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Showing posts from September, 2018

Sprinkles Winton

By the time you get to Friday, the swimming classes, baby groups, sensory sessions and day to day baby maintenance have worn you out. Wiggle 'n' Rhyme at Winton Library is my favourite session of the week, not only because it is the group that I have found to be the most welcoming, but also because it means mum time at Sprinkles in Winton. Our group is growing and it gives us all a little time to talk babies, going back to work, not going back to work, birth and everything in between. You cannot beat the feeling of solidarity that comes from talking to like minded people about your concerns and triumphs in what can be a very isolating time. Add an array of delicious ice cream to the event and you have a real treat! 
What is it? 
Sprinkles is essentially an gelato parlour that offers a staggering array of ice cream flavours and sorbets. The menu includes waffles, crepes, sundaes and a wide range of hot and cold drinks. They make up to 200 flavours of gelato in their gelato kitch…

What is it like being pregnant during a pageant?

When preparing for pageant day, your physical health and shape are definitely in focus. Gone are the days of heavy dieting for a pageant (in most but sadly still not all systems), but competitors are now judged on their physical strength and fitness, which often coincides with a toned and defined body. With many systems still including a swimwear or athletic wear round and a fitness test during prelims, it has never been more important to physically prepare for pageant week.
Now picture approaching pageant day with an ever expanding and unpredictable pregnancy bump. When you should be feeling your most confident, you are unsure if your wardrobe will even still fit come pageant day. Not ideal right? Well that was me; 24 weeks pregnant and about to hit the stage. There are very few examples of openly pregnant women competing in pageantry and even less actually winning. The reason for this, I can only surmise is due to the limitations of pageant gowns and fashion wear available, plus the…

S.L.A.M Stroller Workout

New mums are put under so much pressure to 'snap' back into shape after labour. Magazines and social media are full of 'yummy' mummy celebrities that lost all of their pregnancy weight within weeks of giving birth.
The reality for many of us is that we simply don't have time to focus on nutrition and a stringent workout regime. Between endless feeds, nappy changes and trying to develop your precious bundle, if you have manged to brush your hair, do the washing and eat three full meals, then that is considered a win.
There is also the consideration of the effect diet and exercise can have on breastfeeding. Your body has been through a lot during pregnancy and labour, it is unlikely to suddenly repair back to its pre-pregnancy strength/shape/size instantly and do you know what? That is absolutely OK! Your body has produced a miracle and through proper nurturing with healthy food choices and gentle exercise, you can ease your body back to your personal goals.

Costa Coffee Poole

Coffee shops are a key meeting point for mums, but are also notoriously the source of breastfeeding distress. Many mums have reported being asked to feed in the bathroom or worst to leave altogether! Tired mums in need of a hot drink and a quick sandwich, look to coffee shops for convenience but approach with trepidation. I thought I would test out one of the most well-known coffee shops in Poole - Costa Coffee.  What is it? 
I think it is safe to say everyone has heard of Costa Coffee. Like other big coffee shop chains, they provide a range of sandwiches, cakes, and beverages. Comfy sofas are also a big attraction for tired and aching mums. 
Ease of communication
N/A - there was no need to contact them in advance as you don't book a table and they are known to be family friendly. However a quick Google about their breastfeeding policy, has brought up a huge amount of articles, covering women that have been asked to leave for breastfeeding, including a 2008 article about the Poole b…

Glazed Doughnuts

When I was pregnant I was addicted to cookies, especially in the first trimester when morning (all day!) sickness was rife. I tried very hard to avoid the temptation of doughnuts, but did enjoy a lemon curd doughnut or ten. It was around this time that Glazed Doughnut shop popped up in my newsfeed and wow, how delicious their posts looked! Based in the Lansdowne, I have been meaning to pay Glazed a visit for some time, today I finally made it. 
What is it?
Glazed Doughnuts is a doughnut shop and cafe based in the Bournemouth University student hub - the Lansdowne. Their tagline is, 'Doughnuts of Distinction' and they offer innovative and luxurious flavours such as Kinder Bueno and Lotus. Their doughnuts are made in house, fresh each day and use a unique sourdough and in-house glazes combination. They also cater to dietary needs such as offering vegan doughnuts, so everyone can join in with the sugary fun. They even serve breakfast and hot drinks, if you fancy making your visit …

How to organise a pageant photoshoot

Great images are vital to your pageant journey. Too often contestants submit selfies, or Snapchat filters as their entry and promotion image which looks unpolished and is unusable by the media. For a new contestant or title holder, it can be very daunting when you see the professional images shared by pageant veterans. Where do you start? Will you be able to afford the images you desire?  As a seasoned model, I have been organising photoshoots for over a decade. Here are my top 5 tips, to create images that make you stand out before you even hit the pageant stage. 
1. Know your purpose
Photography comes in so many themes and styles, my first piece of advice is to be really clear about the purpose of your images. For example if you are trying to increase your social media reach, an avant-garde or stylised image is ideal, but totally unsuitable for submission to the media with a press release. Classic head shots are perfect for use when applying to enter a pageant system, or for an ambass…

Heritage Open Days: Priest's House Museum and Byngley House

One of the things we most looked forward to about being parents, was taking our child to wonderful museums and landmarks, to experience the magic of history. I was brought up to be curious and thirsty for an understanding of the lives that have unfolded before us and a big part of this was exploring the homes, clothes and artefacts of bygone eras. Heritage Open Days offer the chance to visit private residences and try new experiences for free. Many of the participating locations are usually closed to the public, making it even more special to be able to visit these wonderful locations. As part of Heritage Open Days 2018, we visited the Priest's House Museum in Wimborne and Byngley House in Poole. 
Priest's House Museum
What is it?
Also known as the Museum of East Dorset, the museum contains a wide range of ever-changing exhibitions, such as the collection of vintage shop fronts, the WWI kitchen, the hat exhibition and Edwardian childhood. The exhibitions are interactive and hand…

Role Play World Launch Day

As a new mum, trying to find new and interesting activities for Lily is a challenge, especially with the husband working from home, noisy at home activities just aren't practical. Plus being cooped up at home all day just isn't the best option for either of us. Baby groups and classes offer a vital way to build a mum tribe, who you can exasperate with, celebrate with and most importantly sense check with. After all, no baby comes with a manual, but fellow mums have a wealth of information that can be tapped into for sanity and shared experience. 

What is it?
Role Play World is an educational and innovative children's play area, split into seven zones; the Pirate Ship, Castle, Home, Train, Jurassic Dinosaurs, Construction/ Fire Engine and the Baby Area. It offers parents a great place to meet, whilst watching their children have an engaging time, where play through learning is the order of the day. The cafe offers parents and their children nutritious food such as jacket pota…

Newbie screening at Odeon Bournemouth BH2

One of the things I miss most about my pre-Lily life is going to the cinema and being absorbed in the experience of seeing a story unfold before your eyes. It just isn't the same watching a film at home. Well the thought of taking an unpredictable baby to the cinema is frankly terrifying! Fussing, breastfeeding in close proximity, sliding down a packed aisle to a chorus of tuts when poonami strikes - horrible. So well done Odeon for understanding this and creating a weekly, baby-friendly screening just for us parents, so we can still experience the joy of cinema.
What is it?
Newbie screenings are specifically designed for parents and babies to enjoy the cinema experience, free from worry. The lights are a little brighter (to allow parents to see their babies and dash for those quick changes safely) and the sound a little softer. The perfect environment for little babies to enjoy a film with you, or even have a great nap whilst you sit back, relax and enjoy one of the latest film rel…

Connaught Hotel - Blue Water Spa Launch

Lily and I were delighted to be invited to the Connaught Hotel's Blue Water Spa Launch in association with Temple Spa Skincare last night. During my pregnancy, I enjoyed regular massages, facials and spa days to look after my ever growing and changing body. It also really helped to soothe anxiety when madam was late arriving. Since her arrival, I barely have time to moisturise between endless feeds, nappy changes and cuddles. As a new mum, the thought of a spa evening was just too good to resist!
Blue Water Spa, is a short walk from Bournemouth Beach and town centre making it a convenient after work relaxer, weekend day out or even an afternoon with the girls or your partner. Who doesn't need a bit of me time? The spa offers luxury from the moment you arrive with a calming and cosy relaxation lounge. I am desperate to test out the double sofa and blankets with my also exhausted husband! 
Blue Water Spa offers multiple treatment rooms, each with a sleek and tranquil feel that is …