Thursday, 11 January 2018

What Alfie got for Christmas 2017

As excited as I was about Alfie’s first Christmas, I was left with one huge dilemma – what do you buy a three-month old? It’s times like this I wish that gift guide blog posts weren’t so generic, or clearly sponsored; I needed inspo! Needless to say, I got there in the end and Alfie was very spoilt, so I wanted to share what he got, too. And who knows, it might help others in my predicament next Christmas.

Before I start, how cute is his personalised hessian sack? My mum bought it from the Handmade Christmas Co, because we’ve always had our own sacks/bags. It can be re-used year after year too. This wasn’t even bought as a present, but was so thoughtful, I just had to mention it.

I went practical, as like I said, I really struggled. Alfie has been teething for just over a month, so I bought the Tommee Tippee stage one (not pictured) and stage two teethers. They’re specially designed to target particular areas of the mouth as teeth come through, so are a lot handier than standard teethers or toys. With teething comes dribbling and Alfie seems happiest when he’s blowing bubbles, so I stocked up on dribble bibs – a collection of five superhero inspired ones. I also bought some clothes as I am quite particular about what shops they come from! The grey tracksuit is from Next and in 3-6 months (both pieces sold separately) and the all-in-one dungarees and long-sleeved vest is from Zara Baby (in 6-9 months). I actually wanted to buy 3-6 months, but the towel material is light, making it perfect for spring/summer.
His main present from my mum was the Fisher Price Rainforest Music & Lights deluxe gym. We were given a second hand jungle gym when were back in Essex and it was on its last legs, really and Alfie only ever lay on the mat section. Now the Christmas tree is down and we have our living room back, we have set up the mat to help his continued development. He seems very content so far, interacting with the animals.
My auntie bought the giraffe toy for the stroller, when we convert his buggy into a pushchair. I’m hoping it can also attach to the car seat when he’s forward facing to keep him amused on longer journeys (he usually falls asleep in the car, to be fair). I know Alfie will love this as he’s already grabbing things (usually the tops of jumpers and my hair or Ashley’s beard!) and he’s got the strongest grip.
He got plenty of clothes and books. I’ll mention the books, as he got one from our Friday mum and baby group and one from Father Christmas at Centre: MK. There were touchy-feely books, ones with sounds, a couple from Shirley Hughes’ ‘Alfie’ series and Sophie Le Giraffe board books. He also got a board book and building blocks from mum – and although he can’t build them yet, he watches intently as I build and read the stories.
Ashley’s granny and grandad bought the plastic tray with compartments, ready for when Alfie is on solids (March/April), as well as a couple of plastic spoons – perfect for weaning! My mum said she couldn’t help but buy the first cutlery set, although he is far too little for it at the moment, it’s something we can hold onto until he’s ready.
The final thing I have to share is this gorgeous personalised blanket from Rob. He even made the accessories (the ring and the pointer). I took this photo between Christmas and New Year but already can’t wait for Alfie’s next milestone – he’ll be four months on January 16th (my birthday!). I love the photos I took on it, as he looks so happy and has the most gorgeous smile. It was such a cute and thoughtful gift. Also not pictured, we got a baby and mumma manicure kit. Containing a battery-powered device and a selection of files and buffers, it files down the nails in a safe and easy way, without the need for scissors. Alfie doesn’t seem to mind it, either. I definitely recommend this item.
Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

What I got for Christmas 2017

As I’ve got older, Christmas hasn’t been as exciting. It’s no longer about me and for me, it’s about seeing my family’s faces as they open their presents. 2017 was Alfie’s first Christmas and suddenly it was exciting again. However, with a new house and a new baby, there was nothing I really wanted or needed – other than house bits – and so my Christmas list stood at seven items. I was fortunate to receive them all, bar one. But with that in mind, as always, this post isn’t about me bragging or showing off, I was just very fortunate – plus these posts are always my favourite to read!

House bits
My main present from Ashley was this dressing table for our bedroom. I think he was fed up of all my cosmetics and piles of boxes blocking the wardrobe, making the room look messy! I was looking at dressing tables before Christmas and had my eye on a couple... this was one of them! Originally, I wanted a white dresser, but this goes with the rest of our bedroom furniture and I love it. The stool is super comfortable and I sit at it every morning to do my hair and makeup.
I also got some bits from Le Creuset. When we knew we were moving, I had said I wanted all the kitchenware to be Le Creuset, because it’s so long-lasting – but I hadn’t realised how expensive it all was! There was no chance I could have bought it all prior to the move and as mat pay is abysmal, I could only dream of a Le Creuset kitchen. My collection begins with a round casserole pot with lid; two ramekins; and a square roasting tin. I’ve only used the pot so far, to make a Bolognaise and a couple of casseroles, but I’m so pleased (and grateful) he bought them.
My mum bought us a couple of shared presents, for the house. The first is the Nespresso pod holder, which she also filled with pods and decorated with ribbons. I bought Ash the coffee machine as an anniversary present and I knew it would look great in our house – and we must have a year supply of capsules, so now we have somewhere to store them! She also bought us (well it’s gotta be for me!) a wine kit: a cork screw and replacement worm, foil cutter, pump, wine pourer and two stoppers all in one box. It’s such a great idea and gone are the days I can drink a whole bottle of wine or fizz in one go, so it’s certainly going to be used!
Personal bits
I’ll finish off sharing what Ash bought me – although none of it is pictured. On the 23rd December we had our first present: matching pyjamas from Next. Unfortunately, they didn’t have Alfie’s size in a sleep suit, so there was no baby bear... maybe next year? Also from Next were a pair of jeggings – my New Look pair got ruined in the wash, when Ash left a biro in one of his pockets. It was actually fine in the wash, but the dry setting ruined a number of items of clothing. We are also going to see Disney on Ice in a couple of months – I wanted to go a couple of years ago, but we didn’t have time. I went with the uni girls in our final year (at the O2) and it was SO good!

My auntie and uncle bought me one of my favourite perfumes: Dot by Marc Jacobs. I’ve bought it a number of times now and I’m a massive fan of MJ. It sits so nicely on my dresser, with my Daisy collection the other side. Moving on to skin care and my brother bought me my favourite cleanser and toner duo from Clarins. Again, I’ve used the products for years and swear by them now – they’re fab for combination skin, like mine. Although I don’t get much time for self-care, I’ve promised to look after myself more this year. And Robert also bought me the eyebrow pencil I use: Soap & Glory’s 2-in-1 pencil and brush (in Love is Blonde).
I just have to mention these two bits, as he knows me so well. I had seen both items in stores and online but never actually purchased them: prosecco products from Pop a Ball. I got both the bubbles and the shimmer – and just need a special occasion (or excuse!) to pop open the fizz and give them a try!
The final thing I’d love to mention is my present from Alfie. It was the cutest heart locket (my old nickname) with I Love You Mummy engraved in one half and a photo of him in the other. I was genuinely surprised when I opened it and I won’t lie, very nearly shed a tear. It was such a thoughtful gift – and one Ash knew I would love. I wear it every day (only taking it off to shower, gym or sleep) and it’s something I will always treasure... and maybe embarrass Alfie about when he’s older!
As I said in my last post, mum did us all stockings with the usual small items in: sweet treats, shower gel, a Satsuma (standard) and a notebook for me to scribble blog ideas. In terms of smaller items, I also got the most gorgeous 2018 diary, a diffuser, cushion and bedding. Any money we received will no doubt go on house things – as most of the items left are bulky/expensive! At least it’s money well spent.

What did you get for Christmas? Please leave your links below or send them to me on social, I’d love to have a nose!

Love, Lucy xx

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Alfie’s first Christmas, ft. OOTD

Christmas seems so long ago now. In fact, tomorrow, I’ll be taking down the Christmas cards, boxing up the decorations and saying goodbye to the tree for another year. To be honest, as I’ve got older, I’ve not been overly excited by Christmas – but it’s fair to say it was different this time around. Not only was it Alfie’s first Christmas, it was the first in our family home. I was excited to get the house ready, be with my family and boys and see how spoilt Alfie would be!

Traditions are important to me, especially at Christmas time. I was adamant we’d have a real tree – we never had a pretend one when I was growing up and if I’m honest, I think they’re awful! I was left in charge of decorations and I was really impressed with my first attempt. There was no foil or tack in sight.

Another tradition of ours is Christmas Eve – my mum and brother joined us that day and stayed with us for two nights. We always have ham, egg and chips for dinner. Mum always cooks the ham, glazing it with honey and studding it with cloves. I did some Slimming World chips and fried eggs – and after dinner, we played games. Standard.

On Christmas morning, it was more traditions by beginning the day opening our stockings – yep, at the age of 27, I still have a stocking. My mum even made one for Ashley as well. The little presents were followed by a Champagne breakfast with scrambled eggs on toast (with pancetta, not smoked salmon this year), before the festivities began. Ash’s family then joined us as we opened our presents – which took nearly two hours!

Ash did all the cooking: a three-course meal! We had a whole turkey with roasted vegetables, homemade sausage meat stuffing and giant pigs in blankets. It was incredible and he spent hours in the kitchen preparing and cooking. After so much food and a couple of glasses of Chablis, I was exhausted!
Now to the outfits. I am a firm believer in dressing up for Christmas Day. If you can’t dress up then, when can you? I also can’t think of anything worse than being in photos wearing ‘slobs’. My dad always wore a shirt and smart trousers with a tie; my mum and I most often wear dresses. I bought myself a new one for the occasion: a black sequin bodycon dress from Boohoo. Although the sequins kept getting caught on loose threads restricting my movement, I loved it. It was so glam and the sparkle made me feel even more Christmassy – the hostess with the mostest. I bought Alfie’s all-in-one from Mini Club at Boots and he looked very smart indeed. The bowtie and cravat were a nice touch! I still wish I’d got a photo of us under the Christmas tree, but never mind!

The day was perfect, we were very spoilt, I got some fab polaroids for Alfie’s baby book and I was just so grateful I could share the day with my mum and brother – family are everything.

How did you spend your Christmas?

Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

2017 review & 2018 goals

Birthday weekend in Cardiff with Ashley | Birthday meal at Bob Bob Ricard with Vicky | Afternoon tea at Malmaison, Birmingham with Gems | Poppy’s surprise 30th afternoon tea | London with the workies for Poppy’s 30th | Afternoon tea at The Sanderson with Poppy | Holiday in Palermo with Ashley | Stone Roses at Wembley | Work Awards featuring Paddy McGuinness | Ireland road-trip with Ashley | Michelle and Will’s wedding | Introducing Alfie Page | My baby shower (with the baby in attendance) | Moving into our first family home | Alfie’s first Christmas | New Year’s Eve 2017

It’s fair to say that 2017 was the best year of my life, to date. After the heartache at the beginning of the previous year, I ended that one happy – and that continued all throughout the year. I may not have fulfilled my quota of five holidays a year and I definitely didn’t visit dad as much as I wanted to. But I changed jobs (which did my health, pregnancy and well-being a massive favour!), found out I was pregnant, road-tripped across Ireland and Northern Ireland with my best friend, gave birth to the healthiest (and happiest) little boy and we bought our first home, which saw me up sticks and move counties. I just know that 2018 will be equally as good – but hopefully a little quieter!

I set myself just the three goals last year; so how did I get on?

Get fitter
At the beginning of the year, I was gymming and losing weight. And then I found out I was pregnant. Thankfully, I sprung straight back into shape, after giving birth but I have started training again today – I would love my mum tum to completely disappear. I didn’t manage to go swimming but soon, I’ll be able to go with Alfie! Or maybe we could go as a family on a Sunday?

Save as much as possible
Well this one went very well. I managed to save enough to move out – and it’s done me a massive favour as maternity pay is shocking and I’ll be using my savings to pay off the mortgage!
Apply common sense
I had to ask Ashley about this one ‘cos I wasn’t sure if I had managed it. But he said I’ve definitely got better. I know I still say silly things and having moved to a new and unfamiliar area, my sense of direction is still abysmal. But I’ll get there! 

And so to next year – what would I like to achieve?

(1) Put less pressure on myself
This is with regards to blogging. I have always loved posting twice a week and at the moment, I have such a backlog of content. There are posts in my drafts or written in my notebook that I’ve not been able to type up. Looking after Alfie full-time is a job in itself and I beat myself up when I can’t post on time – or at all. I’m not sure how mummy bloggers manage – can anyone share some tips?

(2) Worry less
I have always been a worrier. Since I’ve had a baby and moved, I have definitely realised who my real friends are – and it’s not as many as I thought. I worry about not being liked, I worry about money, I worry I’m not good enough, I worry there aren’t enough hours in the day. So I’ve decided not to worry so much. If I don’t get the housework done on a Tuesday, there’s always Wednesday. If someone decides they don’t like me, their loss. I’m just gonna carry on and smile as much as possible.

(3) Tone up
I’d love to lose three kilos if possible; but ultimately, my aim is to tone up. While I went back to my pre-pregnancy weight straight away, I have a definite mum tum, that I’d love to get rid of. My thighs have also got bigger. And I’d love to have a bigger bum. Like I said, I was back in the gym today, so I have good intentions.

As I mentioned in my last post, thank you to everyone that has read my blog over the last year – and beyond that! I will try and be a bit more social, but links to my channels are below, as always.

Love, Lucy xx

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Instagram #22

Instagram, Life, Personal, Update, Social Media, LucyLocket_x
Afternoon at Cressing Barns (post) – Afternoon tea at Merrymeade House (post) – First Christmas trip to Centre: MK – ThrowbackThursday: my last day at work – Taking Alfie to see Father Christmas at Centre: MK – ThrowbackThursday: Last Christmas – Alfie’s first snow experience – Smashed a Monday night roast AND it was Insta-worthy – Christmas Party at Ragdolly Anna’s – Our first Christmas tree in our first family home – Visiting Winter Wonderland in Nottingham – Alfie enjoys tummy time

Where has this month gone? Hell, where has this year gone?! Another post I’m well behind on and I realise that this is the last day of the month and I’ve not posted Christmas, my 2017 review or my goals for next year, but things have been incredibly hectic. We hosted Christmas and have only just finished that post-visitor clean and of course, Alfie needs me for a minimum of 18 hours a day! I will try and catch up on posts, I promise! I’ll be putting less pressure on myself to post, but it does mean, this little space will take a back seat... but I will be embarking on my sixth full year of blogging, some achievement!

So, let’s talk December! I’ve linked a couple of the posts above, because I’ve already mentioned them, but feel free to have a look back. We spent most of our Mondays at Centre: MK – buying bits for the house, Christmas presents and generally having a mooch. This meant we got to take Alfie to see Father Christmas and visit the grotto (read: Meeting Father Christmas at Centre: MK).

Alfie and I spend Wednesday mornings at Astral Park in Leighton Buzzard at a mum and baby group. He’s often one of the littlest there but we still have a lovely time – and it gives me a chance to engage in adult conversation! On the last class of term, we had to dress up in festive attire and we sang Christmas songs. That same week, on the Friday, we went to the Community Centre on our estate for another Christmas party. We hadn’t attended this class before, but will do in the New Year – especially as the family opposite us go along too. The babies/toddlers received presents, while there was tea and coffee, and boozy cakes for the parents – yum! It was so much fun and at the end, there was even a snow machine. Alfie was asleep for the majority of the hour, but it was nice to get out and meet neighbours!

Of course, we also went out to buy the Christmas tree – always real, never fake – and I bought the decorations (all John Lewis): giant LED baubles, rose gold and bronze glass baubles and bell garlands. If I do say so myself, my first attempt at a tree was good – although I will be glad when we have our living room back! Alfie’s also getting at the stage where he puts things in his mouth, so I’m worrying about the needles. I’m thinking a non-drop tree next year and possibly exchanging the glass decorations for wooden ones.

And then more recently, the other side of Christmas, we drove to Nottingham to visit Winter Wonderland. You can read more in my most recent post: Winter Wonderland, Nottingham.

Thank you to everyone that has continued to read my blog and support me this year. I know I’ve been MIA for most of it, but I’m sure you understand. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year and all good things for 2018.

Love, Lucy xx