Life With A 15 Week Old | Just Add Ginger

Just Add Ginger blog

I'd love to sit here and tell you that being a new mother is calm and blissful. That you get to know your baby's routine and everything just comes together in a seamless fashion where nobody ever gets stressed, frustrated or feels like tearing their hair out.... 

....but I'd be lying. Being a new mother is exhausting!

And not just physically. Emotionally too. Every day is different and just when you think you have one part of parenting nailed life throws you a curve ball and you are back at square one, out of breath, dishevelled and utterly clueless once again. 

I don't think anybody should be ashamed to talk about the more difficult sides of parenting. It's important to share the lows as well as the highs. It's natural. It's normal. It's healthy. Nobody should be embarrassed to talk about things that have gone wrong, or things they have cried about in the bath when they finally have a moment to themselves. If anybody was to come up to me and say that every second and every minutes and every hour of every day was easy, I think I'd start searching the sky for a flying pig. Parenting is tough. Parenting is really tough. 

There are still some days where I barely make it out of my dressing gown. I sometimes go for days without having a shower. Some days I just sit in and listen to the background noise of the TV all day whilst Eric plays and eats and sleeps and poos. Often, the washing ends up scattered around the floor in muddled piles because sometimes I'd just rather spend that quiet five minutes scrolling aimlessly through Facebook and eating chocolate. And yes, sometimes the thought of a cheeky beer at the end of the day does see me through This doesn't mean I'm a bad mother. It means I'm human.

Life with a fifteen week old is manic but it is utterly marvellous. Days are never boring and they zip by in the blink of an eye. There's never a dull moment and you are constantly kept on your toes. It is by far the most intense job you will ever have - the hours are long and the breaks are incredibly short. Shift patterns are varied and it's low pay but none of that really matters. Because when your baby looks at you, you are all they see. When they smile, it's because of you. You are their entire world and all they want is your love.

There is no instruction manual for becoming a parent. Nobody can teach you how to care for a child. And becoming a parent doesn't flip a switch and automatically change you overnight so that you just know how to do it all. Nobody is really an expert and nobody can really help. And why? Because every baby is different. How many of us smile through gritted teeth at the mother who tells us little Gertrude has slept through the night since 2 days old? How many of us have secretly wanted to scream at the parent who beams at you as they walk past you in the supermarket with little Benny sitting perfectly in the trolley whilst your baby has a meltdown in the middle of the cheese aisle? As much as we might sometimes want them too, babies work to their own milestone schedule and we just have to go with the flow as they learn for themselves.  

Life with a new baby is challenging and sometimes you feel that you are in it alone, but you aren't. You aren't at all. All around you parents are going through exactly the same things and that is why the lows should never be a taboo subject. We may not be able to help each other but we can listen, we can reassure, and we can be a shoulder to cry on. We might not "get it" or properly understand, but it's just important to be that crutch for one another on those difficult days.

When I decided to vlog one of our family days I deliberately didn't omit Eric having meltdowns (although I did mute them - listening to a screaming baby at double the speed is like listening to a hyperactive chipmunk)! To just leave in the good bits would be lying to you, and I'm not one for that. I may have a pretty chilled out baby, but my God he screams the house down when he wants to.

I guess through all of this my point is that the next time you're sitting with spit up down your top, hair un-brushed and feeling like shit, just remember that even though things aren't amazing in that moment, there will be some point in your day that reminds you that being a new parent may not be predictable, but there is always something that makes the tricky times worth it!


What's On Baby Ginger's Bookshelf? | Just Add Ginger

children's books - Just Add Ginger blog

Books - whether they be real or audio make up a big part of who I am. I love the art of storytelling and even did a degree learning how to do it for myself. The bedroom that is mine in my parents' house is fit to burst full of books, ranging from the easy-to-read to absolute classics. So there was no question that Baby Ginger was definitely going to have a well-curated collection. 

I try to read to him everyday and always reach for something different. His collection is only just starting and comprises mostly of children's books that were either mine or Ryan's when we were younger. Naturally there are some favourites I have that no matter how much I try, I find myself reaching for if one story proves just not quite enough. 

Through The Year With Timothy Bear | Brian Sears

A collection of short stories that are very child friendly, this book was actually written by my primary school headmaster. (Mr) Brian Sears was an excellent storyteller Timothy Bear stories featured a lot in our assemblies. Each only takes about five minutes to read, there is always a moral and afterwards there are some points to think about and activity ideas. Although he's too young at the moment, these will be great to go through with Eric when he's older. 

Very sadly Mr Sears passed away not so long ago, so it is very moving to have this book and let the legend of Timothy Bear live on. The first page is signed with a personalised note from Brian and every time I glance it there is an instant hit of poignancy.

Rapunzel (Ladybird Well Loved Tales) | Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm 

This book was in my Year 2 class library and I bloody loved it. Every time it was there I would ask to take it home to read. It also came with an accompanying audio cassette. For the simple fact that I am a sentimental bugger, when I was older, I tracked it down and bought it. Although Ladybird have since brought this out again, I wanted the one with the specific front cover I remember. And now it's permanent home is in Eric's toy box downstairs. He gets it read to him at least once a week so I'll be very surprised if he doesn't turn round to me one day and says "this one again?" 

A Bun For Barney | Joyce Dunbar

Undoubtedly this was my all-time favourite book as a child. I loved this story so much and read it so many times that to this day the cover is still a little stained with grubby finger marks. The repetition in this story is great for little ones to join in with, even if your little one is too young to read. It's also brilliant for counting. The rhyming and the pictures have stuck in my head all these years, and I just love reaching for this one at story time to relive those memories for myself. 

What are your favourite children's books? If there is a book you love reading to your little one/s, let me know in the comments!


Meet My Baby | Just Add Ginger

Just Add Ginger blog

For the past few months things have been so crazy that I have completely neglected to write this post and properly introduce the newest member of the Just Add Ginger family. If you have kept up with my YouTube videos, you may have seen this little guy feature in the latest few, but as yet, I haven't actually told you that much about him. 

If you aren't into baby content, first off, don't worry. I'm not about to turn Just Add Ginger into a full-on mummy blog. Although that is technically who I am now, it is not all of who I am. Beauty, food and lifestyle posts will continue as normal, but you will see Baby Ginger crop up from time to time (although more so through my one-handed ways series over on my channel). 

To keep things brief - and to stop me rambling - I've put together a few questions that should cover all the key points about this little guy, but if you'd like to know more, there's a video below that goes into much more detail!

Just Add Ginger blog

What is Baby Ginger's name?

Baby Ginger's actual name is Eric (although he does have some nicknames - Pickle Pie, Ickle Pickle being the most used by me. 

When was he born? 

He was born on 2nd April 2017 at 10.44am at the Liverpool Women's Hospital. 

What did he weigh? 

Eric weighed 6lbs 11oz at birth . 

Is Eric breast or bottle fed? 

Bottle (I go into this more in the video below). 

Does he sleep through the night? 

Well....sometimes. He's just started getting about 6.5 - 7 hours of straight sleep in. I think that's because he doesn't tend to sleep so much in the day anymore. 

Does he have a set routine? 

Hahaha - are you kidding? Eric works on his own time and I'm just here trying to keep up. He does have regular feeds though so that's good. The last thing you want is a ravenous Baby Ginger on your hands. 

Does he cry a lot? 

No. Eric is really chilled out most of the time, and very smiley! This comes in really handy because he will only cry when there is something really bothering him (which is normally hunger or tiredness). 

Just Add Ginger blog

What are Eric's favourite things to do? 

To look! Eric is interested in everything and everyone. He is the nosiest baby and is always staring. We've just switched him over to the buggy and he is so much happier when we take him out. I try to go somewhere with him every day as if he is not simulated and constantly moving he gets quite fussy. Even if we just go to look around the shops or to a coffee shop - that gives him just something to look at. He also loves being on his play gym - he has this star on it that plays the William Tell Overture and he just goes bananas with joy whenever he hears it!

Eric's also really enjoying his baby sensory classes. He is noticing other babies more and just smiles at everyone. It's so exciting for him that we come out of the class and he just wants to go to sleep! 

What are his least favourite? 

Getting dressed in the morning and tummy time on the mat. He'll be fine for a bit but then just cry and cry until he's on his back again.

Who does he look like? 

I don't think he looks like me. Lots of people have said he looks like Ryan but we will have to wait and see how he looks as he grows!

Just Add Ginger blog

What's the best thing about motherhood so far? 

Seeing the world through your baby's eyes and watching him learn. When he found his hands he just looked amazed and it was so cute to see. It's also really lovely when you come into a room or go over to see him in the mornings to say hello and he just beams back at you. 

What's the hardest thing? 

Trying to decode what he wants. Sometimes he will just be so upset and you don't understand why. And it can be the simplest of things. When you realise it's as easy as giving him a cuddle, sticking the dummy back in or helping him bring up some wind you feel so guilty that you never though of that before!

Is there a piece of advice you would give to new parents? 

Enjoy every day and don't be too hard on yourself. There is no manual for bringing up a child, and as long as you are taking care of him / her and yourself the best you can, nobody can ask anymore. If you need help, ask, and don't feel like you have to take anyone's advice. Trust your instincts - they are usually right!


Fox's Ice Cream Favourites Limited Edition Glaciers* | Just Add Ginger

Fox's Ice Cream Favourites Limited Edition Glaciers

Look for a way to describe my affection for all things confection and it's safe to say that instead of having one appreciative tooth I have a whole set of sweet teeth! So give me a chance to try out something new and you can bet your bottom dollar I'm 99.9% going to embrace that opportunity with open arms! 

This summer, Fox's have launched a limited edition pack of their famous glaciers all inspired by ice cream: Raspberry Ripple, Rum & Raisin, Banana and Strawberry Cream. Since moving closer to the coast there's nothing that gives me more joy than reliving out a childhood treat and grabbing a cheeky cone from the ice cream van. So if Fox's could have taken that nostalgic experience and poured it into this limited edition launch, then I was going to be very, very impressed! 

Breaking open the bag and delving in, I was of course a little apprehensive. Having only ever associated Fox's with their mint glaciers, I was really intrigued as to how they have managed other flavours. Were all four choices going to translate? And well? But as I popped sweet after sweet into my mouth, it was pretty clear Fox's have nailed it. A mix of subtle and strong, it is obvious which classic ice cream flavour you have found. Strawberry Cream and Banana are much more mellow and sweet, whereas Raspberry Ripple and Rum & Raisin are a lot more powerful. I even tried mixing things up by trying a Strawberry Cream & Banana (my personal favourites) together. This was actually pretty yummy, but I'm not entirely sure how other flavour combos would work - definitely one to try for yourselves though!

So let's talk packaging. The actual bag itself is cute and colourful, resembling the iconic waffled ice cream cone texture. However there is a slight stumbling point when it comes to the actual sweets themselves. I thought that with there being a mix of flavours Fox's would have chosen to use labels to make it clear which flavour is which - especially when there is the possibility that children might be eating these and there is a chance they might grab something so strong like Rum & Raisin. 

But all the sweets are wrapped up in exactly the same style of paper, meaning you are having to play a game of pot luck. Fine if you like all the selection, but not incredibly helpful if there is a favour you are trying to avoid! Yet this is the only minor hiccup. It didn't put me off diving in for more, nor did it hinder my enjoyment, - it's just something to be aware of. Once you come to grips with identifying each flavour by their colour, you know which you should avoid.

As far as sweets go, Fox's Ice Cream Favourites Limited Edition Glaciers are a winner in my eyes. Sure there is one I'm not a fan of, but that's no reflection on the sweets themselves. There is something there for everyone and the flavours are pretty much on point. They'd be great to have in the glove compartment for car journeys, thrown into a beach bag to take on holiday or as a crowd-pleaser at picnics. Lighter than chocolate and far less messy, for those of us who often need a fast fix of something sweet, Fox's Glaciers are ideal for this time of year. (Hands up who has ever had a 'melted chocolate bar in pocket / handbag' situation too).

These limited edition packs are available nationwide for a limited time, so if you are tempted to give them a try don't take to long! The 200g size makes them perfect for sharing, but to be honest they are so moreish that you might not want to - particularly if you have a favourite flavour.

For more information about Fox's Ice Cream Favourites Limited Edition Glaciers, as well as other sweets in the range, click here

*I was very kindly sent two packs of the Fox's Ice Cream Favourites Limited Edition Glaciers to sample. This in no way affects my opinions. They are always 100% honest and guided by my personal experiences.


YouTubers You Should Be Following 2.0 | Just Add Ginger

coloured pencils - Just Add Ginger blog

When it comes to YouTubers I watch, I'm never just loyal to one genre of video. What I feel like switching on can depend on a variety of different factors, from the time of day to my mood. And with a new baby, the time I have where I can sit back, put my feet up and catch up on my subscription box is very limited - I have to be selective. However there are two YouTubers whose videos I have been loving of late. Whenever I see a new upload from them, the play button gets tapped instantly.

A relatively recent find, Bella's Mystery Monday videos really set my week off top a great start. I think it all stems from my love of crime documentaries and dramas (Poirot is one of my heroes)! Well planned and filmed, I don't ever tire of watching these videos, trying to solve the mysteries myself. And her voice is s soothing to listen to that once or twice when Baby Ginger is down for a nap, I'll hot play on one of her uploads and find myself drifting off to sleep!  

I have been subscribed to Kendall for a little while, having first discovered her when I was totally obsessed with storytime videos. However, similarly to Bella, it is Kendall's conspiracy theory, crime and mystery videos that have me hooked. t is clear that she puts a lot of time, effort and planning into these videos and it really shows. She also comes across as really bubbly, passionate and personable. If you are a fan of similar styles of videos, she is definitely worth checking out.

Got a YouTuber you love to watch? Leave me their links in the comments below. 


Newborn Essentials | Just Add Ginger

newborn essentials - Just Add Ginger blog

 You never really know what you need for a baby until he/she arrives. Even at a very young age, every baby is different and has their own preferences and quirks. Tune into these and you're on to a winner. Some of the items on this list are more practical, and others handy to have. But in no particular order, here are all the bits and bobs that I think make life with a newborn just that little bit easier.

It was MG who first found out about the Snugglebundl - a piece of baby "kit" that helps you in lifting your newborn, right up until they are a few months old. And without it now, I would be a little bit lost. I use it everyday with Baby Ginger - from picking him up from the floor to easing him into the pram to putting him down at night. It makes him incredibly comfortable and he really enjoys cosying up in it. So much so that we now have two in rotation.

I can't imagine how stressful making up bottles at 3am when you have a screaming baby crying for food used to be. The Tommee Tippee Prep Machine is a lifesaver for those of us who are bottle feeding by getting a bottle ready for you in a matter of minutes. And when you have a baby who gets as hangry as ours, those few minutes make early morning and middle of the night feeds that much more manageable. Granted, at first I was terrified of the thing (you have to b e so careful about what you touch) but now I don't ever have to think twice about how to make up a feed.

Really I think you are supposed to use these pillows if you are breastfeeding, but I use it to bottle feed Baby Ginger. It gives the prefect angle to use to prop him up, and wedges him in nicely for me so that he is always supported. It is also just a great thing to have on the sofa to put baby in for some face-to-face time. You shouldn't leave them in the Boppy for too long of course, or let them sleep in it, but the more your little one is alert and observant, it gives your arms a bit of a break from holding them all the time, and lets them look around at the world.

When it comes to gauging temperature, I am officially shit! I always like to feel warm and snuggly and generally run a little cold. But with babies you have to be so careful with temperature as at such a young age they cannot thermoregulate. The Gro Egg is fab because in essence it is temperature gauging for dummies. With four colour settings, at just one glance it is obvious if the room is too cold, just right,  warm, or too hot. We did initially have a cheap-o paper thermometer to use in our room and the nursery, but when you are always extra careful and a little worried about getting things just right, this dispels all the uncertainty and second guessing.

This can be a tricky one to get right as babies can be quite fickle, but nevertheless a great thing to have to hand, especially when it comes to you needing to get things done. Some bouncers bounce (duh) and some vibrate, some rock, and some just do it all, so there are loads to choose from. Provided you have one your baby likes, you no longer have to worry about leaving a baby who won't go down alone if you want a shower, are desperate for a pee (or more) or seriously need to get some bottles washed. Just take them with you! Baby Ginger has two bouncers which - most of the time - he loves sitting in, and because of this, I am not constantly smelly nor does our house look like a pigsty.

Just like a bouncer, having a play gym to hand with a newborn is incredibly helpful. It doesn't need to have all the bells and whistles in the world, but pick one with things that dangle, rattle, crunch and reflect and baby will always have another source of entertainment. Baby Ginger loves being on his and absolutely loves the star that comes with it because it plays music and lights up. Aside from a clock we have on the wall, that star is the object of his affection, and he will smile and coo up at it for ages.  

Play gyms are usually quite cushioned so are also great for tummy time and a good place to put baby for a few minutes if you are trying desperately to chuck a coffee down your throat or shove in a sandwich. Plus they are incredibly portable so amazing on-the-go entertainment if you ever are travel.

 Mybaby Ho Medics Soundspa On-The-Go Baby Soother / Sleep Aid

This was actually a gift from Sarah - one that has proved invaluable (so much so that I ordered a second one). With buttons that provide a variety of sounds - from heartbeat to waves to birdsong, it caters to whatever your baby may prefer. The handle also makes it a great travel companion. We've attached ours to our crib, car seat and pram to use on walks, car journeys and during the day.

If you have any newborn essentials you think I should know about, let me know in the comments.


Baby Ginger's Birth Story | Just Add Ginger

Baby photos - Just Add Ginger blog

This post has been a long time coming. Originally I wanted to film it and put it up on my YouTube channel, but in all honesty I just haven't had the time. To save you scrolling through reams and reams of my ramblings, I'll try and keep things as brief as possible. 

After a less than successful sweep the day after I turned 40 weeks, to say that I was over being pregnant was a complete understatement. I was ginormous, uncomfortable, and just so ready to get that baby out. Knowing that I was booked in for a C-section at 41 weeks should have made me feel more calm, but instead, I was just working myself up more. Aside from my own grand entrance into this world, I have never been admitted to hospital for anything, and I was completely, totally and 100% freaking out. 

So when I started having extremely mild cramps on 30th March (3 days past my due date) I got so excited. After spending days bumbling round the house in nothing but one of Ryan's t-shirts, no underwear (in case my waters broke) and a dressing gown, I was taking it as a sign. This child was finally ready. Ryan had been on alert all week, ready to dash home from work as soon as he got the call, so on that day, I made sure he definitely wasn't going to let his phone out of his sight. 

And of course in so doing, the cramps completely vanished. MG was up that day and I remember sitting in a cafe sipping on my hot chocolate and moaning my guts out. I had literally tried everything to get things going, and I just felt like this pregnancy was never going to end

In the early hours of the Friday morning the cramps came back in full force. The first one I got was so strong it actually woke me up from my sleep. But I simply refused to believe I was having contractions. For starters they weren't across my belly as I was expecting, but bang on my knicker line, and at the end of the day I didn't want to build my hopes up to have them come crashing down. 

The cramps came and went in waves throughout the night and then seemed to dissipate later on in the morning, pretty much as soon as we headed into the Liverpool Women's Hospital for my pre-op. Assuming it had been false labour all along, Ryan and I decided to head out for some lunch to occupy and distract ourselves. It was on that drive during a phone call to my parents, that the "cramps" came back, and really rather strongly (to the point where walking was difficult) but with no seeming consistency. Chugging down a pineapple smoothie, we decided it would be best to get in touch with my midwife in the hopes that she might confirm that things were potentially starting off. 

Which - thank goodness - she said they seemed to be! I was honestly so relieved I could have cried. By this point I had been struggling on for about 15 hours and was absolutely exhausted, so now it was just about playing the waiting game, sleeping, eating, and keeping as hydrated and distracted as possible. I knew there was no point phoning the hospital because nothing had any apparent pattern, and although I was in pain, at this point I was coping on my own.

This was how things went for the next 24 hours really. The pain got worse. I got more and more tired. But there was still no pattern to the cramping. Feeling distraught and very emotional, at about 5am on the Saturday I rang the hospital to basically be told I just had to power through. Even though I knew they would say that, it was still so upsetting to hear. But by 4pm or so I just couldn't cope anymore. Looking back I don't remember much of the pain, but I do remember crying, not being able to sit down, crying out, and dancing around the living room holding on to Ryan. The hospital said we could go in, but to take our time (probably to make sure I was going in dilated enough to be admitted). With bags packed, car seat in, my push playlist blasting out and me singing through contractions whilst sitting on a towel, that is where we went!

Now this is where everything becomes a bit of a blur. In between really strong contractions and grunting my head off it's a bit difficult to remember in what order things happened. I remember my cervix being initially checked and being told I was 3.5cm, being given codeine and paracetamol (and it doing nothing), sucking on gas and air, and then finally being offered diamorphine before spending the rest of the 16 hours I was in labour completely high as a kite. Ryan tells me my contractions were awful. I was getting them every minute and each was lasting two so I just wasn't catching a break. The midwife during the night shift was fabulous and held me so I could sleep a bit, but I was just incredibly uncomfortable. 

Fast forward to the morning, and I recall having a few bites of toast, a sip of tea, then turning to the midwife on duty and saying "there's pressure...there's pressure" before dragging myself up on all fours on the bed to get ready to push. I couldn't tell you how long I was trying to get the baby out, but I'd had my quota of diamorphine was only using gas and air. I must have been pushing for a while because at one point several doctors came in to check on me because I don't think anybody could quite find an accurate reading of baby's heartbeat because of my position. 

Ladies, I am going to be brutally honest. Whereas I can't remember most of my labour pains anymore, what I can vaguely recall is trying for those final few pushes to get baby's head out. And for me they bloody hurt. Just think ring of fire and you'll get the gist. Half afraid and half exhausted, my contractions weren't providing enough support to help me through and I really, really had to focus. Then of course I only went and dropped my gas and air tube so was flying completely solo. Baby's head kept popping in and out like a yo-yo and I was struggling. But it was Ryan's sister who gave me the incentive to get him out. She is a midwife and came in to see us briefly. It was her telling me that she had to go back to work that built up my strength enough again to let her see her nephew be born - that and The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack blasting out in the background. 

Finally at 10.44am on 2nd April (our 1st wedding anniversary) Baby Ginger came into the world - all 6lbs 11oz worth of him. It hadn't hit me that I'd just given birth and I just sat there for a few minutes completely baffled and overwhelmed. Ryan cut the cord and had the first cuddle and that was it. He was here. And I was a mother

I cannot sing the praises of the staff at the Liverpool Women's enough. Every midwife who took care of us was amazing. The ward had a wonderful, calming atmosphere, and nothing was ever too much trouble for anyone. Whereas I was terrified about having a baby, now I wouldn't hesitate to do it again in the future. I think back on my time in labour and feel very emotional to have had such a fabulous experience there, and it would be a real shame if it were to close. 

And as for Baby Ginger now? He's an absolute joy of a baby. We cannot imagine our lives without him and every day he just amazes us. He is our light and love, and I cherish every moment I have with him. He hasn't taught me how to be a mother, but he's helped me realise how strong a person I can be and just what pure adoration is.

To get a play-by-play account of me going into labour, you can watch my vlog below. Click here to find our more about the Liverpool Women's Hospital, and to find out about the Save Liverpool Women's Hospital Campaign, head to this Facebook page.


The New Mum Tag | Just Add Ginger

Nursery decor

Being a parent is so many things - and there are always good times and difficult times. To mark this new chapter in my life, and to indulge my curiosity about the experience of other new mums (and dads), I decided to create a brand new blog tag.

I tag Zee and Jo to do this tag too, and anybody else who has had a baby. Leave your answers or links to your posts in the comments so I can check out your answers.

1. When did your baby arrive? 


2. Did you deliver early / were on time / overdue? 

Overdue! And by the end, I was so sick of being pregnant 

3. In three words describe a typical day as a new mum... 

Unpredictable. Rewarding. Challenging.

4. Who do you think your baby looks like? 

I really don't have a clue, and I'm rubbish at saying who babies resemble anyway. But some people say Baby Ginger looks like me, and others Ryan, but I just think he looks like himself

5. What has been one highlight of mummyhood so far? 

When Baby Ginger first smiled. It was at five weeks, and was so unexpected. I captured it on video too which was really special.

6. What aspect has been the hardest?

The beginning. He was really phlegmy and I wasn't able to breastfeed. It made me feel really useless and a bit of a failure. But now to see how much he is thriving makes me so happy! 

7. Have you had any hilarious moments?

When he does pee protests. They can be completely unpredictable, and because he's a boy, it can be really funny and extremely messy... It definitely puts a fun spin on nappy changes.

8. Do you think becoming a mum has changed you? How? 

I am so protective of Baby Ginger - it's so unreal the amount of love I feel for him. It has made me a lot more determined and strong and independent. There's nothing I'm not afraid to try, and I wholeheartedly throw myself into every aspect of caring for him.

9. Do you get mummy guilt? 

All the time. When he cries my heart breaks a little bit. When I go out without him I miss him, and when I know he has painful gas, it makes me feel so helpless.

Is there any piece of equipment you just couldn't live without?

Our Snugglebundl and a white noise machine Sarah bought us. They have been absolute godsends!

10. What's one dream you have for your baby?

That he grows up knowing that whatever he wants to do / whoever he wants to be / ambitions he wants to pursue, I am there to support him and help him with so much love. 

11. What's one piece of advice you would give to other new mums?

Take it all in your stride. Being a mum is so empowering but it is also bloody hard work. There will be really testing times, but there will also be really rewarding times. There are ups and downs all the time, but you are never in it alone. When you are trying to comfort a screaming baby, there is another parent out there doing the exact same thing. When you are at the end of your tether, somebody is struggling too. But the smiles make it all worth it. And never be afraid to ask for help or take time out for you - that's really, really important too!


Family-Friendly Frozen Treats From Icefresh Foods Ltd* | Just Add Ginger

character ice creams

It doesn't really need to be said, but when it comes to puddings, I simply cannot say no. I have the biggest sweet tooth, and whether it's chocolate, cake or ice creams, just say the word and I am there with one million bells on. Which is why when I was contacted asking if I would like to review some of the Icefresh Foods ice creams and desserts, I jumped at the chance. With a brand new baby in our lives, sugary treats have taken the place of a glass of prosecco and become my best friend at the end of a testing day, so getting the opportunity to try something new definitely got my taste buds going! 

I sent Ryan out on the mission to find some of Icefresh Foods' frozen goodies. Popping off to our local Aldi, he came back with several boxes of cute and colourful character iced lollies and ice creams for us to sample. 

Upon opening up the boxes, it really made me happy to see that the lollies were just as cute as they appeared on the packaging. Sometimes images can be a bit deceptive, but these characters did not disappoint. And if it made me happy as a grown up, for a child I can only imagine how happy they would be! Perfectly shaped for little hands, just the right size to avoid a mountain of mess and for us, ideal to chop down quickly before the baby stirs, MG, Ryan and I happily tucked into an ice cream each one evening after dinner, eagerly anticipating just how well these would hit and fulfil our cravings for something sweet.

Character Lolly Review - Just Add Ginger blog

I couldn't get over just how creamy, fluffy and soft my ice cream was. It was melt-in-the-mouth, and bursting full of flavour. It is really annoying when ice creams only hint at the flavour they are meant to be, but for the size they were, these lollies were absolutely jam-packed. Both out of enjoyment, and because they are probably designed for a slightly younger demographic, we all went back for seconds. 

Being the big kids we are, we absolutely have got lots of enjoyment out of having these colourful characters in our freezer. For us they are the perfect size for a little sweet treat, hit the spot when it comes to flavour, and are the ideal consistency for eating when time is of the essence. For families with young children, these would be ideal to crack open on a hot summer's day. pack in a cool bag for a picnic, and bring out as an after-dinner dessert. The character selection is bang on trend with TV shows and films that are popular with children and families. With each box being a couple of pounds, these would be ideal to have in the freezer and use as a grab-and-go pudding for when the weather really starts to get warmer.

Yummy and moreish, the only thing I would say about the ice creams is eat up, and quickly! Because of the texture of the lollies, they did start to melt pretty quickly. For us, it wasn't so much of an issue (although Yoda did lose his head), for little hands, this might lead to disappointment as the ice cream drops, or may make a little bit of extra mess.

Not just for little ones, Icefresh Foods also have scrummy-looking puds for grown ups too, with both Thorntons and Weight Watchers frozen desserts available. And judging by how delicious we found their character lolly offerings I can only imagine how tasty these other options would be, and will definitely be something I look out for the next time we do our supermarket shop. (Although if you open my freezer throughout the summer months, don't be surprised if you spot a Storm Trooper or three tucked away in there too!)

* I was very kindly sent vouchers to redeem against Icefresh Foods Ltd desserts. This in no way affects my review. All my opinions are always 100% honest and informed by my personal experiences and taste buds


One Handed Mummy Hack: Nappy Changing | Just Add Ginger

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Being a little different has never really stopped me from doing anything. I simply refuse to take "no" as an answer. Which is why I decided to start making one-handed ways videos again - this time, from the stance of a new mummy. I have found it a little tricky to track down resources that provide support, ideas and guidance, so thought it was about time I did something about it. 

Changing a nappy doesn't have to be daunting. All it takes is patience, self-believe and lots of practice. I'm only just about three weeks in to this whole parenting thing and I've got my technique honed to a fine art (excluding pee protests - nobody can prepare you for those.)

Everything is pretty much detailed in this video, but you should also bear in mind a few things that will help you along the way, so no matter where you are, you can calm that screaming baby who needs his nappy changed quickly, relatively quietly, and in a way that suits you. 

- Have a changing station prepared with nappies, nappy bags, wipes, lotions, and anything else you might need both upstairs and downstairs 

- Always have extra clothing to hand for baby...just in case. 

- Talk to baby as you change him. Not only will this help you bond, but it'll keep you calm and a bit more focused too. 

- There's no need to rush. Take your time, breathe, and don't be afraid to start again if you are not 100% happy.

Nappy changing gets a little easier every time I do it. It's so important to remember that just because you may operate in a slightly different way to everyone else doesn't mean you can't manage just as well. That's why I've decided to make these videos, to help quash misconceptions, inspire others who may be struggling to find help or guidance, and to put a positive light on all aspects of parenting.

If you know anybody who would benefit from watching this video, please feel free to share it around. And remember....

Where there's a will there's always a way.


YouTubers You Should Be Following | Just Add Ginger

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With having sometimes feeling a little alone during the past nine months, I found myself frequently turning to YouTube, seeking out vloggers who provided handy tips, advice and support for everything from pregnancy to parenthood. With so many content creators out there, as a new mummy, I wanted to share the top vloggers I have been watching the most.

By far the YouTuber I have been loving the most, Emily's videos are always a great source of the advice, humour, and honesty that I have needed during my pregnancy. Always so down-to-earth and incredibly;y watchable, hers are the videos I watch over and over again. Videos that have been constantly on my "Watch Later" list have been her 'Pregnancy Expectations vs Reality' , 'What's In My Hospital Bag? What To Pack?' , and third trimester updates (although every time I see she has uploaded something new I instantly click to watch it)! 

Kate Murnane | Dollybowbow 

I have been subscribed to Kate's channel for years, way before her first little boy arrived, and have always really enjoyed all the videos she has put out. However, when I found out I was expecting, hers were the pregnancy & mummy videos I remembered the most. Always full of tips, tricks and advice, whenever I have seen a new pregnancy update appear on my subscription list, I know it;s one I'm going to gain a lot from (even though I'm slightly more ahead in my pregnancy now). Plus, her family vlogs are absolutely adorable too!

Again, similarly to Dollybowbow, Tiffany D's pregnancy & mummy videos are some of the ones that really stuck out in my mind, and ones I knew would be really helpful to watch again now that I am also having a baby. A lover of her makeup and fashion videos anyway, I find her such a soothing and captivating watch, that I just get drawn in to her content and can sit for hours just re-watching her weekly pregnancy updates and baby hauls. Hers will definitely be videos I can easily stick on and have in the background during upcoming sleepless nights and restless days and know that I won't ever get bored. 

Mummy-to-be with a YouTuber you love watching? Leave me a link in the comments below.


Chy, Waterloo Review | Just Add Ginger

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I will be the first to admit that Chinese cuisine is not my favourite. Unlike other food, I can find the flavourings of the dishes a little too potent for my palette, and often have difficulty finding enough dishes to try. 

So when the idea came up to head on down to Chy in Waterloo for an early dinner one evening, initially I was a little dubious. I hate being a fussy diner, but I just wasn't sure if there would be anything on the menu that tickled my fancy. However, never one to turn down an outing, I hopped on to the website to take a look at the Set Menu to ensure there would be something I'd be happy ordering.

Thankfully I was able to hone in on several dishes that sounded right up my street and wouldn't be too overbearing or contain ingredients that are strictly off-limits for the time being. Always one to plan ahead, I narrowed my order down to the chicken and sweetcorn soup, prawn toast, and sweet and sour chicken. Excitedly nervous, and with a tummy growling for food, we headed down to give Chy a try.

Just Add Ginger blog

Just Add Ginger blog

South Road in Waterloo is a relatively new commodity when it comes to dining experiences. I've only ever popped in to a few of the restaurants before, and with so many on the one street, it can be difficult to pick somewhere out. Situated on the end of a parade of places to ear, Chy instantly makes it mark by looking incredibly sleek and sophisticated from the outside. The interior follows suit, with beautiful décor creating an intimate yet elegant atmosphere. It was also lovely to see quite a number of tables already full, with couples and families dining happily and chatting away in a low buzz. 

We were served almost instantly, with drinks and food orders taken, and it wasn't long before our first course came out. For being on the set menu, it was a nice surprise to see such a generous size portion of soup arrive, accompanied by a bowl of prawn crackers to share (something I had to really try and remember - prawn crackers are just too yummy)! The soup was really flavourful, and unlike some I have had in the past, not too salty. I guzzled down nearly all the bowl, only leaving a bit at the bottom to ensure I had enough room for the other courses. Had this been the only starter course, I wouldn't have readily woolfed it down!

Prawn toast soon followed after our soup bowls were collected. Three pieces of delicious-looking sesame-coated toast sat waiting for me alongside a sweet chilli dip. Jam-packed full of succulent prawns, and with a crispy coating to complement, I really wish there had been more than just three portions on my plate - they barely touched the surface of the plate before they had completely vanished! I could have gone back for more and more, and were definitely some of the best prawn toast offerings I've ever tasted.

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Last up from the set menu was my sweet and sour chicken accompanied by a portion of rice. Looking appetising, and smelling equally as yummy, the only downside to this dish was that I stupidly forgot to check to see if it came with any vegetables. My own mistake, I picked out a majority of the peppers and put them on Ryan's plate for him to enjoy. Although this made the plate much more appealing for me, it did mean that the plate looked a little empty. But having the rice to hand definitely helped bulk out the dish, and once again I was really impressed with the amount of flavour the sweet and sour sauce had - a far cry from that artificial flavour that some sweet and sour dishes have when you order them from takeaway menus.

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You would have thought that after all that food we would have been full. But no. Instead of admitting defeat, it wouldn't be a complete meal without something for pudding. Not available on the set menu, we ordered from the main dessert menu - me opting for the cheesecake, and Ryan for banana fritters. 

Rich and creamy, my cheesecake was bursting with sweetness from the strawberry sauce and ice cream, working brilliantly with the unique taste of the marscapone in the cheesecake filling. A generous size for a dessert, like with all the dishes I had ordered, this didn't last very long. Ryan in turn really enjoyed his fritters, which were absolutely ginormous. 

Going to Chy really changed my mind about Chinese food. Although the early bird set menu was only a small selection, I did take a peek at the main menu choices and there were quite a number that I would go for. The prices are also really reasonable. At £12.95 pp for the set menu, and all other dishes coming in under £20 (even for the specials), I can see this soon becoming a family date night hotspot. 

To find out more about Chy, their other chains in the city, or to take a peek at the menus, click here.


Post Pregnancy Wishlist | Just Add Ginger

post-pregnancy wishlist - Just Add Ginger blog

By the time I have popped out a child, it will have been almost a year since I bought many clothes in my pre-pregnancy size and style. In place of skinny jeans and bodycon dresses I now find myself - most days - opting for looser fitting garments, leggings, and empire lines. So when it comes to a Spring wardrobe, me and my future self are pretty much at a loss of what I am actually going to wear. Especially when you throw bodily changes into the mix. My boobs may grow even more, and I obviously won't have a baby bump anymore. Thinking about how I'm going to easily adopt my style without breaking the bank is something that is currently boggling my mind.

Thankfully, there are a few pieces out there that have caught my eye that I think will easily help me transition back, mixing in with my plethora of tank tops, floaty tops and swing dresses easily, and meaning that even though my core staples will remain the same, I'll be able to inject a little bit more "me" back into the mix.

Post Pregnancy Wishlist | Just Add Ginger

Pretty much for my entire pregnancy I have been coveting something from the Joanie website. However, with these usually being super-cute slim-fitting jumpers, so far I have refrained from making an order. However, when I spotted this gorgeous pinafore, I knew that some how, some day, it would have to find its way into my wardrobe. It'll look sweet with sweaters and make a pretty overlay for blouses, whilst still hiding any wobbly bits I may still be getting used to. Determined to hold back a little longer, you can only imagine my absolute delight to be told by Joanie that I had won a dress for #NationalDressDay and that this little beauty would be on its way to me. Requesting a size 12 for boob and bum growth allowance, I can't wait to style this up for Spring!

A girl of simple taste when it comes to style, I really loved the laid-back look pre-pregnancy and enjoyed nothing more than turning to my staples of block-colour tops, distressed denim or leggings and ankle boots. Which is why I think this oversized jacket from Boohoo makes such a statement piece to incorporate into my wardrobe. If I am breastfeeding, I'll be living in tops and dresses that I can easily manoeuvre, so having something to slip on over the top like this that adds a little bit more drama and edge will mean that even though I may be living in the same clothes for a while, I'll always be able to switch up my styling.

When it comes to Spring colours, I have definitely found myself jumping on board the blush pink train. I think it is such a pretty shade (surprising even myself) and can't wait to inject a little more colour - if somewhat subdued - into my closet. With the possibility of needing to free the boob on the horizon, nursing fashion is not entirely out of my head. Putting my contempt for high street maternity fashion to one side, I have fallen for this sweet scalloped nursing dress from ASOS. Even though it's quite formal a piece, and I have no events planned, I think this will look lovely across the Spring and Summer seasons by simple sliding on a pair of gladiator flats and a thin knit cardigan, or even on a colder days a pair of statement embroidered boots and the denim jacket from Boohoo.

Now I'm not stupid. I know that there may be days where all I want to do is slob around in sweatpants and a oversized mens jumper (you should see me now), with a faint scent of sour milk lingering around me and no motivation whatsoever for anything. However, at the moment I still like to see myself doing that with a touch more elegance. Oversized styles have always been a big part of my dress sense, which is why I was drawn to this QED top on the New Look website. I think the structure is really interesting, and whereas I have no idea if it would suit me, on lazy days where I find myself just not giving a shit, something like this will not only come in really handy, but also help me easily retain some semblance of normalcy.

What's on your current wardrobe wishlist?