Review: Leesa mattress

Being a new parent, sleep is at a premium. It’s something I spend a lot of time thinking about, hoping for and looking forward to.

My husband and I are asked how much we’re getting, we talk to each other about whether we’re having enough, and we want to know whether other couples with babies of the same age are getting more or less.

Getting as much uninterrupted shut-eye as possible is pretty important to being a happy parent, I think. A good night means I have the energy and patience to feed and entertain the baby the next day, my husband can go to work and not fall asleep in meetings – and we have enough left in the tank to pay attention to each other at the end of a day.

It must be hard to come across a couple who have exactly the same requirements of a mattress, and we’re no different. We will often have a different amount and quality of rest from the same bed – he suffers with a bad back so likes a firm surface, while I like it softer (but not too soft. Goldilocks, moi?). While our current Ikea mattress is fairly new I’ve never particularly looked forward to sleeping on it; it’s a bit too hard for me.

So when Leesa got in touch offering one of their ‘one-size-fits-all’ mattresses for review, I was intrigued and more than a little sceptical it could suit us both. They say their mattress has been designed to fit the needs of all sleepers, and they’re so sure you’ll like it that they offer a full refund if you’re not sleeping better within 100 nights.

But after sleeping on it for a week or so, there’s no way this mattress is going back. In fact I decided that after the first few minutes. Now I really look forward to getting into bed each night. It’s what a bed should be. It feels indulgent and rejuvenating.

Leesa mattress review Continue reading “Review: Leesa mattress”

What I wore: denim dungaree dress

Since I have the rest of the year off work (sorry not sorry) on maternity leave, the demands on my wardrobe are different from normal.

All this ‘leisure’ time (for want of a better phrase that accurately describes being a mum rather than doing my in-many-ways-less-challenging day job) means what I’m wearing for most of the week has changed.

And while often that’s leggings and old T-shirts, as the whole summer stretches ahead I’m in the market for stocking up on some new clothes for the warmer weather.

This denim dungaree dress is a new addition that is suited to the unpredictable British summer. Add a light T-shirt and flat sandals or wedges it’ll see you through sunnier days, or throw it on top of a long-sleeved top and add a pair of trainers on days when the sky is cloudy and the temperatures cooler. The denim is fairly thick so you could actually wear it most of the year, with tights and boots.

I like the indigo denim, crossover straps, rose gold buckles and buttons and – of course – the pockets! What is it about dresses with pockets that make them so great?

Denim dungaree dress Denim dungaree dress Denim dungaree dress Denim dungaree dress Denim dungaree dress Denim dungaree dress

// denim dungaree dress, £48, Oasis c/o House of Fraser / breton stripe tee, £16, Warehouse / tan suede lace-up sandals, £14, Primark //

Continue reading “What I wore: denim dungaree dress”

Things to do in and around Pateley Bridge

After blogging about the cottage we stayed in on our first family ‘holiday‘ – a few days in Pateley Bridge – I wanted to let you know about some of the things you can do in and around this pretty North Yorkshire market town.

Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales

Here’s what we got up to. Continue reading “Things to do in and around Pateley Bridge”

Our first family break in Pateley Bridge

Recently we went on our first family ‘holiday’. It was just a few days away in Yorkshire, but still a noteworthy event.

We stayed in Pateley Bridge near Harrogate in North Yorkshire, which is in Nidderdale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Staying at The Gamekeeper cottage, we were not likely to forget that.

Found a mile-and-a-half along a bridleway, I don’t think I’ve stayed in a more tranquil spot. There’s a babbling brook in front of the 230-year-old cottage, and its back garden is fairytale-like: you climb winding steps to reach a patch of lawn with unspoilt views of the rolling Yorkshire countryside, a rope swing and, beyond the dry stone wall, only the local sheep to disturb your peace. The cottage and its garden are in a shooting estate and pheasant, partridge and deer are often seen. There are rugs, picnic blankets and a barbecue for guests to use.

The Gamekeeper holiday cottage, Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales. Rent from Gorgeous Cottages The Gamekeeper holiday cottage, Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales. Rent from Gorgeous Cottages The Gamekeeper holiday cottage, Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales. Rent from Gorgeous Cottages The Gamekeeper holiday cottage, Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales. Rent from Gorgeous Cottages

Continue reading “Our first family break in Pateley Bridge”

Appreciating all the small things

These hits of sunshine we’ve had some days lately have really helped me appreciate the every day, small things.

On one such day I took a walk to my friend’s house: she lives about an hour away. I’ve been walking as much as possible since having the baby, getting out with the pram, taking in some exercise and fresh air. It’s a sure fire way to get him to drop off to sleep ;)

The route I took that day was an unremarkable route in an unremarkable town, but being on foot made me see the beauty in the things I drive past routinely. I kept my phone in my back pocket and pulled it out to snap every so often.

Have you ever done this? Taken the time and made the effort to see your local area from a new point of view, through a fresh pair of eyes? Continue reading “Appreciating all the small things”

Baby boy’s wedding outfit

Buying clothes for your baby is one of the most fun things about being a new parent.

I haven’t actually bought very much yet because we’ve been gifted and given so many outfits. This generosity means baby probably has enough clothes to keep him going until he’s at least one. But this summer we have a family wedding to go to so, of course, a shopping trip is required – for him and me.

It’s going to be trickier than usual choosing an outfit for myself. I will need one that will deal with the not-quite-back-to-pre-pregnancy body shape, the demands of breastfeeding and the barn/marquee/field location.

And the baby will need something smart to wear too. We’re prepared to spend extra to get something special to match the occasion – and it’s an opportunity to dress him in a ridiculously cute outfit! Continue reading “Baby boy’s wedding outfit”

Spring style: bomber jackets

Bomber jackets have been around for a while and are proving to have staying power – they’re a strong fashion trend for spring and summer 2016.

Like a denim jacket, the bomber is a versatile top layer that can be utilitarian as well as feminine. And this year they’ve been given detail and new twists that means there’s something to suit nearly all tastes: embroidery, patches, oversizing, satin and sequins – you name it! Continue reading “Spring style: bomber jackets”

Life lately…

  • Of course, life lately has been mostly taken up with meeting the needs of the new little person in our lives. Last week I blogged about Sam being a month old already. As scary as it is how quickly time is passing, it’s fascinating watching him grow and become more alert, responsive and playful.
  • We’re planning our first trips away as a family. At the end of the month we’ve got a few nights in a cottage in Nidderdale, and in the summer we’re planning to go camping in Dorset and Pembrokeshire. We can’t wait to introduce Sam to tent life and hope he likes it! There’s also our trip around Europe that we’re still hoping to be able to pull off.
  • In the meantime, I’ve been getting out in the fresh air as much as possible and enjoying local walks in the sunshine.

Continue reading “Life lately…”

One month old

Before you have a baby nearly everyone says, “Enjoy every minute, it goes so fast.”

It’s a cliché because it’s true. At the weekend, our son had been in the world for a month. Already.

Sometimes savouring the moment is hard. Days can be filled with nothing much. His feeding and sleeping habits are pretty much everything in my life at the moment.

Recently a friend shared this article on Facebook, about the writer getting a reminder that despite the daily, relentless juggle of parenting, these are the days that one day we’ll look back on nostalgically. (I add here that although having a newborn is hard at times I imagine it gets a whole lot tougher when you have more than one child, and they’re actually mobile).

I’m surprised by how consumed and fulfilled I am with the banal tasks involved in bringing up a baby. This and other signs mean I have officially entered ‘mum’ territory, that it has changed me and I can never fully go back. Continue reading “One month old”

Hallway renovation – before and after

The hall, stairs and landing have been the last part of the house that we’ve renovated.

For quite a few months, they’ve been the only areas to still show signs of the dodgy décor we were surrounded by when we moved in three years ago, much of it seeming to have been untouched since the house was built in the 1970s.

I wasn’t exactly sad to see the back of the what-were-they-thinking half-and-half pink and blue combo :) … but I did kind of like it being there as a reminder to us and visitors of the big changes we’ve brought about throughout. Continue reading “Hallway renovation – before and after”

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