New Year....New Chances | Just Add Ginger

Photo: EM Imagery
There's no denying it - 2017 was a huge year for me. We finally moved house, welcomed Eric into the world, I nearly hit rock bottom with my anxiety, sought help, and set myself back on track. I lost friends, made new ones, and finally found my feet again in the blogging / YouTube world, establishing a new path for myself. We took lots of trips, celebrated our wedding anniversary (in October) and made Eric's first Christmas really special. Even just looking back on everything that has happened this year is exhausting. 

There have some big learning curves in 2017, and I have learnt more about myself over the past 365 days than I ever thought I could. And now, with a new year nearly upon us, it's time to close the book on this chapter and get ready for a brand new adventure, and a brand new set of goals

Set Up A Support Network 

You may know this if you are subscribed to my channel but if you aren't this could be new. For the past year - since Eric was born really - I have pretty much dedicated my videos to covering mummy content. When I was pregnant there were hardly any organisations that exclusively supported parents in my position, so I wanted to go about changing that. The next step in this journey is to set up a support group or network for mums, dads, grandparents, relatives or carers who are in the position I was nearly a year a go. I receive so many comments on my videos from parents-to-be reaching out to say how much my content has helped them that a group seems the natural next step. And I am really excited about it. 

Tone Up, Train Up & Conquer Snowdon 

Each year I try and do some kind of fundraising. This year I took part in the Memory Walk to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society, and next year I want to walk up Snowdon and hopefully raise some money for the Liverpool Women's Hospital (where Baby Ginger was born). It's not going to be easy, and I really need to train and tone up a bit first, but it'll be so worth it! Having this as a challenge ahead of me will be the challenge I need to stretch my legs, dust of the Christmas cobwebs and get out into the fresh air rather. Being outside does Eric the world of good too so the more we get walking, the better. 

Be Adventurous 

... In every sense of the word. I want to put myself out there as much as I can - whether that is in the content I put on my blog or YouTube channel, going to new places with Eric, doing my own outreach or heading out to events on my own. This year I have been too hard on myself and if I'm totally honest, rather fretful, but when it comes to 2018 I don't want anything to hold me back. And that includes being strong in the decisions I make. Being adventurous for me is also to start practising more self-care and really start to become more self-aware. If I do that, then I'll really be able to respect myself, my choices, and my ideas.

Do you have any goals for 2018?

Photo: EM Imagery


Getting My Winter Glam On With Simply Be* | Just Add Ginger

just add ginger blog - simply be party wear

It's pretty hard to believe now, but in a previous life before I was up to my eyeballs in baby bottles and Teletubbies re-runs I suppose it is pretty accurate to say that I was a bit of a party animal. I loved nothing more than getting dressed up to the nines in my favourite outfit, putting on my boogie shoes and hitting the dance floor. 

With those days long behind me, it is now with excited anticipation I await the chance to get my glam on again. So when Simply Be reached out to me and asked if I wanted to work with them, including the chance to pick out a party piece of my choosing, I didn't hesitate. With festive gatherings, seasonal parties and a big family wedding on the horizon, my wardrobe was crying for an update!

I've made no attempt to hide the fact that now I am a mum I have no idea what I feel comfortable wearing anymore. With functionality taking priority over fashion on a daily basis, and a brand new set of sensational curves, I often end up feeling pretty lost. But with the beautiful range of dresses Simply Be has on offer, I actually found myself cracking an inward smile. There was so much choice! 

After a long (and I mean long) peruse of all the dresses, I finally decided on this little black dress from AX Paris Curve. With a wrap neckline, a waist belt, asymmetrical hem and glittery print, this blended my need for a mummy-friendly style with detailing that made me feel (and look) like a glamour puss. 

just add ginger blog - simply be party wear

Never really one for lots of colour, I stayed true to my style and used this dress as the focal point of my outfit. With the shimmer making such a statement, I paired it with a block-colour maxi coat from Boohoo in a muted mauve shade. I was wearing the dress to a winter wedding so wanted to opt for shades that were in keeping with the natural colours of the season and soft complementary fabrics that would subtly underplay the sparkles of the dress for the church ceremony. My trusty black ankle boots and old faithful faux snakeskin clutch completed the outfit seamlessly, and I loved how both effortless and elegant the finished look made me feel.

just add ginger blog - simply be party wear

Looking back at the photos from that day I can barely believe this is me. After struggling for so long to reclaim my style and embrace this new phase of fashion, I feel like I've found myself again. A little black dress with bucket loads of sass, it's going to be perfect for winter parties, seasonal soirees or catch-ups over cocktails with the girls. For a less formal look I'd let my hair flow loose and add a bowler hat and a vampy lip. And to go for all-out glam some winged eyeliner and a set of statement bangles would have to make an appearance. 

There are some seriously beautiful dresses on Simply Be at the moment. Versatile, varied and all of them stunning, there is something for everyone and every occasion. Got a special event coming up? I think you should head on over and check them out!

Dress*: Simply Be 

Maxi Coat: Boohoo 

Ankle Boots*: JD Williams (old)

Clutch: Next (old)

*I was very kindly gifted this dress by Simply Be in return for writing this post. This does not affect my opinions. They are always 100% honest and influenced by my own personal experiences. For more details please see my disclaimer.

Any other products marked with a * were also been gifted to me on previous occasions/collaborations.


My Christmas Eve Pamper Routine | Just Add Ginger

just add ginger - christmas flatlay

Having time to totally switch off and unwind is such a rareity these days. I can't even tell you the last time I had a bath, or shaved my legs, or even touched half of my skincare regime. It's normally now all systems go for getting Eric ready for bed, sorting out all his things ready for the morning and then being left with maybe an hour in which you have to eat, catch up with each other and then settle down to watch one of the TV shows you have saved before you scuttle off to bed ready for the same routine to start all over again the next day. 

However Christmas Eve night is my one evening where I don't feel bad for reclaiming some me time and practising some self care. I usually take myself off and just indulge in an hour ir two of doing all the things I love

Skincare SOS

I have always been a lazy girl when it comes to skincare, but since being a mum things have gone from bad to worse. My face is in a terrible state, and to top it all I have gained a squatter on my chin! With a family wedding coming up my skin is in desperate need of some TLC, so I plan on putting on my current favourite cleanser from Elemis, then letting my skin soak up the goodness of a face mask for a precious few. Hopefully this will help the spot that has decided to take residence on my face disappear and help my skin get camera ready for all the photo ops the following few days will bring.

Cracking Out The Bath Time Treats

The festive season is by far my favourite for Lush products. I have always been a big fan of the range and make it my mission to stock up on plenty of Luxury Lush Puds because there is nothing I love more than soaking in a roasting hot bath that makes my skin feel soft and leaves me smelling sensational. Add a chilled glass of something fizzy, a mince pie and a quick catch up on all my fave festive YouTube videos and I'm all set.

Getting Comfy 

After a bath, there's nothing quite like slipping into your favourite pyjamas and snuggling up on the sofa. And the year I've treated myself to a brand new set as most of mine were actually either borrowed from Ryan's wardrobe or maternity ones. They're only from Primark but are so soft and cuddly and are perfect for lounging around in and watching Christmas television.

Christmas Film & Hot Choc

I naturally seem to have a schedule when it comes to watching Christmas films. I usually start off with Home Alone and the Santa Clause trilogy then build up to Elf (which I have to watch at least five times) and Scrooged. And whereas mulled wine is delicious, making it for just two people can be a bit of a faff, so instead I love curling up and keeping warm with a creamy hot chocolate. Turning off all the lights barr the Christmas tree ones makes the atmosphere feel extra magical. Undoubtedly I will nod off whilst before the end of the film we are watching before being woken up by Ryan and ushered off to bed to get ready for Santa to arrive.


Creators You Should Be Following 2.0 | Just Add Ginger

just add ginger blog

I have written a few of these posts over the past few months. But as the year draws to a close I wanted to pull more focus on the local bloggers/vloggers I think deserve some recognition. December is a pretty full-on month in the blogging and YouTube world with the likes of Vlogmas and Blogmas, so in light of this, here are the creators I think are absolutely smashing it with their posts.

Danielle Levy | Student To Staff Nurse 

I've met Danielle at a couple of events now and she has quickly become an inspiration to me. She is currently doing both blogmas and vlogmas and putting some really lovely content out there whilst working in a high intensity job. Her videos are the ones I click on first out of my subscription list. They are sincere, engaging, totally relatable and really enjoyable to watch. She clearly puts so much thought in to what she produces and I am in awr of how she does it all. It's pretty much down to her that I have been putting out daily vlogs. Plus she is just a really lovely and supportive person. She deserves so much recognition for how much she does and I can't wait to see where she takes her content in 2018. 

Jessi | Jessi Lou Blog

It only takes two minutes of being on Jessi's blog to understand why I love it so much. From the stylish design to the imagery to the words themselves it is just a really lovely place to be. With Eric being on the go so much I don't really have time to keep up to date with my blogroll anymore, but Jessi's is one I check in on regularly to see if there are any new posts for me to read. She's a local blogger I've met at a few events and is so genuine and down-to-earth - exactly how she comes across on her blog. No pretence and no exaggeration and100% ingenuous.

Who are the bloggers, YouTubers or content creators you've been enjoying lately?


Busting Baby Milestone Myths* | Just Add Ginger

just add ginger blog

I think that as a new mum it's really difficult not to compare not only your progress along the path of parenthood, but also how your baby is doing compared to other children of their age. There's an unspoken pressure to make sure that your baby is keeping up. And with fellow mums, dads and relatives unabashedly sharing when their own little ones hit stages of development, it can be so easy to feel like your baby is falling behind.

When I heard about a campaign to celebrate the launch of the Baby Annabell Learns To Walk doll that aims to bust all those myths you hear about baby milestones I knew I had to share my experiences too. Because if I'm completely honest there are times when I am a bit concerned that Baby Ginger hasn't done certain things - even though I know it's a stage not age thing. When I see other babies of his age reaching milestones Eric hasn't, I do find myself thinking to myself 'Oh, I wish you could do that too'.


This was a big one for me, and one milestone that I definitely compared to others. I thought that by about 4 months or so, babies start to sleep through the night with a little bit of regression expected at 10 months. And when - at about 5 months - Eric started dropping the amount of time he was waking up in the early hours I was so happy. However my nights of a decent amount of kip were not to last. Now, at 8.5 months he has started waking up in the night again, usually at around 3.30am, which means that we frequently make an early morning rendezvous with The Teletubbies and the Tommee Tippee Prep Machine.

Getting Teeth 

When I was born, there was a baby in the next bed who was born with two teeth. So when it comes to Baby Ginger getting his pegs I was pretty much convinced teeth would arrive sooner rather than later - I had heard that by 6 months babies should have at least one tooth. But 6 months came and 6 months went, and even though the signs were there (constant dribbling, rosy cheeks, a sore bottom etc....) there were no gnashers in sight. And there still aren't, nor is there any sign of them cutting any time soon. Which when you're going through the weaning process is incredibly frustrating. Combine that with the fact that I know quite a few fellow babies his age do have one, two or even four teeth now, I can't help but feel a little pang of jealously and just a little bit sad too.


The guidelines for weaning are that you shouldn't start until at least 6 months. Well - when your 5 month old decides on one Sunday morning to lunge at your plate of scrambled eggs, would you really think they can hold out? Ryan and I knew Eric was ready to start on solids early so we just went for it. And now we're 3 months in he absolutely loves mealtimes and has hardly rejected anything he's tried (except avocado - I can't get over that one). Sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct and make these decisions. After all, nobody knows your baby better than you.

Sitting Up

Even though going to baby classes are a lot of fun, it's impossible to avoid making comparisons to other children because it's pretty clear which milestones they have mastered. And when it came to sitting up, I couldn't help feel jealous when I looked at all the babies who could do it on their own. For me, it was a milestone I desperately needed Eric to reach because it would mean we could do so much more. I would Google this one over and over and nearly everywhere I looked, the words '5 months' kept popping up. However, Baby Ginger kept me waiting, and a week before he hit 7 months he finally got it, feeling very happy with himself, and making me one proud mama.

Crawling & Walking 

These were the two milestones I was secretly so excited for Eric to hit. Crawling was one that I was keeping my fingers crossed for and I was already aware that the age babies do this could vary drastically. But I had both heard and read that by 12 or 13 months that babies should be walking so constantly had that in my head as the end point. However, forever keeping us on our toes, Eric started commando crawling at about 6 months, shuffling around the floor on his belly at what seemed like the speed of light. Fast forward to the present and he is pulling himself up on his own and cruising around the furniture constantly so it's pretty obvious walking isn't far off. 

It can be really difficult not to get caught up in the fact that our babies are or are not hitting milestones at the age we are told they should be. But all little ones are different and achieve things at their own pace and when they are ready to do so. So forget the phrase "should be", shut out the boastings of others and focus on what your baby has done, enjoy each moment and take it all in your stride. This stage in theor lives goes so fast that you don't want to wish the time away and find you've missed out on something special.

*I was very kindly gifted a Baby Annabell Learns To Walk doll for writing this post. This does not affect my opinions. They are always 100% honest and guided by my own personal experiences.