lifestyle, Uncategorized

De-stress Your Morning Routine

Before I became a mum I spent quite a bit of time getting myself ready and there was no real rush felt in the mornings. I would pad about the house, taking my time to get ready for work; wash, dry and style my hair before heading out the door. Since becoming a mum I’ve had to change my morning routine as I have a little person to care for and have learned that organisation really is key. Here’s what I do to ensure a positive start to the day.

Lay out Clothes the Night Before – This makes life so much easier for me in the mornings as it’s one less thing to think about. I lay out my own clothes and keep Oliver’s clothes downstairs for after breakfast. We also keep a toothbrush in our downstairs toilet for convenience, so that I can brush Oliver’s teeth straight after breakfast.

Restock your Changing Bag – Every night I make sure I have nappies, wipes and essentials in my changing bag so that I can grab and go in the morning. We have toddler groups and just generally like to be out the house early to enjoy our day so this is a huge help.

Prepare Snacks & Lunch – I usually prepare Oliver’s lunch when I’m making Scott’s for work. Since I’m pregnant I’ve been packing snacks for myself too. I pop everything in a seperate bag in the fridge to grab in the morning. You should never leave the house with your toddler without bringing food – you will regret it!

Shower in the Evenings – Up until very recently, I’ve always been a morning shower person but I find it so much easier if I’ve showered, washed and dried my hair the night before. It saves me so much time and I feel less stressed in the mornings. I can quickly throw myself together, as I wake up only 10 minutes before Oliver – I like my sleep!

Get Dressed First – I found that especially when Oliver was younger, if I didn’t get dressed before getting Oliver up for the day, I just wouldn’t find the time. Now I make sure to get myself ready first in the morning and I feel so much better for it.

Run the Dishwasher Overnight –  There is nothing worse than waking up to dirty dishes. I make sure to fill and start the dishwasher before I head to bed and quickly empty and re-load after eating breakfast.

Evening Speed Clean – Once Oliver is in bed I quickly tidy up the bathroom from bath time, toys or mess in the living room and quickly go over the kitchen. I will load the washing machine to switch on first thing, it saves me running around in the morning gathering laundry.

Make the bed – I don’t know about you but making my bed in the morning makes my bedroom look instantly tidier. It takes two minutes and really does boost my mood.



Oliver’s Birth Story

As I’m currently pregnant with baby number two and writing lots of pregnancy posts, I couldn’t leave out my little Oliver. I thought I’d share his birth story, even if it was over two years ago. Oliver was born five days early on the 28th April 2015 at 3.39am weighing 6 pounds 7 ounces and I remember it like it was yesterday.

I had a routine midwife appointment on the 27th April, I wasn’t feeling at all uncomfortable so was certain I would be overdue. Thinking back when I said this to the midwife she said “hmm you never know” – I think she knew I’d go into labour soon! I walked to and from the doctors surgery, I’m not sure if that’s what got things moving but I remember feeling slightly out of breath by the time I got home. In fact I had to stop a few times along the way.

About 7pm that evening Scott and I were chatting on the couch, I text my parents saying “Still pregnant!” and suddenly I felt a huge gush. I just looked at Scott and said “I think my waters just broke”. I remember Scott saying “We’re having a baby Nats!”. He phoned triage and we headed down to the hospital not too long afterwards.

The midwife hooked me up to monitors and agreed that it was in fact my waters that broke. I was on the monitors for at least a few hours and I wasn’t progressing, so they sent me home. The midwife made an appointment for me to be induced if I didn’t go into labour naturally due to risk of infection. We must have gotten home around midnight, I quickly ran a bath and I was in it for about 5 minutes where I lost my mucus plug. My contractions were getting more painful and closer together so Scott phoned triage, who asked to speak to me! I think I said “hello” and “mhm”, then threw the phone back and we headed down to the hospital again around 12.15am.

The midwife examined me and told me I was only about 3cm dilated, this must have been around 1.30am. We were taken up to our delivery room and by the time I got there I was 9cm dilated. As things progressed so quickly I missed my chance of any pain relief except gas and air. Very quickly after being handed the gas and air, I felt the need to push. It felt like I was pushing for about 10 minutes but it must have been quite a while. The doctor and midwife told me after a while of pushing that baby was getting distressed so I had to push really hard for the next couple of contractions or they would have to help get baby out. This was when the room filled with lots of new faces and it scared the life out of me!

The next couple of pushes went pretty quickly. For the weeks and months leading up to the birth, I was petrified of labour and especially crowning, coupled with the possibility of tearing. I had made myself sick overthinking and worrying about it and basically stressed myself out. In reality it was nowhere near as painful as I’d imagined. When the doctor said baby’s head is out, I couldn’t quite believe it.

As soon as Oliver was born she placed him on my chest – I was wearing such an uncomfortable and tight top, it was a nightmare to roll up. I kept saying “Oh my God, Oh my God” completely overwhelmed and utterly in love with him. Scott cut the cord and for the next however long I just kissed and held my baby. From the second he was born I’ve been obsessed with him; he was and is absolutely perfect.

I couldn’t have asked for a better birth, if my second is anything like this I will one very happy lady. I was lucky to come away with just a few grazes and very little pain. We stayed in hospital for 5 days due to Oliver needing help with feeding, specialist checks on his hips and legs, many blood tests and treatment for jaundice. It was the best feeling when we were discharged around 9pm and got to go home to finally enjoy time as a family; 5 days felt like a huge chunk out of Scott’s paternity leave.

And now, he’s a 2 year old crazy toddler – that is just so surreal to me, time really does fly. If you are due your baby soon, those first few moments are so, so precious and although the days are long and you somehow manage to function (barely) on very little sleep, you really do need to savour every moment. Take lots of pictures and spend hours just staring at your baby – they honestly don’t stay babies for long!


lifestyle, Uncategorized

Morning at Roslin Glen

There are so many beautiful country parks and green spaces in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, we have lots to cross off our list. We decided we would get up early on Sunday and head to Roslin Glen country park, set on the North Esk Valley near the village of Roslin. If there’s anything Oliver needs, it is wide open spaces and places to explore. We packed our picnic, put on our wellies and headed on our adventure.

We walked through woodlands, crossed a little bridge and climbed a million (not really) steps and found Roslyn Castle ruins – which was very high up! Oliver collected sticks, stones, leaves and whatever else he could scavenge and jumped in lots of muddy puddles. There are many paths and walk ways through woodlands, riverside and meadows, but for little legs we didn’t venture too far. We headed back to enjoy our picnic on one of the benches and Oliver had a little play.

Roslin Glen is a lovely place to enjoy a walk with family. If you have little ones, be on your guard and help navigate them; there are high drops, slippery surfaces, steps etc, but it’s a really good morning or afternoon out for them and Oliver was absolutely worn out by the end of it!

You can find lots of information on the park noticeboard, including different events happening throughout the year for children and adults alike. According to the Midlothian council website there are ‘free resource boxes’ available from the Ranger Service which includes equipment for pond dipping and mini beast hunts.

We spent around 3 hours here so there is loads to explore, take a picnic and make a longer stay of it. Let me know if you decide to visit and what you think of this beautiful place.

Please feel free to leave your recommendations below of places to visit in and around Edinburgh! 

pregnancy, Uncategorized

My First Trimester Must Haves

This pregnancy has been different to my first, I’ve been experiencing more symptoms this time, whereas Oliver’s pregnancy was a walk in the park. I am now in my second trimester and feel like some symptoms are easing but the following things have definitely seen me through. There’s nothing fancy or costly, just simple things that have seen me through the past 18 weeks.

Pregnancy vitamins – Since we found out we were expecting I’ve been taking the Seven Seas pregnancy multivitamins. (They are currently on offer in Asda on 3 for £10). Scott bought enough for my whole pregnancy and at our first midwife appointment I was told they now provide them but will continue to use my own.

Stretch Mark Cream – I’ve been using the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion (was £3.99 now £2.65 on offer at Superdrug). I used this when I was pregnant with Oliver and although I have stretch marks, they aren’t overly noticeable. I do think if you are going to get stretch marks there’s not much you can do, but creams and oils are said to help reduce the appearance of them. Personally, I don’t mind my stretch marks, I actually like the reminder of carrying my child, but I do apply my lotion whenever I remember.

Pillow/body pillow – I’ve found it quite uncomfortable to lie in bed for at least a month now. I have my body pillow from my pregnancy with Oliver but I haven’t yet been able to find the cover and using it without one creeps me out a little as its been in storage for 2+ years. So, I’ve been using a normal pillow and it’s definitely helped.

Water – I have been feeling so much better since I’ve increased my water intake. However, I’m 18 weeks now and they say some symptoms subside around this time. But, it’s a good habit to get into pregnant or not, so I’m running with it. It’s also cut my snacking down so I’m happy about that too. I fill up a few bottles and keep them in the fridge, I got mine from B&M for a couple of pounds.

Lemon&Ginger – To keep sickness at bay, I’ve been drinking a lot of hot water with lemon and ginger, or lemon and ginger tea. It’s really helped me especially during the first month or so. Recently, I haven’t been too in love with it but I’m trying to get back into it.

Good Support Network – This pregnancy has been very different to my pregnancy with Oliver thus far. I can’t thank our families enough for taking Oliver out for the day and overnight when I’ve been feeling crappy.

Maternity Wear – I’ve been living in H&M Mama Super Skinny Jeans (only £24.99!) for over a month now and they are so soft and comfortable. I don’t enjoy jeans shopping at the best of times, so I steered clear of them last time and really regret it now. I would definitely recommend them. I’ve also been wearing a few maternity tops too, anything that accentuates the bump is good in my books.

Rest – Exhaustion has been a killer this pregnancy. To the point of falling asleep on the couch during Oliver’s nap time; which wouldn’t normally happen. I’ve learned to listen to my body and have headed to bed early most evenings and rest when I can.

Let me know your first trimester/pregnancy must haves in the comments!

parenting, Uncategorized

How Could I Bring My Child Into This World

The tragic incidents which affected and killed many in England recently, really struck a chord with me. One incident especially where children were targeted horrified me. How can you attack innocent children? What could they possibly have done to deserve that? And how could I bring my child into a world where things like that happen?

The increasing hatred in this world fills me anxiety for the future, my son’s future. Will there be more attacks? Will ‘they’ come to Edinburgh? Will attacks become the norm here? I pray they won’t.

The hatred attempts to divide us, our communities, we can’t and shouldn’t allow that to happen. If there’s anything I can teach my son, it’s inclusion and kindness. Include and be kind to everyone. We must remember these people are a very small minority and the world is a pretty big place. There’s a lot of good around.

Before having my son, I wouldn’t allow it to affect the way I live my life. But with a child thrown into the mix, I’ve felt that change slightly. The thought of putting Oliver in an unsafe situation unsettles me, but in the real world, how do I know what an unsafe situation is? Getting into my car and driving the same road daily, could potentially become an unsafe situation, who knows when and where hatred will strike.

The future is unknown, I have no way of controlling it and I refuse to allow such a tiny minority of brainwashed cowards to dictate how I should live my life; in fear or with reservations. With recent events in mind, the feeling of community is extremely overwhelming, showing solidarity and resilience to such terrible acts of violence. I hope humanity holds on to that.

I hope this world becomes a more positive place, I hope we manage to funnel out the extreme negativity, and although I will not shied the hatred when the time comes, I will do my best to show and have Oliver experience, the good. The beauty is there, sometimes you just need to look that little bit deeper.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London; and all over the world.

Natalie x

lifestyle, parenting

Fairy Trail Archerfield Walled Garden | North Berwick

One of our favourite things to do is explore the outdoors. Oliver loves being able to run free and collect treasures and at Archerfield Walled Garden, he can do just that.

The grounds and surrounding areas are beautifully kept, the cafe offers a lovely range of food and drinks and it won’t be difficult to pick something up from the deli and shop. You can enjoy sitting outside on the benches whilst your little ones play in the enclosed play area.

The trail leads you past several willow structures for kids and adults alike to explore and play. You can tie your ribbon, purchased from the shop, around the wishing tree on your way to the fairy trail.

The magic begins with a little red door for the children to enter and begin their search for fairies. Unfortunately, no fairies have been home whilst we’ve been there, but we’ll keep looking! As you follow the trail, you find out who lives behind each door and what their jobs are. Oliver gets so excited running up to open the fairy door to check if someone’s home. The magic and excitement of it all in his face is truly wonderful to see.

I would definitely a visit whether it’s to enjoy the fairy trail or a dog walk in the woods, there’s something for children and adults alike.

You can find more info here on the Archerfield Walled Garde website.


Natalie x