I know, I know its the 12th of January so its far too late to share a Christmas photo….

 

….but guess what, I’m going to anyway!

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These are my lovely children, The Girl (5) and The Boy (15 months) in their matching Christmas onesies over the Christmas break.

We had a lovely, although busy break, travelling and catching up with family and friends. There was fun, laughter, food, drink and presents. And these two little monsters were at the centre of it all.

A very late Happy New Year to anyone reading!

Catching up, Robert Galbraith and Rocking Bowie #LITTLELOVES

I love this kind of linky as its a chance to think back on my week, and share snippets of what I’ve been up to!

This post is a kind of 2016 so far….

READ

After the craziness of December, I have been finding time to catch up with some of my favourite blogs. My Bloglovin app was out of control! Although I didn’t get any books for Christmas (that might be a first!), I have a load on the shelf to read so I need to find time in my week to fit in some reading! The last book I read (I finished it over Christmas) was Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (otherwise known as JK Rowling). I really enjoy the Cormoron Strike novels, they always suck me in and I never guess the ending!

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WATCHED

We are terrible with TV! We record stuff all the time and it can take ages to get around to watching it, but then we binge watch things night after night! We have just finished watching Cuffs, the BBC1 police series, which we did enjoy, but I’ve just read that its been cancelled so there won’t be another series, I’ve also see the first episodes of Death in Paradise and Mr Selfridge this week – both easy watching series that I enjoy (hubby won’t watch these two though!). Perfect watching for cold dark January nights!

HEARD

Well I won’t be the only one who has been listening to David Bowie this week. We’ve listened to lots of tracks and they all seem to bring back memories. Little Miss likes Space Oddity the best.

 

MADE

Hmm, I’ve not really made anything of interest this week, but have bought the materials for a project I hope to share with you next week. This week I’ve been tidying and sorting the playroom ready for a bit of a move around.

I guess the thing I have made most of this week is lists. To Do, To Buy, To Sell…… They are so much more fun on a fun notepad!

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WORE

This will be a tricky category for me at the moment, as clothes aren’t something I’m happy with at the moment. I did get some lovely new PJs and a dressing gown for Christmas, so have been enjoying snuggling in those each evening.

AND LASTLY..

Last week was a really busy week for me at work, and I am playing catch up at home because of it. I hope to be a bit more organised by this time next week!

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This Week I Am…

 

…Reading

Having stared at it on the coffee table for several weeks, I have finally started reading the latest Cormoran Strike Novel by JK Rowling (or should I say Robert Galbraith). As expected I am hooked and cannot put it down. Its been ages since I read a book and this was a good choice to get me back to the habit! I’ve been grabbing it as soon as I find a quiet 5 minutes. I have a huge number of books to read on my shelf, so lets hope I can keep the habit up!

…Buying

I love this new notepad I picked up in TK Maxx. I am trying to use lists to stop myself feeling overwhelmed with all that needs doing at the moment. Its so cute and bright – the pencil on the side is actually a pen!

… Watching

I’ve been enjoying catching up on You Tube videos. I just snapped this quick photo while watching Percy and Grace but I’ve also been watching The Witt Family, Cole and Co, Fun Being Mum and Sophie and Lily! I’ve also posted my own video for the first time in ages!

Back from Black

I’m sitting here, wondering what to share. Its been an age since I updated this little corner of the internet. I’ve thought many times that it would be easier to walk away than come back, but something always stopped me. I’ve been wondering what I want to write, what this blog should be about. But I think I have had a breakthrough. This blog has been through a few iterations, and this one ‘Hello From Jo’ is the first blog name which hasn’t referred to my kids or being a mum. And that is the focus of this blog. Its about me, and my life. My children are a huge part of that, but there is more to me.

I’ve been poorly since my beautiful baby boy was born 14 months ago. I’ve walked around with a dark cloud following me. Its not been there all the time, and there have been huge highs, fun times and happiness. But the lows are low. I feel like I have lost sight of who I am. What I want. What will make me happy. The mum I want to be. The wife. The friend.

It starts here.

Introduce Yourself #BEDM Day 1

Hello – and thanks for stopping by on day 1 of my Blog Every Day in May Challenge (#BEDM) hosted by the lovely Rosalilium. Yes I have decided that the answer to my sporadic blogging is to challenge myself to blogging each day for the month of May – thats 31 posts, one per day. There are some prompts for each day – some I’ll follow, and other days I’ll do my own thing.

So the prompt for day 1, is Introduce Yourself which seems like a pretty good place to start! I’m Jo, I’m 33 and I am Mummy to my two little munchkins. The Girl is 4 and starts school in September. She goes to nursery 5 mornings a week and loves it. She also loves all things crafty, being outdoors and Disney Princesses! She was joined in September by The Boy who turned 7 months a couple of days ago. He is into cardboard boxes, strange coloured purees and his best friend is the baby in the mirror who we seem to bump into wherever we are. We have an almost 4 year age gap between the children which was not what we planned, but we are happy to have our family complete now.

Mr HFJ and I have been married for 5 years, and together for 14, since we met at University. We originally settled in Devon, but last year we relocated with his work and now live in North Derbyshire in the East Midlands. We are still finding our feet up here and enjoying exploring new places to visit. I’m an At Home mum at the moment and am very fortunate that we are able to make that decision. It’s something I love, although its also a challenge some days too!

You can look forward to learning lots more about us, and what we get up to over the month of May. We are off to Butlins for a holiday next week so I’ll show you what we get up to, as well as some home updates too through the month.

I can’t wait to find some new blogs to follow over the next month too. So if you’re reading please say hi so I can come and see your blogs too (and I talk to myself enough in the real world – I’d love to know that I’m talking to someone here!). Happy Reading.

Jo x

breastvest Review and Giveaway

After a tricky breastfeeding experience first time around with The Girl, I was apprehensive about how things might go this time around. Luckily, my experience with The Boy couldn’t be more different and now at 6 weeks old, I’m looking forward to continuing my feeding journey rather than ending it as I was with her.

The one thing I have always been nervous of is feeding in public. With ample equipment its hard to do things discretely – especially at the start when he and I are both learning the ropes.

The right clothing is essential. I’ve got a number of nursing tops, some better than others! But when I was asked if I wanted to review the breastvest, I was excited to test it and see if it was as good as it sounded!

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The breastvest allows you to feed discretely while wearing your normal clothes – it turns any top into a nursing top. Here is what they say…

If you’re one of the many mums who have ever been worried about exposing your postnatal tummy when breastfeeding, or alarmed by the surprising cost of nursing tops, breastvest has literally got you covered!

breastvest is a revolutionary vest that makes any top a breastfeeding top! It was invented to make breastfeeding in public easier and to let new mums get back into their favourite clothes while still doing the best for their babies.

Created, designed, tested and approved by breastfeeding mums, breastvest is held in place by specially designed straps and sits just below your nursing bra, comfortably covering your postnatal tummy whilst offering a comfortable layer of support and modesty.

 

I loved the freedom that the breastvest gave me to wear my normal clothes and feel comfortable while being covered and comfortable while I was feeding. After several months of wearing maternity clothes while I was pregnant, its lovely to be able to go back to my old favourites and also pick up some new clothes without having to look in a special section of the shop! Between feeds I found the breastvest to be very comfortable, and didn’t really notice I was wearing it under my top. The black was a great choice for me as it works with most of my clothes, but I think I’ll be investing in a white one as well.

breastvest is available in sizes S, M, L and XL and comes in black or white plus a stream of Limited Edition colours and is priced at £14.99

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COMPETITION

I have one breastvest to give away to a lucky winner. To enter just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&C’s: This competition is open to over 18s and UK entrants only. The winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter after the closing date 24th November 2014. I will contact the winner by email and will allow 4 days for a reply. If I do not hear anything within this time period I reserve the right to redraw a winner. Hello From Jo’s decision is final.

Disclaimer: I was sent one breastvest worth £14.99 for the purpose of this review

My Newborn Survival Tips

The Boy is just over 2 weeks old now and we have survived the first phase of life as a family of 4. Hubby is now back at work (today is his first day) so its only me at home with the children now.

These are a few tips that have helped me with the first few weeks…

The Boy newborn

  • Accept Help When Its Offered. This doesn’t come naturally to me, but this time around I’ve decided that I need to accept help. My mum and my Mother in Law have both been great at helping out around the house, whether its running the hoover around, folding laundry or cooking meals. Its been a big help.
  • Involve Older Siblings. The Girl is almost 4, and so excited to be a big sister. I’ve been taking advantage of this to get her to help out with things. She is great at nappy change time. She passes me the wipes, finds a clean nappy, and talks to The Boy when he cries. She loves this and it is a great help to me too.
  • Rest Rest Rest I know everyone says that you should sleep when the baby sleeps, but that’s not necessarily practical, especially with an older child. I hate napping in the day – I always feel worse when I wake up than I did before the sleep. But there is definitely a case for resting through the day. Settle down on the sofa and watch a film, read a book or catch up on the soaps. Just take the weight off your feet and rest. It will help you cope with the sleep deprivation.
  • Set Up Changing Stations. I have 2 changing stations one upstairs, one downstairs. Each has a change mat (I just use this straight on the floor – I don’t use a change table), and a box or basket full of nappies, wipes, bags, nappy rash cream and a change of clothes. This means wherever I am, everything I need is easily accessible. I also make sure that every room I use, has somewhere to put The Boy down. There is a swing in the kitchen, a play mat in the lounge, and of course the crib upstairs. I keep a blanket with each of them so if I need to put baby down, perhaps to deal with The Girl, I can easily.
  • Always Wash Your Hair. Ok bear with me on this one. But I have discovered that a hairdryer is a great way of calming a baby. I pop The Boy in his crib and sit down to dry my hair each morning, and he enjoys either 20 minutes of peaceful awake time, or sometimes the noise even sends him to sleep. I had forgotten that we used a white noise track with The Girl when she was a baby so this is the same idea. It also means I feel relatively human each day and look fairly presentable. The same is true for the hoover if you feel like it….

Do you have any top tips for surviving the early weeks with a newborn? Feel free to share them in the comments :)

He’s here…

Introducing our new son, born Sunday 28th September at 2.48am, 4 days after his due date. He weighed 8lb 4.5oz and is perfect.

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The Boy is settling in very well and its hard to imagine life before him. The Girl is loving being a big sister and has adjusted really well.

Boy and Girl Hospital

I have so much more to share, but right now I need to go and have some more newborn cuddles!

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