The Liebster Award by Heather Griffiths

I have received three of these nominations and haven't responded yet, so today I am combining all of them into one post! The rules of the Liebster Award are:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated

2. Answer the 11 questions given by the blogger who nominated you

3. Nominate another blogger and set 11 questions for them to answer

4. Provide links to the bloggers you nominate

Thankyou to the bloggers who nominated me; Tinyfootsteps, Whatkatysaid and Carol Clarke Blogs - All lovely ladies with fantastic blogs!

Ok, here we go, all questions combined - First, Carol's questions.....

1. What is your favourite film?

Tough question I like a lot, the Sherlock Holmes films, Batman films, Ted, Taxi Driver, Shutter Island.....

2. One item of clothing you can't live without?

My ankle boots I live in them.

3. Do you have a hobby?

Playing the piano/ singing.

4. Do you drink enough water daily?

No and I should, I get bad migraines!

5. What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

You are responsible for how you feel (said when someone had really upset me.)

6. What is your favourite book of all time?

Oh gosh, so many, I love anything by Ian McEwan and Murakami

7. If you could have been born at a different time when would it have been?

Sixties - without a doubt, the fashion; oh the fashion, the music, such an exciting time of change.

8. What is your food guilty pleasure?

Chocolate (in ridiculous quantities, consumed in one sitting usually.)

9. What is your favourite brand of makeup?

I have a lot, but for all round I guess MAC 

10. Do you get the recommended seven hours of sleep every night?

I have an 8 month old who doesn't really do sleep - so no!

11. Favourite childhood board game?

I was never really into board games; my sister had Don't Wake Dad and Guess Who which I usually played with her.

Katy's questions.......

Q1. If you were a biscuit what biscuit would you be?

Haha love it! One of those german biscuits with 3 times more chocolate than biscuit!

Q2. What was the last (non-kiddie) movie you watched?

Good Will Hunting (in tribute Robin Williams on TV - My husband had never seen it!)

Q3. Have you ever broken a bone?

I haven't (touch wood)

Q4. What does a normal day in your life look like?

At the moment: baby, housework, shower, baby, makeup, baby, food, playing, baby, walking, Peppa Pig, blogging/ vlogging, baby baby baby.....)

Q5. What TV program represents your childhood?

Hmmm not sure really, I loved a program called Round the Twist (set in a lighthouse!)

Q6. What has blogging taught you?

To open up a lot more and that there is a wide community of mum's with lots to say and discuss - it's amazing!

Q7. Do you cook? If so what is your signature dish?

I love cooking! I don't really have a signature dish, but I love cooking from Nigella's Christmas book, I make her stuffed Pumpkin and Ginger Glazed Ham every year.

Q8. Who was the last person to make you laugh? Why?

My husband Aled; He was trying to distract the baby when she was crying and he was dancing to the music from her singing teapot with a little tambourine!

Q9. What is the naughtiest thing you have ever done?

I've always been a good girl!

Q10. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?

I would love to go to America (especially New York/ Washington DC)

Q11. What is your dream?

To be happy!

And finally Jenna's questions from Tinyfootsteps.....

Q1. Would you say that your a superstitious person?

Not really, my mum is though!

Q2. What and where was the best meal you've ever had?

The Grosvenor Pulford Hotel in Cheshire - it's where we got married and we went back for a meal after Christmas last year. I had the biggest, most tender steak with fat chips and an amazing Creme Brûlée with handmade honeycomb, marshmallow and strawberries.

Q3. Who was the last person to send you a text message? (and if you don't mind sharing what was it about?)

My Mum - she was shopping in Liverpool and asked what colour headband she should buy for Martha.

Q4. We're hanging out at a bar and it's my round - what's yer tipple?

Dry white wine please  - a large - always!

Q5. How has motherhood changed you?

A lot - it has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but without question the best!

Q6. What is your fondest childhood memory?

I have a lot, I have many happy memories; Christmases, Family Holidays, playing out in the garden on summers nights....

Q7. Which band/artist have you been listening to the most lately?

Mumford and Sons, the 1975

Q8. Growing up who was your idol?

My Mum

Q9. What's the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you?

 When I had just started High School I got on the wrong bus home, when I realised I had no idea where I was I started to cry, the bus driver was so kind he drove the empty bus across town to right near my house and dropped me off - that was not his route, not sure that happens often.

Q10. Do your friends and family know about your blog?

What do they think about it? They do, they like it, we don't live near our family so it's a nice way for them to see our family and keep up to date with what we're up to.

Q11. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that your blog readers probably don't know. 

I have a Masters in Shakespearean studies.

 

Phew - I did it! I nominate:

 Pollyslittleworld 

Mrs Meldrum

 

ClarabellaQ

Here are my questions:

Q1. What is the most precious thing you own?

Q2. Where is the best place you have ever visited?

Q3. What is your guilty pleasure?

Q4. What book are you currently reading?

Q5. What subject at school was your favourite?

Q6. What is your pet peeve?

Q7. What was your favourite childhood toy?

Q8. What is your holy grail skincare item?

Q9. Do you have any siblings? How many?

Q10. How long have you been blogging?

Q11. Who are your favourite bloggers/ YouTubers?

Thanks for reading - if you made it to the end of this loooooong post! Don't forget to check out the lovely ladies who nominated me.

Stay happy!

 

 

Mum's through the decades #2 by Heather Griffiths

My last post in this series was quite popular so I thought I would continue, this week the answers are from my Mother in Law Margaret:

Q: What was it like growing up as one of nine children?

A: Noisy but happy, plenty of company and play mates.

Q: How did you feel when you first became a mum?

A: Excited but it was frightening. Hoping i would do everything right for the baby. And very tiring.

Q: What did you learn from your Mum about being a Mum?

A: She was always there for all of us no matter what and we all carried that for our own children. She always gave good advice on cooking and sleeping; she passed on a lot of her techniques.

Q: How do you think the Mums of today differ from the Mums of your generation?

A: Mothers today have to work and we didn't, I think that is quite difficult. Everything is different for Mums of today, the advice is always changing - Mum's today do things differently and are more cautious.

Q: Were all of your pregnancies similar?

A: They were, I had no morning sickness with any of them, I was very lucky. The birth's of the boys were similar, the last was the worst. With my daughter - she was back to back which made it a difficult delivery.

Q: What advice would you give to all the Mum's who read my blog?

A: The only advice I can give is enjoy your children, they grow up fast. Dont be afraid to ask for help when you need it.  

I hope you enjoyed her answers!

Stay happy!

My Mother-in-law at a family wedding


My week in Pictures #11 by Heather Griffiths

The weather has been bonkers this week! Torrential rain, sunshine and hurricane winds - leaves us stuck indoors and struggling for things to do! Here's a little of what we got up to this week.

Martha May is standing confidently and she is into everything, lately getting into my bag and messing with my things.....

I love her Peppa Pig T-shirt

We played with some new bubbles that my mum bought that actually have her name on!

Bubbles!

Bubbles!

We went to Aberystwyth and wandered around our old uni campus, things have changed a little; we went for lunch at the Art Centre....

Laughing with Mama

Laughing with Mama

Aled makes awesome pancakes and this week he made these beauties - oh so delish!

Banana Pancakes with blueberries and Maple syrup....

See you for the vlog at 6pm on Sunday!

Stay happy!


Splish Splash! by Heather Griffiths

If your familiar with Mama and Baby Bear you will know that Mama has got a healthy obsession with Penguins....for all things penguin in fact! Last Christmas my mum and sister gave me Penguin PJ's, a Penguin Blanket, a Penguin Jumper, socks, a mug......yeah I have a thing for Penguins! 

Last time my sister came to visit she bought some things for Martha conveniently a bath toy because I had being talking about Martha May's lack of entertainment at bath time and just take a look at this little beauty.......

IMG_0097.jpg

Agh - the cuteness! The Penguin Activity Centre by Carousel. This brightly coloured little chap fits to the wall with suction cups, you can pour water through the head which filters through the rest of the cogs and wheels making it all spin and tip. Martha is utterly delighted with it! She gets so excited when the whole thing starts to move!

Another feature which Martha is utterly obsessed with (and I might add refuses to let go of at the end of bath time) is the little detachable pink sieve that hangs neatly off his fin. This has certainly livened up bath time and I would thoroughly recommend it!

See you for the Vlog this Sunday!

Stay Happy!

Nailed it! by Heather Griffiths

I am admittedly not the best at nails.....I usually end up frustrated with the whole process and doing a shoddy job. If I could afford it I would love a monthly gel nail appointment, but sadly that is too costly. So I have decided to put my mind to it, stick with it and improve my technique! First attempt comes with a new polish by Barry m Gelly High Shine in Sugar Apple.

Barry M Sugar Apple

Barry M Sugar Apple

Excuse the wobbly painting technique, but isn't this colour gorgeous for summer?! It's a beautiful vibrant, pastel, mint green. I'm normally and Essie Nail Polish user, this was my first Barry M purchase. An impressively thick formular and on day 4 it is still chip free! 

Lets hope my next attempt has a little more of a steady hand!

What is your favourite polish this summer?

Stay Happy!

Mums through the decades #1 by Heather Griffiths

As a new Mama I tend to worry about everything; it brought me back to a memory of when my Nan said that her and her sister shared a drawer from a bedside cabinet as a makeshift crib for their babies because there was no room or money for anything else .....and remarkably enough those babies are now all full grown adults! It made me think how things have changed for Mums and how the different generations have brought up their children. So, here is some advice from my Mum...a tremendously brave lady, who has overcome such unimaginable feats and raised 3 children in the process.....

Q: What was life like growing up as one of five children?

A: Busy but never lonely, there was always someone to play with; we didn't have a lot but we learnt to share.

Q: How did you feel when you first became a mum?

A: I felt like I couldn't cope because I was so ill having him. I felt like I didn't know how to look after him.

Q: What did you learn from your Mum about being a new Mum?

A: She taught me to listen to my own instincts. She always said that you need a daily routine and a bath helped them to sleep better, I always followed that.

Q: How do you think the Mums of today differ from the Mums of your generation?

A: It is much harder for the Mums of today. We were only ever Mums, we concentrated on bringing up a family. Today women have careers to follow, they cannot give up work for financial reasons. Women today want careers and a family because they have often spent a lot of time and money on their education, but women don't need men as a dependent like we did.

Q: Were all of your pregnancies similar?

A: They were all different , but the births were all the same, they were all difficult and complicated.

Q: Do you have any funny stories to share about when you became a new Mum?

A: When I was in hospital I had no idea what to do and I put the babies' nappy on the wrong way round. I can also remember when he first had hiccups and I got in a panic because I thought he was going to explode! The nurse just told me to give him a drink. Also I remember the Health Visitor asking if she minded if she bring her dog in - a giant Alsatian (that wouldn't happen now.)

Q: How has it been different seeing one of your children become a Mum and becoming a Nana yourself?

A: As a Mum I want to pass on all the knowledge I have and I want to give you the confidence that I have, so you believe you are doing things right. I also love my Grand Daughter as if she were my own, I would give anything to both of you.

Q: What advice would you give to all the Mums that read my blog?

A: It's good for Mums to share ideas and information; it is easy for Mums to feel isolated and your problems are always better shared. It is hard being a new Mum, support one another and learn from each other.

Thanks to my Mum for her answers, I think it is important to remember to learn from the strong women who brought us in to this world and remember that although things might have evolved in the world of parenting, the sentiments are still the same - we all want the best for our children and as new Mums we all feel the pressure to do it 'right'.

My Mum and Martha May at her Christening

Stay Happy Mamas!

My week in pictures #10 by Heather Griffiths

Another week has passed us by, is anyone else thinking about Autumn already?! I don't do well in hot weather! Here's what Mama and Baby Bear got up to this week....

My mum and Dad came to visit with my sister and her fiance, for my Mum's birthday. They all brought so many toys and clothes for Martha May; her favourite are these stacking cups, she is obsessed with taking them apart!

Headed for the tower....

Headed for the tower....

We all dressed up for a wedding!

Me and my Baby Bear

Me and my Baby Bear

It was our first time ever being away with the baby and it was utterly exhausting - she did not sleep and the lack of routine was very hard on her. She was so happy when we got home! Just after we left the hotel we had a nappy change issue, so we did a quick detour to Carmarthen the next day....

In carmarthen

In carmarthen

We also took a trip up to the Clywedog Dam and went for a walk amongst the lead mine ruins. The scenery up here is amazing and a tasty ice cream didn't hurt either!

Clywedog Dam with my Baby

Clywedog Dam with my Baby

To see more of our adventures this week don't forget to watch the Vlog this Sunday at 6pm.

Which monitor? - Friday Review by Aled Griffiths

Today's post is written by Aled

 

Here we are, another Friday and another review. Heather has wanted me to write a post on here for a while, and I keep promising... So here goes!

When I was tasked with choosing a baby monitor (ok, not so much tasked, I was excited to get things sorted before Martha arrived), I had no idea what type of device we should get. Let's face it, it's easy to find yourself worrying about all eventualities; 'Will we be able to hear the baby if it isn't breathing ok?' 'Should we get a monitor with a camera so we can keep an eye on her?' 'Should we get one that monitors room temperature or even the baby's heart rate!?'  When it comes to my daughter, I'm a worrier. So as you might imagine, I was tempted to get the best monitor money can buy, you know, the type of monitor that seems better placed in a science laboratory to keep tabs on a complex experiment.

Our monitor

The Good?

The monitor in the Baby's room.  A gentle, constant glow.

The monitor in the Baby's room.  A gentle, constant glow.

I am a fan of Amazon, and especially Amazon Prime.  This was the first place I turned to and found the Motorola MBP8 Digital Audio Baby Monitor.  First and foremost the thing that drew me to this monitor was its reasonable price at £19.49.  Not only that, it is a plug-in monitor, where it literally plugs into the wall socket, so we don't need to worry about the batteries running out.  The sound on this monitor is good, however can be patchy if the volume is down low, and near Wi-Fi routers or any other source of radio signal near the 1.8GHz frequency.  The receiver also has an LED light on it which lights up when any noise is detected by the transmitter in the baby's room, which gives a visual sign that baby is awake as well as an audio sound of baby's cries, or more recently, chatter, in Martha's case!  The monitor in the Baby's room also has a light on it, however this is a gentle orange light (see picture) which acts as a night light.  It's not too bright and gives Martha some reassurance at night.

The Bad?

As I have mentioned, it is a plug in monitor, and so the receiver is stuck to the wall.  We're fortunate in our house where we have loads of sockets, however it is inconvenient when you're moving from room to room and can't take the monitor with you.

I have also mentioned, the receiver has lights on it which light up when noise is detected in the baby's room, so at 3am we are often treated to a disco display of green and red lights flashing on and off with the ups and downs of Martha's shouts.

Overall view?

It's a great monitor for the price.  We have never missed a sound, and if we can't hear the monitor we certainly see the lights on it flashing.  The gentle and constant glow of the transmitter end of the two is good source of reassuring light for baby, and has helped us not stub too many toes in the dark! 

The receiver plugged into the wall.  On/Off button and volume controls.

The receiver plugged into the wall.  On/Off button and volume controls.

 

The Holy Grail of Cleansers! by Heather Griffiths

Ok, it is well known that my love for Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing Balm runs deep. It is without question amazing! I recently heard around the beauty blogging world that Oskia has a fairly good, if not better product on the market. That was obviously something to be investigated! Enter the Renaissance Cleansing Gel by Oskia........

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

The pump packaging is far superior  to the 'dig around in the pot' that Emma Hardie's packaging offers and is very refreshing change for a balm cleanser. I use the term balm as I believe it is more of a balm than a gel. The product is very thick and when worked onto dry skin, reverts to a balm/oil, it is then loosened with water and wiped off with a cleansing cloth. The difference is, skin feels instantly far smoother and cushioned post cleanse, than with Emma Hardie.

However, this can be explained.....I tried this as an evening cleanse to remove makeup and found there were still traces of foundation at the toning stage, something you won't get with Emma Hardie. It is clearly a far more gentle cleanser and won't handle a full face of makeup.It also stung my eyes like no other, again, something you won't get with Emma Hardie.

Bottom line? It is beautiful; it cleanses without stripping, the packaging is hygienic and it is gentle on my sensitive skin. For me it is a holy grail MORNING cleanser, at night I'll be relying on the magic of Emma Hardie's Moringa Balm!

Have you tried Oskia?

What are your Holy Grail Cleansers?

Stay Happy!

My week in pictures #9 by Heather Griffiths

Oh Mama and Baby have been having fun this week, I am loving the summer holidays and enjoying every moment with my little Baby Bear! Here's a little of what we got up to this week.....

Martha had her first  little go on a swing.

Loves the swing!

Loves the swing!

We were sent some lovely items from Jellycat, which Martha has been getting to grips with..

Martha and her Buggy Buddies

I had a go at baking Sophie Dahl's Banana Bread and I also tried  a Mary Berry Lemon Drizzle Cake (Featured on Viviannadoesmakeup's channel) for my Mum's Birthday.

I'm baking a cake - actually two!

To my amazement they were actually awesome!

The finished articles!

Hope you are having a great week?

See you on Sunday for the vlog at 6pm