Instagram | December 2015

I'm back with my monthly Instagram highlights and the photos above are just some of my favourites throughout the month of December. They're obviously Christmas related, so if you want to read more about our Christmas 2015 you can do so here.


Christmas 2015

This week seems to have flown by and I can't believe that's Christmas over with for another year. I hope you've all had a wonderful time celebrating! I wanted to share what we did on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day this year.


Christmas Films For The Whole Family

With just four days to go until Christmas Day, I have put together a list of family favourite Christmas films for you to watch. These are bound to get you feeling festive ready for the big day!


Sophie's Christmas Outfit

I'm so excited for Christmas this year and with less than a week until Christmas Day, I thought I would share Sophie's outfit for the day. I couldn't resist the dress and cardigan in the sale and I think the tights and shoes go perfectly!


One Year Blogiversary

I really can't believe my blogging journey began one whole year ago today! I had stumbled across a few parenting blogs and loved the idea of documenting everything, from family days out to monthly updates, as well as other things. I found myself reading these particular blogs regularly, when I decided I wanted to give it a go myself. I didn't really know where to start and I put myself off the idea quite a few times, thinking it was too late as Sophie was already 18 months old by this point. Although I figured I had nothing to lose - so one night I just decided to go for it and signed up to Blogger. I started writing about things me and Sophie got up to - like going on walks and a few Christmas related posts and it went from there and here we are a year later!


My Christmas Playlist

You may already be aware how much I love Christmas if you've read some of my previous posts, including 'The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year'. I love nothing more than listening to my favourite Christmas songs in the run up to the big day and I thought I would share my Christmas playlist with you this year.


Sophie's 2.5 Year Update

I can hardly believe it's been exactly six months since Sophie turned two! This year seems to have flown by and the time has come to write her 2 and a half year update already! I think she's doing really well and I can't believe how much she has changed and grown up since her second birthday. 

My Sunday Photo #3

I can't believe how grown up Sophie looks now. She loves playing with the Christmas tree (usually when I'm not looking) and I just had to snap this photo of her!


It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I absolutely love this time of year. Ok, so the weather is pretty miserable. And it's rather cold. But there's just something so magical about Christmas time. I genuinely can't remember the last time I felt this happy and content (I will write a separate post about this soon), but I'm just so excited for Christmas this year and I thought I would share the reasons why I love Christmas! 


Christmas Gift Guide 2015: Luxury Gifts For Her

If you're looking for gifts to spoil her this Christmas, then this is the gift guide for you. I have put together my favourite luxury products; some of which I own myself, and some I can only dream of owning one day!


Sophie's Christmas Gifts 2015: Stocking Fillers & Main Presents

With just three weeks to go, I thought I would do a haul of the gifts we've bought Sophie this year. I'm pretty excited as it will be our first Christmas in our new home. Sophie will also be 2 and a half and I think she will understand what's going on a bit more than previous years, which is so exciting! 


My Christmas Wishlist 2015

I thought it would be fun to share what's on my Christmas wishlist this year. I don't particularly need anything and to be honest, I'd rather spend the money on other things like presents for Sophie or Christmas decorations!


Instagram | November 2015

We're finally in December and it's time to do my monthly round up of photos which I've shared on Instagram throughout the previous month. So here are some of the photos from November..

1. One of my first Christmas shopping purchases! A new Yankee Candle and a cute little star :)

2. I love Sophie's outfit in this photo! We were just having a relaxing day reading books together which was nice.

3. More Christmas shopping! I bought some lovely bits from Matalan and can't wait to use them this month!


Alternative Advent Calendars For The Whole Family

If you're looking for a non-chocolate alternative advent calendar this year, then look no further as I've put together a list of my favourites. There is sure to be something for all the family.


A Tour Of Sophie's New Toddler Bedroom

After moving into our new home earlier in this year, I couldn't wait to get started on Sophie's new bedroom! It's very similar to her old bedroom, although I have made a few changes. It's finally complete and I just couldn't wait to show you all!


Family Photoshoot - November 2014

In November last year, we had a photo shoot at Capture, a local photography studio based at Cedar Farm. We had taken Sophie there for a Cake smash to celebrate her first birthday and loved how the photos turned out. But we wanted some family photos taken which we could display around our home. The prints also made great Christmas gifts for family members too!


How To Create A Cosy Home For Winter

We're now nearing the end of November and the days are suddenly a lot colder and shorter. If you're looking for ways to create the perfect home for Winter, then look no further as I have put together a few little tips for you.

I think low lighting and lamps are the perfect way to create a cosy setting, I tend to switch the main lights off, or dim them right down and turn my lamp on. It instantly makes the room seem warmer and more welcoming.


Sophie's Winter & Christmas Books

With Christmas fast approaching (less than 5 weeks!), I thought it was time to switch around the books on Sophie's bookshelf. I couldn't resist ordering her some new Winter/Christmas themed books which we can read every year in the run up to Christmas. All of the books have now arrived and I couldn't wait to show you all!

Sophie absolutely loves her books, especially recently, as she has been asking me to read books to her which I think is lovely! So, if you're looking for some new books, I have listed below the ones above and where you can buy them from. 

Top Row:


Christmas Gift Guide 2015: For Him

In this instalment of my Christmas Gift Guide, I have put together a few gift ideas for the men. If you're anything like me and struggle to buy for the men in your life; whether that be your Husband, Boyfriend, Dad or Uncle.. I'm sure there will be something they will like here!


Sophie's Christmas Eve Basket 2015

With Christmas less than six weeks away, I thought I would share what's in Sophie's Christmas Eve Basket. I came across the idea last year and thought it would make a lovely family tradition. Sophie really enjoyed going through it and I can't wait to give her this one on Christmas Eve! Since I've had a bit more time to think about it and Sophie is obviously a bit older this year, there are a few more items which I could include. I hope this gives you some ideas!


My Sunday Photo #2 - Guess How Much I Love You

I took this photo during the week of Sophie quite happily sat on her bed reading Guess How Much I Love You. 


Winter Bucket List

With Autumn almost over, I thought I'd put together a little bucket list of things I'd like to do throughout Winter. Who knows - maybe if I write them all down, I'm more likely to complete them.

1. Go for a long walk
We don't really go for walks very often, but we should do really as there's some lovely places to visit near us. There's nothing better than wrapping up warm on a cold Winter's day and going on a family walk.

2. Take more outdoor photos
I love taking photos, I'm certainly no professional but practice makes perfect and all that! I like capturing moments, so it would be nice to go out somewhere and take some photos that we can look back on in years to come.


Christmas Gift Guide 2015: For Her

In this instalment of my Christmas Gift Guide, I'm going to share my picks for her. Whether that be your wife, girlfriend, best friend, mum or sister, I'm sure there will be something that catches your eye which will make the perfect gift this Christmas.


Christmas Gift Guide 2015: Toddlers

If you're shopping for a little girl or boy this year but you're a little stuck for ideas, then don't panic, as I've put together a few of my favourite items which you might like. Some of the items we have bought ourselves and others I have found while searching online.

So to start, here are some gift ideas for the girls..


Autumn Walk

I love Autumn. It's such a beautiful season with all the different colours. We've been stuck in the house for a while now, as Sophie hasn't been very well but she's much better now. So yesterday morning, me and my mum decided to go for a walk with Sophie to one of our local parks. The fresh air did us all good and Sophie loved playing in the leaves and spotting squirrels!


Count The Kicks Baby Movements Awareness Week 2015 | #KicksCount

If you haven't already heard of Count The Kicks, they are a UK charity who aim to 'empower mums to be with knowledge and confidence throughout their pregnancy' and to help reduce the number of women who go through the tragedy of stillbirth.

This week (2nd - 9th November 2015) marks the start of Baby Movements Awareness Week which is a campaign to raise awareness about babies' movements in pregnancy. There are many myths surrounding this, for example how many times a baby should move in 24 hours and that 'babies movements should slow down at the end of pregnancy', which is false. All babies' movements are in fact different but they advise you to get to know the pattern of your babies' movements and if you notice a change, seek advice from a medical professional.

Christmas Gift Guide 2015: Baby's First Christmas

With less than 8 weeks to go, the countdown to Christmas is officially on! So, if you're still doing your Christmas shopping but you're a little stuck for ideas, then look no further! I've put together a series of handy little gift guides which may give you some inspiration. So here are my picks for baby's first Christmas.

There's something so exciting a baby's first Christmas and even though they will most likely be more interested in the fairy lights on the tree and the wrapping paper, you will want to make their first Christmas special.


Christmas 2015: Dressing Up Outfits For Babies & Children

If you didn't already know, Christmas is by far my favourite season! I wanted to share a few Christmas outfits for babies and children as it just makes Christmas a bit more fun! I mean, when else can you get away with dressing your little one as an elf or a penguin?!


Instagram | October 2015

For the past few months, I have done a round up of my favourite snaps which you may (or may not) have seen if you follow us on Instagram. Here are some of the photos I have shared throughout the month of October.


Living Room Tour

Since moving into our new home a few months ago, I've wanted to do a tour of our living room as it's obviously one of the most used rooms in our house. However, I've been putting it off due to one reason or another. Now that we've finally got it how we want it and with our new sofa arriving last week, I couldn't wait any longer to show you!


Sophie's Birth Story

I wanted to write down my birth story, so I could look back on it as I'm likely to forget some of it. So with that in mind, I will start from the beginning. My due date was 30th May 2013. Although I ended up going two weeks overdue, and was induced at 13 days over. I had previously had two sweeps which were done at my midwife appointments; at 40 weeks and 41 weeks, but nothing happened so we were booked in for induction. 


Sophie's Next Autumn/Winter Clothes Haul

Sophie's Next Autumn/Winter Clothes Haul
I say this quite a lot, but this year has flown by! Seriously, how are we in October already?! If you're a regular reader of my blog or follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you will know how much I love shopping.. especially at Next! I'm always picking up something from there. It's definitely one of my favourite shops, for both clothes and home decor items.

Ikea Wishlist

Our new home is finally coming together and we've almost got it to how we want it. There's just a few finishing touches to add to the living room and I think we're done! We ordered a new sofa around four weeks ago which arrived yesterday (you can see a sneak peak of it on our Instagram) and we absolutely love it! After a look on Ikea, I've created a little wishlist of items I'd like to buy, to finish the room off. Plus a little something for Sophie too!

Kallax Unit
This unit will fit perfectly in the gap next to the sofa and it will be ideal for extra toy storage. We're lacking storage space at the moment, so most of Sophie's toys have just been thrown in to her toy box. Two year olds seem to accumulate rather a lot of toys so this will help organise them a bit better. (It also means I can hide her playdoh at the top, where she can't reach hehe!)

Picture ledge
We already have a few of these picture ledges around the house for books and they're great! I'd like to get the bigger size to display photos which I can easily swap around.


Tips For Moving House

Earlier this year, we decided it was time to move house (as we needed more room) and although it was exciting, it was pretty stressful too! I thought I would put together some tips, which you will hopefully find useful if you're also planning on moving house in the near future.

Make a list...
I make lists for just about everything anyway, mainly because I'm so forgetful but it also means I have everything I need to do written down, so I don't forget anything important. I created a spreadsheet of all of the bills that needed changing, gas and electric, water, house insurance, just to name a few. I also made a separate list of places I need to change our address, doctors, dentist, benefits, banks and driving licences. It's very time consuming but it has to be done!


My Top 5 Favourite iPhone Apps

I'm sure this is probably number one on most people's list too. I like to keep up to date with everything and also share blog posts here too. You can like our page Sophie Ella and Me if you haven't already, to keep up to date with new blog posts and photos etc.

Another one of my most used apps, I just love sharing photos which are mainly of Sophie, our home and shopping! You can follow us on Instgram at @sophieellaandme.

If I have an idea for a blog post or want to draft one then I use this app. It's very easy to use too.


Early Learning Centre Happyland Review

I have to start off by saying we're huge fans of Early Learning Centre toys in our household. I remember looking for gift ideas for Sophie last year for Christmas and literally everywhere I looked, someone had recommended their Happyland range. 

I have to say, I'm so glad I purchased it as I think it's brilliant! Admittedly, I went a little overboard, but she didn't really have many toys as she had outgrown the majority of her others. It's suitable for children age 18 months+ so it was perfect! Since then, Sophie has played with it every day without fail. She is definitely getting her use out of it! The sets are all in bright colours and most of them have sound too which encourages roleplay and develops your child's imagination. It also helps build their fine motor skills and improve their social skills. 

Instagram | September 2015

As today is the first day of October, I thought I would do a look back of photos which I shared on our Instagram page throughout September.

1. This is the gift I gave to Toby for our four year anniversary (although I gave it to him a bit early as I was too excited haha). I thought it was a lovely idea as it's something a bit different. It's a print of sound waves from our favourite Ed Sheeran song. (I ordered it from Not On The High Street if you were wondering)

2. I love this photo of Sophie, although she looks so grown up these days!

3. I turn my back for two minutes to find my bathroom covered in baby powder! Note to self: hide it in future! 

4. I finally finished Sophie's bedroom and there is a tour up which you can read here.


What I Love About Autumn/Winter

This year has flown by and I still can't believe we're nearly in October already! I thought I would share everything that I love about Autumn/Winter.

Hot chocolate
I'm probably the only person who doesn't drink tea or coffee, but I absolutely love hot chocolate! Especially with plenty of marshmallows!

Snuggling up
Whether it be snuggling up on the sofa watching a movie or getting into bed, I love being able to snuggle up together on a cold night.


A Letter To My Best Friend

This time four years ago, I received possibly the worst news I could have ever imagined. My best friend, Jen, had suddenly passed away. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

On the anniversary of her death, I have written her a letter..

Dear Jen, 

I remember meeting each other when we were both ten years old, after I moved primary school. Since then,  we became best friends and we were for seven years.

I remember the day you passed away so clearly. I knew you weren't well in hospital, but you were getting better. It all happened so fast. One minute I was planning on coming to visit you, and the next minute, you were gone. I didn't even get to say goodbye. I still expect to see you walk through the door or something. I don't think I will ever accept that you're not coming back. 

I can't believe four years have passed by already. It feels like so long ago since I last saw you, little did I know that it would be the last time. If I'd have known, I would have thanked you. For always being there for me and for being such an amazing best friend.  I would have hugged you tighter and begged you not to go.  


Four Year Anniversary

I seriously can't believe that Toby and I have just celebrated our four year anniversary together. This is probably going to be a bit of a soppy post (sorry!) but I wanted to dedicate a post just to him, as I don't quite think he realises how much he means to me.

We were first introduced to each other through an old mutual friend in August 2011, not long before we were due back for our second year at college. We hit it off instantly and we just loved spending time with each other. (Little did I know, we'd still be together now and have a two year old daughter!) I think we 'officially' got together around two or three weeks after meeting each other. I'll be honest, the beginning of the relationship wasn't that easy, as I had just suddenly lost my best friend and I was struggling to come to terms with it, but he was there for me whenever I needed him, even if it was in the early hours of the morning.

It's quite weird thinking about how long ago that was actually, four years have flown by, but it's amazing to see how far we have come (four years, three homes and a baby in case you were wondering). Admittedly, we sometimes argue and annoy each other and we're probably like a married couple already haha! But I think we've been through so much together and we know so much about each other that we just sort it out, life's too short isn't it? 


Our Family Trip To The Lake District

Last week we went on a little holiday to the Lake District. We all really enjoyed it and it was lovely to spend time together as a family of three, as Toby is working most of the time. Luckily, the weather was beautiful the whole time we were there, which meant we could walk around and explore the area!

On the first day, we arrived late afternoon (around 4pm), so we checked in, got the keys to our caravan, had an easy tea and just relaxed. Sophie stayed up a bit later than usual, we then we put her to bed around 9pm and thankfully she went straight to sleep.

The following day, we had a bit of a lie in and had breakfast and got ready. I think Sophie was getting a bit bored being inside (and subsequently unrolled the toilet roll which ended up all over the caravan!). We decided to get out and enjoy the sunshine for an hour or so (and tire Sophie out haha). We had a wander around the adventure trail, followed by an ice cream overlooking the lake.


My Ideal Workspace | Wishlist

We've finally got everything just how we want it after we moved in to our new home at the end of July. Although, the only thing I don't have is my own little workspace for blogging, etc. I'd like to be able to sit down and concentrate on what I'm writing and hopefully I can be more productive.

I've found that I can sometimes lack motivation because I don't have a designated workspace and I get easily distracted just sat on the sofa of an evening trying to write blog posts. Also, sometime in the new year, I'll also be starting my new job (working for the family business doing general admin) which hopefully means I will be able to work from home occasionally too.


Tips For Meeting New Mums & Making Friends After Having A Baby

If you're a mum, you will know what it's like to be stuck at home all day, every day with a young child. You can feel pretty isolated and it's actually quite nice to be able to get out and have a bit of social interaction with adults. I thought I would share some tips with you if you don't know how to go about meeting other new mums and making friends after you've had a baby.

When Sophie was younger, I didn't get out much to be honest. I spent the majority of time at my Mum's house as luckily she lives just around the corner from us. I'll be honest, I really struggled, especially in the first few months and that was partly down to having Post Natal Depression (which I was diagnosed with three months after I had Sophie). I wanted to get out of the house and meet other people - but I was very anxious and I had no confidence whatsoever. It was a vicious circle.


Making The Transition From Cot To Toddler Bed

I wrote a short post about moving Sophie from her cot to a toddler bed at the beginning of the year. However, I thought it was about time I updated you and gave you some tips, which may help if you are thinking about making the transition yourselves.

We originally wanted to keep Sophie in her cot for as long as possible. We thought around two years old would be the ideal age to convert her cot into a toddler bed as she would understand the change a bit better. However, Sophie had other ideas and when she was 19 months old she managed to throw herself out of her cot one night (when she was supposed to be sleeping!). Toby and I heard a loud bang and we instantly ran upstairs to the sound of Sophie screaming.

Luckily, she wasn't hurt and after plenty of cuddles etc. she went back to bed no problem. I knew Sophie had a shock and probably wouldn't to it again, but it wasn't worth the risk. If she managed to climb out again and injure herself - I would never forgive myself. So, that night, I went online looking for a bed guard and chose the wooden BabyDan bed rail as it's white and matches her cot. 

If you are thinking of making the transition from cot to bed, here are my tips:

1. Don't rush it - but, in our case, it was the safest option.

2. Make sure furniture is attached to the wall and items that they aren't supposed to play with are out of reach (baby monitors  for example).

3. Put a baby gate on their door so they can't wander around the house.

4. Leave a few books and toys in the room, so they can entertain themselves for a bit  in the morning (hopefully not in the middle of the night haha).

5. Don't worry about it, we thought it would be a nightmare but it really wasn't that bad.. you just have to be patient as it's a big change.

I can honestly say, moving Sophie from a cot to a toddled bed was one of the best things we have ever done and she took to it straight away. On the first night, she needed a bit of reassurance (which is understandable) but after that, we found she slept so much better too. She has now been in her own bed for 8 months and we haven't really had any problems (other than a few difficult nights where she keeps getting out of bed and is refusing to go to sleep - but we just have to have patience!)

I hope you found this post hopeful. What age did you transition from cot to bed? How did you find it? Let me know!

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Instagram // August 2015

I can't believe we're in September already! This year has flown by, hasn't it?! I thought I would show you all what we got up to in August. If you follow us on Instagram, you may have already seen these photos but I think I'm slightly addicted! I could spend hours just looking through photos for inspiration!

1. We finally moved into our new home, I think we've pretty much settled in and we love it here.

2. Playing with her ELC Happyland toys.

3. We went on a little break to Scotland which was lovely (you can read more about it here).

4. Sophie on the beach in Scotland.

5. I've already started picking things up for Christmas! Eek!

6. I made a start on Sophie's winter wardrobe after a visit to Next.

7. Me, my mum, Nan & Sophie visited Southport for a few hours and we stopped off for ice cream!

8. Sophie in the garden.

9. I just had to get this 'Blogger' t-shirt for Sophie (you can find the same one here)

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