First Family Getaway to Alveston Manor

Though most of you can’t wait to see the end of January, I have got to say it’s been great. Each day seems to go by so quickly now that Alice is in our lives, and I bet that 2018 will be no different. One fine January day, we set off on an excursion to Stratford-upon-Avon for something rather exciting. Keep reading to find out about our first family getaway to Alveston Manor.

It seems that Alice is giving us an excuse to do some travelling around the UK, and so far in her first three months of life has ventured far and wide. Alveston Manor, part of the Macdonald Hotel Group, was kind enough to welcome us through its beautiful doors to explore what it had to offer.

Our room was a treat to behold. The bedroom come living room had a wonderful seating area which we made full use of. You could see how the hotel had been transformed from the old wooden beams still a prominent feature throughout. The bathroom was sleek and modern, while the bedroom outside took me right back to my childhood- like staying the night in my nanny’s cottage.

There was plenty of pampering on our first family getaway to Alveston Manor. Paul and I took it in turns to have a hot stone massage each. When it was my turn, I took Alice down to the Elemis spa to switch over, and she got to have a look around the chill out room, though no massage for her just yet!

Fully rested and relaxed, we made our way down to the hotel’s restaurant at 7pm. We each had a three course meal which made the evening so tasty. Alice sat and enjoyed watching all the goings on, and loved the look of my beetroot carpaccio with goat’s cheese starter!

Steak with potato purée and rosti

Warm chocolate brownie with ice cream

We took our desserts back up to the room and the staff were more than happy to accommodate this. Alice was well and truly done after such an exciting day!

The morning started off just as fantastic as the night finished. We were brought breakfast in bed- need I say more?

I enjoyed a cup of earl grey while looking out onto the manor’s gardens.

This was such a perfect first getaway to Alveston Manor, we all were so impressed with the rustic yet fresh venue.

Find your perfect room and book a stay at Alveston Manor this year.

Saharasplash x

Up for another blog post? Here’s what I got in the Aldi Baby and Toddler Event this month.

What I got in the Aldi Specialbuy event

If you’ve seen the preview post I did last week on what to expect from the Alidi baby and toddler event, you are ready for what’s below! Aldi always goes above and beyond to bring its customers baby gifts and essentials at a fabulous price. Alternatives to the Sleepyhead have seen items sold out across the board, and this month it’s no different. See what I got in the Aldi Specialbuy event below, and make sure you head to your local to find your favourites!

It’s all about dinos!

I was super excited when I saw these matching dino pieces- the sleeping baby bag is a fraction of the price of other popular branded bags at just £9.99, and the matching cloths are £2.99.

Alice’s first books

Of course I couldn’t resist getting Alice her very first set of books- all are 99p which is insane. She’s going to love reading them with us after bath time for sure.

Some essentials

I’m a big fan of the Aldi nappy range, and Alice has just reached the age and size to need the size threes. These are good for 9-20lb babies, and Alice is currently weighing in at 13lbs. 98 nappies for £4.99 works out at 5p per nappy, win!

Something pretty

Something pretty indeed, and something we are always needing more of- tights! This two-pack was a steal at £2.49, even beating similar items I have seen in Primark recently.

All in all, I got everything for under £30, that’s a mighty fine price don’t you agree? Try and match what I got in the Aldi Specialbuy event and give yourself a £30 spending limit- see what you can get and don’t forget to let me know in the comments below!

Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading, head back to the home page now to find more blog posts to read!

 

Aldi Baby and Toddler Event Jan 2018

It’s back, the big Aldi Baby and Toddler Event for Jan 2018 and I’m super excited. As always, Aldi has an amazing selection of products for little ones ranging from bedroom furniture to buggies, feeding time to bath time and more. The upcoming Baby & Toddler Specialbuy event is happening online as of Sunday 14th January and in store from the 18th. Offers include beautifully crafted nursery furniture to everyday essentials, and I’m here with a few sneak peeks for you!

In the last event I grabbed the crazy popular Mamia snuggle nest and this gorgeous Moses basket. Great news, the Moses basket is making a reappearance in the January event for £19.99.

I adore these Ready to go baby books for just £3.99 each. They have some lovely little advice sheets inside for parents as well as being a great way to share a story with your little ones.

I am ready to grab this cellular blanket for £2.99 in the online sale. Purple is Alice’s favourite colour so I’m going to be quick to add this to my basket for her!

One of my favourite sneak peeks from the January Baby and Toddler event is this smart Buggy Organiser. It’s got great net compartments for those all important items you need for baby when taking a trip out.

Lastly, and I cannot wait to put it up this year, is a dinosaur wall height chart! Alice has several dino-themed outfits so it will be a joy to mark her growth on this rawr-some feature!

Here are some more of my top picks I am hoping to snap up from the Aldi Baby and Toddler event online starting this Sunday 14th January (sorry for all the dinosaur puns!)

BABY BIBS & CLOTHS – £2.99
BABY CASTING KIT – £9.99
BABY CROSS STICH KIT – £2.99
BABY SLEEPING BAG 2.5 TOG – £9.99
CALPOL VAPOUR PLUG IN & NIGHT LIGHT – £5.49
GAMMA WOODEN HIGHCHAIR – £39.99
HAUCK SPORT BUGGY – £29.99
INFANTS TIGHTS – £2.49
NURSERY COT BED WITH DRAWER – £129.99
NURSERY RUG – £19.99
NURSERY WARDROBE – £119.99
SOFT TEETHERS – £2.99
TIGGY SOOTHERS – £1.99
V SHAPED PILLOW – £5.99

Let me know if you are planning to get anything from the Aldi Baby and Toddler Event Jan 2018 on Twitter!

Saharasplash x

PR samples included, all views and opinions my own. 

Going back to blogging after giving birth

Going back to blogging after giving birth has genuinely been a lot easier than expected. This is partly down to the fact that my husband has been with me every step of the way, which I wasn’t factoring in that this would be happening. So, we are making the most of spending this incredible time together until the new year, when sadly he will have to go back to work. I went ‘back to work’ in a very exciting way- my first blogger event sans baby and maternity bra (thank the lord!) was an exclusive party with KISS products and Pixie Lott.

The party was at The Cuckoo Club, Mayfair, a very smart affair indeed and one that I had not visited before. The atmosphere was busy from the get go, so I decided to take my drink and have a sit down with a talented henna artist.

@tropicalbirdart

ImPRESS nails and KISS lashes were being applied to the room- I loved seeing the latest releases and some of my favourites too.

Such a glamorous table! I got my all time favourite KISS lashes applied- ‘Lily’, pics below!

It was great bumping into Fran (@apageofme), another blogger babe!

Finally I got to have a chat with the latest brand ambassador for KISS- Pixie Lott! She wanted to know all about baby Alice and told me she really wanted kids too, but waiting for the right time.

See if you can spot my auto, just above Pixie’s. Below are my top two picks from the latest imPRESS collections. The most amazing new colours and designs for the party season available from Boots in store and online.

Going back to blogging after giving birth has been possible thanks to the incredible support network around me- you know who you are so thank you. And as for me, I am happy to spend the day away to have some time by myself as a blogger. Then when I get home, Alice is waiting for me!

Saharasplash x

Catch up with my latest parenting post: Alice’s first scrapbook by Potato Print! 

 

Baby massage class with Spa Experience

At just 24 days old, Alice took her first journey into the city. My sister Evie came along with us to help out during the day. We were headed towards Kensington at 10am (after a quick stop to get some hash browns) for a very exciting blogger event. Alice had been invited to experience a baby massage class at Kensington Leisure Centre hosted by Spa Experience.

I was a little nervous about taking her out for an entire day after just little outings, but as per usual she was brilliant.

It was also the first time taking out my Fact + Fiction baby bag!

We arrived just in time and the setup was carefully laid out for mummies and babies.

Our Spa Experience instructor Neji talked us through what to expect throughout the class and it was super relaxed and chilled out. We got Alice out of her nappy, thankfully she had just done her business so we were safe!

We used the oil provided to practice massaging the legs which is the easiest part to start with as baby massage beginners. We practiced the ‘Swedish milking technique’ which uses both hands. You go from ankle to thigh with one hand while keeping hold of the ankle with the other. We also used ‘rolling’ on the legs and she loved the ankle circles!

We sang songs to create a lovely atmosphere, and by this time Alice wanted to have a feed and walk around to see the room so we listened in on the last part of the class.

After a boosting smoothie, the mums were treated to mini spa treatments and so I opted for a back neck and shoulder massage.

We also came away with some lovely products and a book all about baby massage. If you are interested in the book, I’ve got the link for you here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Infant-Massage-Handbook-Loving-Parents/dp/0285636170

Thank you so much to Spa Experience for inviting us along to the baby massage class- we had a fabulous time and have been massaging at home ever since!

Saharasplash x

Find out what’s in my Big Fat Christmas Beauty Gift Guide this year!

Best and worst moments of 2017

Can you believe it’s less than 7 weeks to go now until Christmas? Sorry for putting the C word out there to those of you still in denial that we are almost done with the year! Seeing that the end is now upon us, I’m doing a post on the best and worst moments of 2017. It’s been a pretty life changing year for the Schaefer household, and here’s why…

January: I’m pregnant!

So this was probably one of the best starts to the year we could possibly have asked for. Finding out I was pregnant just weeks after our wedding, it didn’t quite seem real. It took me a while to get used to the idea- then my tummy started growing and the reality set in!

May: Last holiday of the year to Dubai

Paul and I were just in time to take our annual trip over to Dubai before I became too pregnant. In May we made our way over and had (as usual) one of the best Dubai holidays* in just a short space of time. We stayed with our extended family, saw the godchildren, did a bit of baby clothes shopping and had a rather amazing time. See the blog post here.

June: Goodbye Harley

June saw us say goodbye to Harley, our Harlequin Great Dane. He was 13 years of age and such a huge part of my life. I had accepted that it was his time for a while as he had started going downhill in 2017. In June we made the hard decision to let him go and now I like to think he is running around as wild as can be.

August: That freak hay bale accident

Yes, a freak hay bale accident occurred in August. Paul and I were setting up Alice’s cot in her nursery one afternoon when we heard the loudest crash from the living room. We came in to find that our entire wall had a huge crack, the skirting board was jutting away from the wall and the entire contents of our bookshelf was in disarray on the floor. As a hay truck drove past, one of the bales had come off and tumbled into the side of our house! Don’t worry, it’s all being fixed up next year and is structurally sound, but for now our living room sort of resembles that crack in the wall from Dr Who!

October: Hello baby Alice

After what seemed like the longest wait in September, baby Alice arrived on the 16th October- just ten days late! I had the perfect birth, just how I had planned which I know I was very lucky to have. I also had three birth partners with me the whole time- my husband, sister and Mum who all played vital roles and I couldn’t have done it without them.

I’m allowed to not look my best during labour right?! 

October: One week post partum nightmare

After the birth, things took a turn for the worse in terms of my health. I had a terrible 5 days of shortness of breath, and physically not being able to even walk to the bathroom by myself. I ended up being re-hospitalised the weekend after Alice was born and it turned out my red blood cell count was to blame. As soon as I had an intravenous iron drip I was instantly better! I just wish I had known what was wrong earlier as it did put a spanner in the works for Alice’s first week here. My family stepped in to look after her while I couldn’t, and I now know for next time what to look out for earlier.

Here’s my expressing efforts that had to happen during the night in hospital- wouldn’t wish that on anyone! 

Not wanting to leave on a worst moment, I’ll leave you with a moment I am looking forward to…

November: Our one year wedding anniversary

Paul and I are imminently close to celebrating our first wedding anniversary. It’s crazy to think that one year has passed since our two day wedding ceremonies. If you haven’t seen the pics then head over to part one and part two. To celebrate, we will be eating our final piece of wedding cake which we froze, having a bottle of wedding champagne which we saved and going to see the Justice League- badass!

Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading the best and worst moments of 2017. What’s been your best and worst moment of 2017?

Head over to my latest beauty post celebrating National Spa Week! 

*This is a sponsored post