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Monday, 15 September 2014

A Letter To My Younger Self...



Dear 21 Year Old Lucy,

I know you're feeling a bit lost right now. You don't truly know who you are yet, or what you want from life, but you soon will - all that soul searching you're doing right now will really help you to get things clearer. I wish you could know how great everything is going to become in your future! You have some hard years ahead of you - some tough decisions to make, relationships to break, and mistakes that you have to go and make - if you don't you'll end up somewhere different to where you are now, and where you are now at 27 is really great! 

Please don't keep stressing about the future and about all of the 'what if's', stop telling yourself that you'll never meet anyone worth settling down with, and that you'll probably end up alone - that's just the voice of the silly woe-is-me teenager that's still stuck inside you. Ignore her! You need to move on from that teenage woe…it won't help. You should be more confident, you have so much potential to offer the world, and you mean an awful lot to a great number of people. You're a good person - don't forget that! 

I want to talk to you about your teenage years - yes, they were really tough (whose weren't?) and you had to learn some harsh life lessons. You made some really bad relationship choices, and got very hurt - but look how strong those experiences have made you! Stop stewing about those silly decisions, you made them, you got knocked down, but you picked yourself back up again - that's the bit you MUST concentrate on - your strength, not your weakness. Those awful relationships have taught you exactly what you DON'T want from a partner, they will inform all your other relationship choices, and eventually you're going to make a blinder of a choice, and marry someone who is perfect for you, and who will never hurt you like you've been hurt before. 

Now, I know you don't want to hear it, but I need to talk to you about your weight. You're a very big girl, and it makes you miserable every day. It affects your confidence constantly, and you beat yourself up about it all of the time. What would be really useful for you long-term is to just get on and do something about it RIGHT NOW at 21. It will save you the really hard slog in 6 years time when you'll have to embark on a 6 stone weight loss journey. 

Trust me when I tell you how much happier you will be when you are lighter, fitter and healthier. You'll have so much more confidence and you'll fall in love with fashion for the first time. I know that you imagine all the time what it would be like to be able to buy clothes from any shop on the high street instead of just the 'plus size' sections - I can tell you what it will feel like...it will be brilliant! You'll be desperate to buy beautiful clothes all of the time and you'll be able to wear stunning clothes from shops you absolutely love such as Boden, Joules and Cath Kidston!! And you'll start to feel pretty and sexy for perhaps the first time ever. You won't have to avoid shopping trips with your friends because they're all thinner and can fit into clothes in shops that you can't. Do it now Lucy - start exercising as much as you can, and try to teach yourself moderation when it comes to eating. Don't keep using food as your crutch, it will just make you more miserable. Discover calorie counting, it really works, and will teach you what is 'enough' for your body to consume. If you do it now you'll have so many more years of happiness and self confidence, you won't regret it. 

Finally, listen to your mum! I know you don't want to admit it at the moment, but deep down you know that she's always right. She's a great judge of character - and when she tells you to go on a second date with a man called Liam, DEFINITELY listen to her…he's a keeper. 

Be kind to yourself Lucy, give yourself a break, leave the past behind you and see the potential staring back at you in the mirror and start making the most of it! 

Love

27 Year Old Lucy 

xxx

Disclaimer: This post is a 'Letter To My Younger Self' in partnership with Legal & General

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Weight Update & FitBug Orb *REVIEW*

Lucy's Weight Loss Update

Since my last weight loss post I've had a really busy time. We had a manic few weeks full of celebrations for little Bert's first birthday, and a week long holiday to Cyprus with my hubby. 

I made a conscious decision before the celebrations began that I would stop calorie counting and I would enjoy a couple of week's indulgence. For me, the point of having lost so much weight is to be able to enjoy all the food I eat without guilt. The way I do this now is consciously deciding on what treats I'm going to have, and ensure they are not every day and in vast quantities. I try to eat a very balanced diet most of the time and do plenty of exercise, in order to be able to go off the rails every now and then, without causing too much damage. 

Over the two weeks of not calorie counting I ate A LOT - birthday cake, party food, cream teas, fish and chips, doughnuts, ice cream, and on holiday we ate from the buffet restaurant for breakfast and dinner, and certainly got our money's worth. I wasn't ultra stupid - I didn't make myself feel sick, or eat for the sake of eating - I ate what I wanted, but there was still a quiet nagging voice telling me not to be too greedy.

Honestly, by the time I got back from holiday I was beginning to get a bit fed up with 'treat food', and well in need of some fruit, vegetables and moderation! I felt pretty horrendous. Lesson learned - two weeks 'off' is perhaps a tad too long for me these days. I was dreading the weigh-in on the friday morning after our holiday (I weigh in every Friday morning religiously), I was pretty sure I must have put on at least a stone….but, I'd put on just 5 lbs in the two weeks off. 

Some of you might recoil in horror at putting on 2.5 lbs a week for two weeks, but I ate SO much and really enjoyed every mouthful - I was pleasantly surprised. I know that if I put my mind to it I can soon lose that 5 lbs I put on. After having lost over 5 stone, 5 lbs doesn't seem as scary! 

I felt so relaxed over Bert's birthday and throughly enjoyed all the yummy foods I indulged in. The holiday was glorious: being able to eat what I liked for a week, with no little man to amuse at meal times was such a treat - it added so much enjoyment to the experience. 

For me, food will always be emotional. I will probably always see it as a reward, a treat. I know that without yummy scrummy foods to cook, and eat, I'd have a lot less pleasure in my life. I understand this now, and embrace it instead of trying to hide it. 

Since returning from holiday I have lost 1 of the 5 lbs I put on. I now have 11 lbs to lose to get to my final target weight. 

To date I have lost 5 stone 5 lbs since September 2013. 


Hubby and I at our biggest! 

Me last week - Current weight: 11 stone 11 lbs 
Goal weight: 11 stone

I have set myself a goal to have reached that target weight by my best friend's wedding in early December. This gives me about 11 weeks to lose 11 lbs. It will mean I need to really keep my eye on the ball as much as possible between now and then - I have a lot of celebrations coming up in the next few months (cousins 30th, my birthday, a weekend away with hubby, hubby's 30th) and I need to be conscious to try and ensure whatever treats I have are reasonable, and met with lots of exercise to counteract the naughtiness. 

I dream of being in the position when I'm at my goal weight, and work hard to maintain that most of the time. Then, at times when I want a 'break' such as Christmas, my birthday, Easter etc I could take some time off from calorie counting, consciously allow myself to eat treats and probably put some weight on over that set period, then, after the week/two week period (I can't imagine a time when I'd ever need to stop calorie counting for longer than two weeks?) I would weigh in, see the damage and be prepared to lose whatever I've put on. 

Having been in a position when I had over 6 stone to lose, I can now laugh in the face of 6 lbs…having just had two weeks off and eaten the amount I have, I understand that a few weeks off isn't ever going to result in me getting as big as I was before. As long as I deal with the weight gain straight away, and get it off almost as quickly as it went on. 

A gain of 5 lbs at christmas, followed by 5 lbs at Easter, etc would soon add up if I didn't work at losing it again straight away. 

Onwards and upwards: I'm still feeling really motivated and excited about the prospect of being the slimmest I've ever been and working hard to achieve my goals. 

FitBug Orb *REVIEW*


For the past two months I've been trying out a wearable activity monitor called the FitBug Orb which is currently priced at £49.95. FitBug claims that this device can track your steps, distance travelled and hours slept, and will help you to lose weight, get fitter, feel healthier and happier. Big claims from a little product! 

To stay healthy we are meant to take 10,000 steps a day - when I first used a pedometer years ago (when they came free in boxes of Special K!) I was a quite lazy, overweight teenager, and I'm ashamed to say I barely managed to reach 5,000 steps a day, let alone 10,000. As I've gotten older, wiser and much more health conscious, I no longer find it as difficult to reach that step goal. 

What I was interested in finding out was how accurately had I been recording my recent activity levels using just guesstimation and the My Fitness Pal App, compared to the readings I would now get from the FitBug Orb?



In the past I have used both wearable pedometers, and GPS tracking phone Apps to help monitor my activity levels- but I found the pedometers to be wildly inaccurate, and the GPS Apps just drained the battery from my iPhone so quickly it wasn't feasible to use daily. I was interested to try out the Orb and see how it stacked up against my previous experiences with activity monitors. 

What I Needed...

A wearable activity monitor which is 

  • easy to use
  • simple to understand
  • able to track my daily steps
  • able to tell me how many minutes I've stepped actively (so that I can put that information into My Fitness Pal to work out how many calories I've burned)
  • not a drain on my iPhone's battery

The Basics

This little monitor is tiny and easy to wear - at just slightly bigger than a 10p piece, and really light, you can wear it multiple ways - either on a clip to your bra/underwear/belt, a lanyard for around your wrist, or in the watch attachment. The clip, lanyard and watch attachment all come in the box with the Orb for less than fifty pounds. I think this is a pretty reasonable price for what you get. 

The Orb doesn't have a screen for you to read your data from like most pedometers, which means it is very small and light compared to other activity monitors. Instead, it transmits the data it collects via bluetooth to an app on your bluetooth device (such as an iPhone), and it is from the App that you can track your progress. 

Set Up

When my FitBug Orb arrived I found the set up process to be very smooth. I followed the instructions in the pack, registered my Orb online using the serial number found on the bottom of the packaging, downloaded the free App to my phone, and then connected the two via bluetooth. It asks you input your stats (height, current weight, sex etc) and you're good to go. I couldn't wait to start wearing it and giving it a good road test. 

What I particularly love about the Orb is that it tells you how many of your daily steps count as aerobic (calorie burning) steps. For someone like me, whose primary calorie burning exercise source is brisk walking, this is invaluable to me - I was forever guesstimating how many minutes of brisk walking I'd done each day by looking at the time I set out, and arrived home - but this has so many flaws: I wasn't particularly allowing for any dips in pace, stopping/starting etc: all of which would effect the calories I burn. With the Orb I can now see exactly how many minutes of aerobic walking I have done each day and how many miles I have covered. I then input that information into My Fitness Pal, which is the App I use to count calories. Using the Orb has resulted in a much more reliable calculation of how many minutes each day I've spent walking fast enough (around 3 mph is my average pace) to burn calories.

wearing the Orb in the wrist/watch style accessory

I wear the Orb every day on the bra clip attachment. I'm quite hefty in the boob area, so this tiny little Orb soon gets lost if I clip it to the centre middle of my bra front. It is comfortable to wear - once it is on I forget I'm even wearing it!

Don't make the same mistake I did on the first day - I wore the Orb in the wrist/watch style accessory, and then walked along pushing Bert in the buggy. I found that pushing the buggy really messed up the reading as I guess it wasn't getting the movement it needed from my wrist to register my steps. Note to self: wear on bra clip when pushing buggy! Ever since then I've used the bra clip instead, and the readings have been much more reliable. 

If you don't push a buggy most of the time like me, then the watch attachment is brilliant - I would usually expect to pay extra for things like that, so the fact that it comes with the standard package is brilliant. When I've worn the wrist watch attachment on the rare occasions I get to walk by myself without the buggy, I've found it to be really comfortable to wear and well fitting (it has loads of different holes like a normal watch to ensure it will fit any wrist size). It doesn't have a watch face though - I made myself look really silly looking at it for the time on a few occasions - note to FitBug HQ - if you could include a working watch face, that would be great, and would save me from looking like an idiot! Cheers. 

Along with the App, and device itself you also get what's called a KiK digital coach - which after a week, looks at your progress, and starts to set you daily step targets to help encourage you to move more. You will then receive a weekly email with inspiration and advice tailored to you from your digital "coach" (not an actual person, just the software being all clever and using your data to come up with attainable goals) - which I found to be quite motivating. 

The App

The App screen shows you your day like this:

Total steps - Have you met your goal? - Aerobic steps - Distance travelled - Calories burned
A screen shot of the App before I've started stepping!

You transmit data from the Orb to your App either by pressing the button on your Orb once to transmit the current data, or by having it set on beacon mode, where it regularly updates your App with data throughout your day. 

You can also select the 'History' tab, which will give you an overview of your week - I found this to be a really helpful function - it enabled me to see which days I hadn't walked very much, which days I'd greatly exceeded my targets and I could use the history to try to see some patterns in my exercise. 


The colour coded key is a quick an easy way to see if you are meeting, exceeding, or not quite making your goals. From the App you can also see what your goals are, read your sleep data, and change your settings. 

On my best day I made 29,174 steps of which 26,018 were aerobic. On that day I walked 9 miles in total and could input 4 hours 02 minutes of moderate pace walking into My Fitness Pal which amassed to burning 984 calories. Phew! That was a tiring day. 

Sleep mode

One of the other functions of the Orb is a sleep monitor, and I must say I was dubious about this part of its functionality, and in all honesty, I still am. 

You can press a button before you go to sleep at night, which puts your Orb into 'sleep mode' where it apparently tracks the quality of your sleep, how much you wake up and for how long, and how long in total you sleep for. 

Don't ask me how it is supposed to be able to do all this! I have no idea! Perhaps the people over at FitBug can explain the science behind it?

Honestly, I found the Orb a bit uncomfortable to wear at night, and the whole process a little bit of a faff. I would forget to turn it onto sleep mode, or forget to turn it back to normal mode in the morning, and then my readings would be off. It says that the Orb will put itself back into normal mode after taking 50 consecutive steps, but quite often I found it would stay in sleep mode until i either a) remembered to switch it back or b) started aerobic steps. 

This was one of the best and most accurate sleep readings I managed because I put it into sleep mode when I could barely keep my eyes open any more at 1:16am, and remembered to switch it back to normal mode as soon as I woke up at 6:51am. I must have slept pretty soundly that night as my quality of sleep was 98%, not bad! 

The sleep function's issues weren't too much of an issue for me, as I'm not particularly interested in this part of the Orb's functionality. Putting it into sleep mode when I get into bed didn't seem accurate to me as it quite often takes me a while to get off to sleep, I couldn't work out if the Orb would think you were asleep from the moment you turned on sleep mode, or if it can magically work out when you drift off from your movements?

I figured that I could forget about using the sleep function as I know pretty accurately by looking at the clock how long I've slept for. I usually remember if I wake up in the night, so equally, knowing the quality of my sleep isn't really difficult for me either. 

Overview

On the whole I found the Orb to do what it says on the tin, so to speak. It ticked every box on the 'What I Needed…' list.

It seems to accurately track your steps, and give you a fair idea of how many minutes each day you've spent doing aerobic exercise. For me, that is really the only information I am interested in. It means I can input with confidence my calories burned using My Fitness Pal, and get better results in terms of weight loss because of that. 

It is easy to set up, doesn't drain your iPhone battery, and I found the multiple ways to wear it very useful. The KiK coach is a helpful addition to keep you motivated, and if you have a better memory than me you will probably find the sleep tracker a useful addition to its function as well. 

I would genuinely recommend the Orb to friends, in fact, I already recommend it to my sister, and she has bought her own and has been using it for the past month! Compared to other activity monitors on the market it is a much more reasonable price - I think you definitely get plenty for your money! 

You can follow FitBug on Twitter @FitbugActive 
And find out more on their website here

Disclaimer: I was sent a FitBug Orb for the purpose of this review - all words, opinions and images are my own. 

Family Fever

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Our Honeymoon Take 2...

Hubby and I have not long been back from 7 blissful nights in Cyprus. 


The view from our balcony! 

We weren't intending on going abroad on holiday this year, and certainly had no intention of an adult only getaway- until I was lucky enough to win the Loved By Parents' 'Blogger of the Year 2014' award. 

The prize was a seven night stay for two adults at the 4* Le Meridien resort in Limassol, Cyprus, and £500 towards flights. 

What an amazing prize, one we certainly couldn't turn down! 

I was genuinely petrified about leaving Bert for a week - the thought of being so far away from him made me feel sick. Then I gave myself a break, and a stiff talking to!! I reminded myself that he would be with people who love him just as much as I do (his two sets of Grandparents and his lovely Auntie, my twin sister), that he is only one and will have no recollection of our leaving for a week, so actually, it's probably a really good time to leave him. 

I also knew how much Liam and I needed the break. Being parents is so tiring and draining, once you've put on your 'mum' and 'dad' hats you kind of forget to be just 'Lucy' and 'Liam' or 'husband' and 'wife' - children are all consuming, and wonderful - but sometimes we need to give ourselves a break. And that is exactly what this holiday provided. 

We relished the adult only time - I read FOUR WHOLE BOOKS from cover to cover - I hadn't managed even one book in a year since Bert had arrived, so to read four in a week was just blissful. We ate every single meal in peace, without disturbances, without having to share, or entertain or bargain/bribe. That was pretty cool. We went to the toilet and showered in peace and quiet, and didn't have to rush. We got SO MUCH SLEEP. 


The adult only pool was amazing! 

Of course, I missed Bert like crazy. What really amazed me about being away from him was how the rose tinted glasses come on as soon as you're apart and all you can remember is how wonderful they are, how much you miss their cuddles, cheeky face, giggle etc… . You forget all the frustrations, bad smells, tantrums etc. Your child is basically an angel that does no wrong as soon as you are separated from them! Haha! 

I cried a couple of times when I was finding it particularly hard to be away from him, but the joys of modern technology meant I was getting regularly updated with photos of him, and had little daily FaceTime chats with him to put me at ease. 

What the break did for me is made me realise how important my role as 'Mum' is to me, how much I love my new 'job for life', and how Bert is genuinely the most important thing in my world. Sometimes it is easy to forget that when days roll by and you are busy/stressed/tired/covered in poo-sick-bogies (delete as appropriate!).

The fact that the holiday was in Cyprus was very special to us, as Cyprus is where we had our honeymoon two years ago. Although we had a beautiful honeymoon, and stayed in an amazing 5* resort, it ended very badly: I miscarried our first baby on the last day. It was the most awful experience of my life, and not the end to our honeymoon I had hoped for. 

We saw this holiday to Cyprus as our second chance at a honeymoon, a chance to have some closure of that horrible time, and a chance to have a romantic break and remember how lucky we are to have wonderful Bert, and how far we've come in just two years of marriage. 


Stunning, stunning Cyprus!

I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all of my wonderful blog readers - to whoever nominated me for the award in the first place, and to every single one of you who voted for me. It means so much to have the recognition of the 'Blogger of the Year' award, and the prize was truly amazing and just what we needed - thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

Our resort - Le Meridien, Limassol, Cyprus.

The amazing beach at our resort



Le Meridien was a beautiful resort, with gorgeous sandy beaches and three stunning pools to choose from. The weather was pretty much 32 degrees the whole week, and we spent most days lounging by the adults only pool with our kindles - taking a dip in the pool to cool off, and then heading back to our room by late afternoon for showers before dinner. 

It was blissful. 


Lots of selfies taken! Had to be done. 


The red dress was my mum's dress in the 90's…I found it in her wardrobe and fell in love with it - and it fitted me so well. It was nice to wear something really different that I knew no one else would be wearing, and wearing something I felt good in helped to build up my low body confidence a little.

I was worried about how I'd feel going on a beach holiday when I haven't reached my final weight loss goal yet. I'm notoriously very hard on myself, and still haven't adjusted in my mind to not being 'plus size' or classed as 'obese' anymore. I still feel really big, and I guess it will take a while for my mind to catch up with my body. 

I'm hoping that once I reach the weight goal I originally set myself (12lbs to go) I will be a bit kinder on myself, until then, I just have to keep reminding myself how far I've come. 

I have come to terms with the fact that I'll probably never be brave enough to wear a bikini, but I wore my one piece, and had my arms out on show every day (I never wear short sleeves, my arms are my biggest bug bare, and I always cover them up)…but I embraced the warm weather clothing, and enjoyed myself - nothing bad happened because I bared some flesh! Lesson learned.


Cyprus is full of beautiful cats. We are both cat lovers, and so we loved having these cheeky chappies around. Some of them were so beautiful, I couldn't resist photographing them! 


Oh. My. Word. THE FOOD. 

It was genuinely insane. We ate every morning and evening in Le Fleuri (the resort's buffet restaurant), and it was incredible! They served an abundance of the freshest, tastiest food you could ask for. We ate a LOT. I put on 5 lbs since my weigh in 2 weeks ago just before Bert's first birthday! Haha! It was worth every calorie! Each night the buffet was themed so we ate such a huge variety of foods from traditional Cypriot food, Seafood, Italian, Middle Eastern food, Tex Mex, International buffet and Asian - genuinely a little bit of everything! Every night the food was fantastic - it was the best holiday buffet I've ever been too - hubby agreed too!

FOOOOOOD


The indoor water feature in the lobby outside Le Fleuri (the buffet restaurant)


Silly sillhouettes at sunset on the balcony! 

Happy happy people! 

Thank you from the two of us for providing us with just what we needed: time together, a chance for some quality R&R, a romantic break, plenty of sunshine, lots of lovely food, and memories to cherish forever. 

Love 

Mr & Mrs B

xxx


I'm dreaming of lying back on that beach, looking at the sun through the palm trees…absolute heaven….! 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BERT BISHOP!!

What an amazing couple of days we've had celebrating Bert's first birthday! 

The fun isn't over yet: we have a huge family picnic planned for tomorrow, the finale to Bert's birthday weekend!

I thought I'd share a few fab photos from the last few days with you. 

Yesterday (Bert's actual birthday) Liam and I took him to the seaside for the very first time (Great Yarmouth) - it was such a magical day - full of building sandcastles, eating fish & chips, a walk on the pier and rides/doughnuts/ice cream….all the standard seaside 'must do's'. 

Today, Bert took part in his very first cake smash! It was so funny to watch him attacking his birthday cake…such fun! 

Enjoy the photos my lovely blog readers…

Mrs B

xxx

Bert's First Trip to the Seaside (22.08.14) …









Bert's Cake Smash (23.08.14) ...









HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful little man. 

You bring so much joy to our lives and make us proud every single day! 

xxx

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Bert Turns One: Peppa Pig Stylie! *REVIEW*


How can my tiny boy be turning one? 

How? 

Where has that year GONE? 


Today we began the long weekend of celebrations by hosting a themed birthday tea at home for Bert and some of his little friends. 

The kind people over at Party Pieces supplied us with a fantastic selection of party goodies to help Bert celebrate his birthday in style...Peppa Pig style, actually. 

Peppa Pig is Bert's very favourite show - he smiles and wiggles with excitement every time it comes on, and I have to say out of all the drivel that can be found on children's TV these days, I actually quite enjoy a spot of Peppa Pig myself! So Peppa was definitely the perfect central theme for this special birthday bash!

I can't wait to share the photos with you all - and hopefully inspire you to host fun themed parties of your own. From a small soiree to a huge bash, Party Pieces have pretty much anything you might need for your perfect party.

THE DECORATIONS:

To decorate the party room (dining room) and the buffet table I used:

Peppa Pig Ultimate Party Kit (8 Guests) currently priced at £12.99 which included Peppa Pig themed plates, cups, table cloth and bunting. I also used some Peppa Pig Party Latex Balloons (10 pk) currently priced at £1.99, a fantastic Personalised Blue Polka Party Banner currently priced at £11.99 and a Supershape Blue Number 1 Foil Party Balloon currently priced at £5.99. I think you'll agree that the party room looked really fun and inviting - it really wasn't hard to do at all, and I was really impressed with the quality of all of the items from Party Pieces. 

My favourite item from Party Pieces was definitely the personalised blue polka dot banner, which really took me by surprise. I fully expected this to be a plasticky (cheap!) looking banner, that would only be suitable for one or two uses, but this is such a high quality banner made from a strong vinyl and includes eyelets for easy hanging. Fab! 

I'll let the images speak for themselves...




For Party favours I used an awesome Peppa Pig Filled Party Bag Kit (8) currently priced at £12.99 which made life so much easier - I'd never used a party bag kit before, but it certainly saved lots of time, as the bags and contents were all included in the bundle, all you had to do was assemble - perfect! 


I decided to make party favours for the adults too (as they always miss out on the fun at kid's parties) and so I filled old jam jars/baby food jars with sweets for the grown ups to enjoy munching on! Who doesn't love a free jar of sweets, hey? 

I used labels which I had made on eBay to stick on the jars to decorate! 

For the sweet jars I used Giant Fried Eggs 1kg currently priced at £5.99 and Jelly Beans 1kg currently priced at £4.99. When the sweets arrived I was so excited by the sheer amount of sweets in a kilo….and I must own up: I have been eating them for weeks...every time I walked past the bags they were calling me! The giant fried eggs are the best sweets I've ever tasted! 

I used my awesome 'make your own banner' from Bimbily to write "Peppa, Bert, George" as extra decoration

To decorate Bert's high chair I used the Fisher Price 1st Birthday Circus High Chair Decoration Kit currently priced at £8.99, which added a little bit of colour to his sitting space, and acted as a perfect mat to catch his spills as he ate! 


Finally, I had some Royal Blue Polka Party Hats (8) currently priced at £1.59 for the little ones to wear. Bert cried a LOT when I put his on…oh dear...but his lovely friend Josh seemed to love wearing one! Good lad! 


THE SPREAD:

So, of course, I decided to try and design the buffet to fit the theme as much as possible - so I got my thinking cap on, scoured Pinterest, picked friends' brains, and came up with these culinary delights - some of which fit the Peppa Pig theme, some are just there because they are yummy! 

-George's Dinosaur Sandwiches
-George's Dinosaur Turkey Nuggets
-Hotdog Spiders
-Muddy Puddle cupcakes
-Percy Pigs (a distant cousin of Peppa, you know!)
-Watermelon Pops
-A bowlful of blueberries
-Scones, clotted cream and jam (for the grown ups)

...as well as a selection of crisps, dips, and breadsticks.

To drink the kids had Fruit Shoots, and the adults enjoyed tea/coffee and pink lemonade with fresh lemon slices. 

Yum, yum, yum! 





BERT'S OUTFIT:

Today Bert wore these fantastic Quentin Blake 'Lickswishy Sweets' dungarees - made by the very talented Bree over at A Pocketful of Alice on Facebook. I can't impress enough what amazing quality these beautiful dungarees are - they are fully lined, and the fabric and finish is just wonderful. 

Lickswishy Sweets fabric design by Quentin Blake

Bert looked an absolute picture in them!


I loved that they were handmade for him, and not bought from the high street - it felt so much more personal to be able to choose a fabric that was special to us (Bert's nursery is FULL of Quentin Blake's designs) for him to wear for this special weekend of celebrations.

In fact, I love the dungarees so much that they are currently in the washing machine, so that he can wear them again for our family celebrations on Sunday!

Bree charges £28 for the handmade dungarees, plus postage and packing. For a special occasion I think Bree's handmade clothes are the perfect choice - how lovely to know your little one will be wearing a bespoke outfit that no-one else is likely to have.

The perfect outfit for playing in the garden with friends - thanks Bree! 

We have had the best day - full of lots of fun and smiles. It never bores me to see my beautiful son playing with his friends, and soaking up the world around him. He makes me so proud every single day. 

A huge thanks goes to my fab friends who joined us today, and my lovely mother in law who helped out loads. You're all stars! 

I'll leave you with my favourite pictures from the day, which I hope sum up how wonderful it has been:

Bert with his lovely Nanny Ruth! 

Two little mischief makers!! 

Bert tucking into his watermelon pop

Unfazed by the muddy puddle cupcakes and candle then Bert?

Fun times playing in the garden with his friends!

Gorgeous gorgeous: one of Bert's beautiful little friends! 

Bert and his Mumma (me!) - a rare photo of the two of us together!

Happy, happy memories made today! 

Tomorrow, is Bert's actual first birthday (Friday 22nd Aug 2014) - and his Daddy and I are taking him to the seaside for the day. It'll be Bert's first ever trip to the seaside, and we are all very excited! 

Over the weekend we have lots of family coming to stay, and are holding a mass picnic at our local country park on Sunday to round off the celebrations. 

How did you mark your little one's first birthday?

Bye for now.

Mrs B

xxx

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Disclaimer: I was sent a bundle of party supplies from Party Pieces for the purpose of this review, as well as receiving a half price discount from A Pocketful of Alice for Bert's dungarees. All opinions, words and images are my own.