also warm and comfy!!!

Topshop Slouchy Mohair Boyfriend Coat, £89

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Baby Henry has always had an insatiable appetite and we were beginning to think that milk might not be enough for him any more (he still feeds every 2 hours, day and night!), so we have decided to wean earlier than the 6 month UK guidelines. I have to say, I find these guidelines a little misguided as they are based on World Health Organisation recommendations, which are misplaced in a developed country like Britain where people know the importance of sterilisation. So, if your baby is older than 17 weeks then remember, Mother knows best!
The NHS recommends your baby is ready for solids if;
  1. They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.
  2. They can co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves.
  3. They can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out, so they get more round their face than they do in their mouths.
Because he is not quite 5 months and his motor skills are not ready for baby led weaning, we are going to start off with purees, and slowly move on to sticks of cooked broccoli, pasta, cheese etc when he is older and more able to pick up and chew on them himself.
Henry waiting patiently for his swede puree
Henry waiting patiently for his swede purée.
And so it begins! With my veggies and fruits at the ready the week before we’re set to start Henry off, I block out a Saturday afternoon and get started on prepping his new tastes for the first couple of weeks. My first try wasn’t as successful as I might have hoped, to say the least! I went in first with sweet potato. Having trained as a chef many many years ago, I’ve always been one for just putting things together and more often than not they don’t turn out so badly. Not really suitable when things for the first stages of weaning need to be pretty controlled. My first round of sweet potato was drizzled with olive oil, before roasting…Not something a little baby should really be eating, so that was turned into a delicious chilli spiced sweet potato & red lentil soup for myself. Round 2 was set off in the oven successfully while I ate my own supper and later on discovered still in the oven by Mr J, resembling more of a sweet potato vegetable crisp than a soft blend-able version…Round 3…this time I got as far as the blending, and with my trusty hand blender at the ready I began whizzing it up, a few seconds in a peculiar burning smell wafted up to my nose, followed by the sad noise of the blender dying a very slow, very noisy death and the contents of the motor being burnt out and deposited into the mixture of sweet potato!! This was a disaster.
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Luckily for me, I was recounting this fiasco to a friend who just so happened to have the most perfect tool for the job, which I love so much it’s made the whole process soooooo much easier and I would recommend to anyone who is looking at pureeing. Simply wash, peel and chop up your fruit or veg and put into the Phillips Avent steamer and blender and load up your ice cube trays to freeze, label and you’re done!
As we are so new to weaning we are only preparing “tastes” so basic flavours and not full on meals, so I can defrost a couple of cubes at a time for mid morning, although as he feeds every 2 hours finding the time when he’s not too full, too hungry or too tired is harder than one might imagine! Today’s “brunch” was at 4:45pm!
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It’s really important to say that at this early stage all nutrients should still be coming from breast or formula milk and these first stages of weaning are more to get your baby used to tastes and textures and the new action required to eat solid food which is completely different to how he or she has ever fed before. If your baby isn’t keen on a particular food, or maybe none at all, then leave it a couple of days and then revisit. They may not be ready just yet. Try giving your baby a spoon to hold in the other hand so that they feel they have some control over what you are doing with them.
With parsnip being a relative disaster compared to the absolute hit that sweet potato was on the first round of veg, tomorrow’s new taste adventure is going to be carrot, wish us luck!
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Life has whizzed by over the past couple of months; he’s now 4 months old and I am loving spending such quality time watching him grow. So much so I’ve not had time to blog! This inspired me to write a post on my quick fix beauty products. I know there are heaps of beauty blogs out there but since becoming a Mummy I’ve had to really reduce my “me time” any new Mums out there I’m sure you know the feeling, so hopefully you might find some of these useful for your own morning routine when you’re pushed for time.

Bronzer;
It goes without saying we all feel better with a touch of colour to our skin and normally we can’t rely on the good old British weather; although I have to say we’ve been treated so well this year. That said I am more than aware that my ageing skin (Big 3-0 in November!!) needs all the favours it can get, so I always keep my face out of the sun nowadays to prevent ageing and sun damage. I’ve never been one for fake tan as I always end up looking like a patchy extra for Willy Wonker and the Chocolate Factory so I always make sure I wear a quality bronzer to ensure my skin looks glowing even on the tiredest of days! I’m a big fan of Estee Lauder products and I love their new Bronzed Goddess range – personally I think the name needs a bit of work, but the products are fab! I’m currently using the Bronzed Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer which comes with a wide brush for the perfect application. At £28 it’s at the higher end of the budget but it lasts ages and the finish is just beautiful.
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Dry Shampoo;
Gone are the days where I can leisurely spend an hour getting ready for the day. Nowadays it’s more like 10 minutes on and off in between feeding, changing and dressing little man and running out the door before he’s sick or explodes the other end and then needs feeding all over again! Sometimes I’m lucky enough to wash my hair, but for the days where I don’t quite get the time I love the Baptiste range of dry shampoo. I have gone back to blonde now after a huge fail trying to go dark while I was pregnant (darn hormones!!) but I still use the dark tinted one which doesn’t come out quite so white on my hair. It also is great for giving texture and aiding up dos.
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BB Cream;
I have always felt that I have terrible skin, and always feel really conscious about it! But when I am having a day at home with Henry I can use my BB Cream and feel much more confident about my skin – even just to answer the door to the postie! I didn’t think I would ever feel happy with only a tinted moisturiser but the Garnier BB cream has great coverage and evens out skin tone as well as covering up imperfections. It’s a really well priced multi-tasker at around £9 and it’s the best I’ve found for this low price range.
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Mascara;
It’s the age old quick fix if you only have a couple of seconds for your appearance and it’s true a lick of mascara really makes the difference, especially to my near on albino lashes. I love Diorshow Black Out, which has an amazing application and great lasting power; although it might be a bit too dramatic for some. For a more natural daytime look I really like the Elizabeth Arden Double Density mascara which has a much thicker brush.
(Try and keep an emergency back up in the car for when you forget to apply before you dash out of the house!)
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Bright nail polish;
I find a bright polish makes me feel glam on days when I don’t even have time to brush my hair – you know the sort! You just have to find 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to paint them for the week! I love the staying power of the O.P.I polishes and have been loving Big Red Apple over the hot summer days we’ve had. (This was applied rushed 4 days ago and is still going!)
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Miracle 10 “It’s a 10!” leave in conditioner;
This stuff is amazing! Spray over towel dried hair and it combs through even the most knotted of hair. It is a 10 in 1 product including protection, gloss, frizz control and, colour enhance. It’s so good for all aspects of hair care. I give my hair a quick spritz and brush through before rough drying to keep my hair in really good condition regardless of how little time I have.
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What beauty products do you use to make you feel “yourself” on days where you don’t have the time to fuss? I would love to hear about them!

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I am so happy to announce that I have been nominated for a Liebster Award!!! I have been blogging since March and really enjoy writing about all the adventures Henry and I are having, and my time during my pregnancy so as you can imagine I am over the moon to have been recognised for something which I love doing!!

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The Liebster Award is an award given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers (on Google/Blogger/BlogLovin etc), to help boost their popularity and reputation and I have been nominated by the lovely mummy blogger Liz of Everything Is Rosy.

There are a few rules to ensure it’s new blogs which are nominated, they are as follows:

  • Link back to the blog which nominated you
  • Answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you
  • Divulge 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 5 – 11 other new blogs (with less than 200 followers) and come up with 11 questions for them to answer!

My questions from Everything Is Rosy

  1. When did you start blogging? March 2013.
  2. What made you decide to start blogging? I’ve always loved writing but never had an outlet, I was learning so much whilst pregnant I wanted to share what I was going through with other people; I discovered blogging was the perfect way to do both and it’s just grown from there (as did my waistline!) I was actually too nervous to start my blog at first and it took me 7 months to work up the courage to get it out there in case people thought I was rubbish!
  3. If you could have one special power, what would it be? I think about this a lot! I think it would have to be the power to have every super power out there!

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  1. Would you rather have a giraffe’s neck or tiger paws (and why?) Hmm, I’d have to say giraffe’s neck; because I am always losing Stuart when we’re out and about so I’d be able to look over everyone to find him!
  2. Who is (or has been) your embarrassing celeb crush? We’ve all had them, see my facts above for mine..!? Ronan Keating! I loved him when I was younger and really thought we would one day marry!!
  3. What did you want to be when you grew up? A mermaid!
  4. What is your most embarrassing habit? Falling asleep at parties…I once fell asleep on a speaker in a club!

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  1. Which do you fancy right now, sweet or savoury? Sweet, at all times of the day.
  2. What is your favourite ever thing to do? “Live Laugh Love ” (cringe)
  3. What is your biggest fear? Losing loved ones. And SWEETCORN of course…
  4. Who or what inspires you? It’s got to be my beautiful Mummy.

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The 11 random facts about me;

I once spent New Years Eve on Richard Branson’s yacht.

I wish I could speak Spanish fluently.

I have been travelling around the world twice – and would love to do it all again!

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I once said out loud at work, “do we sell wireless cables?!” (Still haunts me now!)

I always seem to see famous people when I am out.

I have a fear of sweetcorn!

I’m slightly obsessed with Sex And The City. (Much to Stuart’s annoyance!)

I have the most insane intense dreams all the time. (NB, never tell people about your dreams, it’s incredibly boring for them! haha)

Espresso Martini’s are my drink of choice on a girlie night out.

I only watched Dirty Dancing for the first time a couple of years ago! – It’s amazing!!

I want to live in America.

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And now for my nominations!! This was hard as there are just so many great blogs out there but here we go;

http://lullabiesandlouboutins.blogspot.co.uk

http://scarlettandme.wordpress.com

http://lucieandthebump.blogspot.co.uk

http://littlemisssdc.wordpress.com

http://mrshelicopter.blogspot.co.uk

http://northhantsmum.wordpress.com

http://whatelsawears.com

http://crowtherclan.com

http://modernmummy.co.uk

And here are my questions to my yummy mummy bloggers;

1. Where in the world is your favourite holiday destination?

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

3. What would be the first thing you did if you won the Lottery?

4. Who would you want to be marooned on a desert island with?

5. What would be your ideal date night?

6. Full English or Continental?

7. What talent do you wish you had?

8. Which are your favourite pair of shoes?

9. What’s your best memory?

10. Summer or Winter?

11. Who do you think is the most famous person in the world?

Thank you again Liz, can’t wait to hear back from my lovely bloggers.

Lots of love,

Lara xx

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If you asked my husband he would probably tell you that a push present was just another idea that I have made up; like when I told him 2 days before our wedding that we obviously gave each other a wedding present…Something he had never heard of (?!) However, the idea of getting your loved one a present for that 9 (and a half) months of carrying and nourishing your darling child, caring for it from the outside, to the days (week) of pain getting the poor cherub out of you at the end of it, not only seems justifiably present worthy but it has actually long been a tradition to mark the occasion of the first-born child with an eternity ring. The push present being the modern-day version, and who am I to turn my back on years of tradition?!

Here’s a few Push Present ideas for you, or for any adoring fathers-to-be out there who are wanting to mark this celebration for their partner with a gift;

Posh purse;

Now, you’ll need to come to terms with the fact that you will not be using your favourite handbag for a while…You will have so much baby paraphernalia to contend with that an extra bag for all of your stuff will pretty much be out of the question! All that comes with me now is my purse and phone, the rest is all Lord Henry’s. So a purse could make a very good push present as it’ll be your main piece of your old identity you get to take everywhere; Mulberry do a stunning range from around £125 for a small zip purse to the more iconic option at £275 and above. They also have a fab sale on at the moment for some great bargains!!

£125 Mulberry Flame Silky Snake Print Leather Wallet

Eternity necklace;

There are some lovely options out there if you like jewellery, and a necklace can make a different choice to the traditional ring. This one from Links is £150 and I think symbolises the eternal love for your family with its never-ending circle. Or this beautiful infinity style in yellow gold from Etsy; a steal at just £20!

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Tiffany bracelet;

I always always get complimented on my Return To Tiffany tag bracelet which Stuart bought for me one Birthday, and they do several different styles in it depending on your preference; Mine is the small bead plain heart tag, there’s larger bead options, rose gold heart tag, circle tags, I love you tags, there is a pretty one with the pink heart tag and thicker beads, or the Tiffany Blue heart tag perhaps if you have a boy. All start from around £125 from tiffany.co.uk

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Ring;

After deliberating over what gift I wanted to celebrate the birth of my Son I eventually decided on this beautiful 3 band diamond ring from Goldsmiths. I like the symbolism of the 3 bands representing the 3 of us and loved how the delicate ring sparkled. Our wedding bands were also from Goldsmiths so I also liked that connection. Lots more options are available on their website.

http://www.goldsmiths.co.uk/Brilliant-cut-0.34-total-carat-weight-diamond-cross-over-ring-set-in-9-carat-white-gold/p/06070584/

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