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INTERIORS: LIVING ROOM MAKEOVER IDEAS

We are hoping to buy our own place in the next few years, at the moment we are renting so I am restricted when it comes to decorating so I tend to buy new accessories to refresh our home.

I'm always looking for ideas and inspiration for our future home and I thought i'd share a few products and ideas I have for our living room. I actually really want to buy a few new bits and pieces for our current living room to brighten the place up a little.

Right now alot of our accessories are black and white as the sofa is black, when we buy our own sofa  I want to go for a grey sofa and will most likely have alot of grey accessories. I think grey is really classy and clean. Right now I plan on buying some grey cushions and maybe a grey rug to incorporate it into our current living room and then we can bring these items with us when we move. By using accessories to add colour to a room it makes it really easy to change a colour theme and is more affordable than replacing all of your furniture.

I'm loving window shutters right now and think they look so clean and stylish, much nicer than fabric blinds. Thomas Sanderson stock window shutters for any window, I think these Bay Window shutters look so nice, I like traditional bay windows and think the shutters make them look gorgeous.

I really want to buy some new furniture and accessories, alot of our furniture is quite cheap, it's pretty much all from Ikea and i'd like to add some new pieces to our living room. This nest of tables would be perfect, they are white with a little wooden top and would look fab in our living room. We have a coffee table right now but I think I'm going to get rid of this to make more room.

I'm on the lookout for some nice new bits like a new lamp and some new cushions and a throw. I want to make our living room look cleaner and more modern. We have a lot of black and white and patterns going on and I think I want the room to look more grown up with crisp clean furniture and accessories.

I'm always looking out for new bits and accessories to refresh my home and always looking for new stylish ways to keep my home looking trendy, clean and new.







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LIFESTYLE: CAFE ROUGE CROQUE MONSIEURS AND GIN BLOOMS


We recently went along to Cafe Rouge in The Mailbox Birmingham to try out their iconic Croque Monsieurs and Gin Blooms. 

The Croques are a regular on the Cafe Rouge menu but not something that you really hear much about! A Croque is a classic grilled Emmental Cheese Sandwhich on sourdough with Bechamel sauce. 

They have 5 Croques to choose from, the have the original Monsieur and Madame and the NEW Chicken Club, Hot Smoked Salmon and Portobello Mushroom. 

We were lucky enough to try 4 out of the 5 Croques and we had lots of Champagne and Gin and frites too! 

The Croques were sooo good, it was lovely to try all of the different flavours. It's just a sandwich but it's grilled and covered in cheese and creamy bechamel sauce (SO GOOD!) My favourite had to be the Chicken Club, it was really lovely tender chicken. The Portobello Mushroom one comes with Goats Cheese, Baby Spinach and a drizzle of Truffle Oil, it was really good! It's not something I would order usually for myself but I would order that again it was so tasty! 

We got to try a few different Champagnes with the food which tasted really good and really complemented the food. We also got to try their new Pink Gin Blooms which were lovely, i'm not really a big Gin drinker, it's not something I would usually order but it was really nice and refreshing and it was a nice sunny day so went down very well. 


Overall it was such a lovely event, we got to try some lovely food and met lots of lovely people. 

Thanks to Cafe Rouge for the invite and for having us. 














* we were invited along to the event to try the new croques, our food and drink was complementary. I have not been paid for this feature.  

REVIEW: FREDDIE'S FLOWERS SUBSCRIPTION


I've been subscribed to Freddie's Flowers for a few months now and I thought i'd share some of the gorgeous bunches of flowers that I have received.  

Freddie's Flowers is a subscription service, you can sign up to receive a regular delivery of flowers, you can choose the dates you would like to recieve a box. I have them set to weekly deliveries but you can change this so you get them fortnightly or monthly it's completely up to you. 

It's £22 a box which is such a good price for a bunch of flowers delivered to your door. As you can see from my photos the bunch of flowers that you see are not your usual roses or carnations. You get a beautiful bunch of unique flowers. They arrive beautifully fresh and are packaged up really well. They come in a cardboard box and the flowers are protected in brown paper and arrive in a great condition. The flowers last really well, I had one bunch for about 3 weeks but they usually last on average for about 2 weeks. 

Inside your box with your flowers you also get a piece of paper that shows you exactly how to arrange your flowers so they look amazing! I love following the instructions and find it really therapeutic. There's also loads of information of their website about different vases and how to arrange your flowers. 

I'm loving the flowers and it's just lovely having a regular delivery of flowers. I've actually given a couple of the bunches away to my family, I brought a bunch round for my nan and there's a bunch on my mom's dining table. I love knowing that I have a delivery of beautiful fresh flowers waiting for me when I get home. 

I have loved every single bunch that have arrived so far, they have all lasted so well and I think £22 is such a great price for such a gorgeous bunch of flowers. 


Use my code AmyG4686  for a free box 








* this post contains a pr sample 
- if you use my code to recieve a free box, I will also recieve a free box. 

PERSONALISED NECKLACE FROM PERSONALIZED CART



I recently received this gorgeous personalised necklace from Personalized Cart, i've had it personalised with Amelias date of birth in Roman Numerals but you can personalise it in loads of different ways. The chain is a good length, not too short or long. I chose the Sterling finish so it's a nice shade of silver and i've worn it in the shower and in hot weather and had no problems with the colour. The engraving is really clear and easy to read.

I think it's a lovely item and would make a really nice gift for someone. You can personalise it with a name, intials or a date like I have. You could buy it someone for an anniversary gift and have a special date engraved onto it or buy one for a new mum with the birth date of their new baby. I think it's such a special gift and I think having a gift personalised it a lovely idea and so unique.


The website looks really easy to use and they have loads of gifts for all kinds of occasions. They have everything from door mats, photo frames, jewellery, dog collars and much much more. All of which is easily personalisable.

They have a few other styles of necklaces too so if you wanted a personalised necklace then be sure to head over to the website and check them out.






* this post contains a pr sample

FASHION: BOOHOO POPPY ASYMMETRIC DRESS


DRESS: BOOHOO* // BAG: ACCESSORIZE //  SHOES: NEW LOOK // BRACELET: DAISY LONDON // SUNGLASSES: PRIMARK 

How gorgeous is this dress from Boohoo.com?  I think it's such a lovely versatile piece. It's a midi length and a skater style. It's an asymmetric style so longer on one side than the other. I'm quite short but I think the length is really nice and the shorter side sit's quite nice on the knee. It's a scuba material so has some stretch to it and I found it true to size. It has a belt which brings it in at the waist making which is very flattering.

I think its a lovely dress that you can easily dress up and down. I've styled it with a leopard print camera bag and my tan heels. These heels are quite casual so perfect for that day to night look. I've styled the outfit in quite a smart/casual way, I think this would be perfect for those summer events like weddings, the races or afternoon tea. 

I think this is a dress that you can wear with a chunky cardi and tights in the cooler months and on it's own with sandals for a day out or even with a nice pair of heels and a clutch bag for a night out. 

The only thing is the colour isn't what I expected, I do like the colour but on the website it's more of a mustard shade but in real life it has a greenish tinge to it which was abit disappointing as I preferred the colour shown on the website. 











* this post contains pr samples.

LIFESTYLE: THANK YOU MIDWIVES


This is my labour and delivery story, It might be a little TMI so if your squrimish or don't really care about my labour then don't read this post. I really wanted to document it so I have it to look back on for myself. I had planned to film my labour for my vlog channel but that didn't end up happening so i'd rather write it down and then if I plan on having more kids I can read it back but also i'm sure some people will be interested, I know I read some labour stories and watched videos to prepare me for my own labour.

So i'd been feeling uncomfortable for a few weeks. My pregnancy wasn't great and I felt exhausted and in pain most of the time. I'd suffered with sciatica quite early on and towards the end was having alot of pelvic pain, which i'm actually still suffering with. This along with the twinges and back pain made the last few weeks of pregnancy really hard and going overdue really took it's toll on me mentally, honestly I just couldn't be bothered anymore and I didn't really do much in the last few weeks I just waited for her to come.

On Saturday 11th November I was at home for most of the day, I was actually making some frames as the next day I was supposed to go to my friends baby's 1st Birthday/ Christening and also my sisters baby shower. I'd managed to finish my friends frame and made a good start on my sisters one, my living room was covered in craft bits and I felt uncomfortable and fed up. We needed to go to Tesco and was going to my moms to help her with some last minute bits for the baby shower so we left and around 6:30pm in Tesco I was feeling very uncomfortable, like something was happening. I actually needed to sit down so I sat on a bench and waited for Clint to get what we needed. We then headed to my moms and I was helping by putting some sweet bags and putting favors together, I was siting on the floor on a cushion because I needed room for the stuff, I couldn't keep still and kept getting up and pacing because I was very uncomfortable. My mom was watching me and asking if I thought I was in labour but I really didn't know. The pain was bareable but it just kept coming and going which made me think it was contractions but my water hadn't broke so I wasn't sure.

As the night went on Clint and I decided to stay at my moms for a little longer as she was going to be my birth partner alongside Clint and I did feel like this could be it. I'd started timing the contractions at about 9:30pm and they were very frequent, about 3 minutes apart and lasting a good 30-50 seconds. We had phoned the hospital at around 11pm who said to stay at home and to phone back when the pain was worse. I decided to have a bath at this point as the pain wasn't bad but I thought it would make me feel more relaxed which it did. After my bath I dried and straightened my hair, I was still breathing through the contractions every 3 minutes and they were getting longer and lasting about a minute. I was in pain, it was still bareable but we phoned the hospital again as we had a good 30-40 minute drive ahead of us and i'd never actually been to the labour ward so wasn't too sure where we were heading. They told us to come in so we jumped in the car and made our way in. Luckily we had all the bags in the car already, we went via our flat to pick up my pregnancy pillow and birthing ball. (pregnancy pillow was amazing in hospital as their pillows are pants and ball stayed in the car) The car journey was actually okay, I sat in the front and adjusted the chair so I was more comfortable. We arrived in about 25-30 minutes and got parked up. We left all the stuff in the car and decided to see how far along we was and my mom and Clint could go back and get the bits later.

We arrived at the hospital and went round the the entrance that I'd seen on the hospital website ( as I said i'd only ever been there for scans, never to the labour ward) The door was locked and no one was answering the buzzer, finally someone answered and let us in, they told us to take a seat in the waiting room.

Someone came over and got us after about 10 minutes and in this time i'd had a contraction but I was worried they seemed to be slowing down. They put us in a lovely room, with the birthing pool. It was really big and I was quite excited about having baby in here. A midwife came in and got us hooked up to the machine and we were on this for about 30 minutes, she came back and the baby had dropped off a little so she needed me to stay on for abit longer. She came back and examined me and I was at 2cm, she explained that the contractions were frequent enough just not strong enough. She said we would need to go home until the contractions got worse. Before we could get discharged she explained that she needed to have a doctor look over the moinitoring before they could let me go as the baby had dropped off. The doctor wouldn't discharge me and wanted to monitor us again in a couple of hours so I got put onto a ward at about 4:30 in the morning and my mom and Clint were sent home. I was still having contractions and they were still every 3 minutes or so and were getting stronger. I was on a really dark ward, I think it was an induction ward. There was a big ball so I was sat on it and leaning over it, just breathing through the pain.

Clint came back up at about 7am, he's brought me a sandwhich but I couldnt think about food. I hadn't slept at all and I think he got about half an hour.
The midwife came round at about 8am and hooked me back up to the monitor. I think the midwife came back with a consultant to check my progress. Baby was all good on the monitor so they were happy with that. They examined me and I was 3cm, on the cusp of 4cm so they were going to get me moved onto the labour ward soon. The doctor said once I was on the labour ward he would get them to break my waters to speed things along. By 11am, I was in quite alot of pain, i'd gone to the toilet and I was loosing alot of blood so Clint went to get someone. They were just about to move me to the labour ward anyway and didn't seem concerned by the blood.  

We walked around the the labour ward, again we were in a nice room, (no birthing pool ) I met my midwife and I was asked if I minded having a student present, I didn't mind. My midwives were so lovely and made me feel really comfortable. They put me on a wireless monitor so I could move around and because baby had dropped off they seemed pretty happy to monitor me the whole way through labour. The doctors were happy with baby's growth so my labour was considered low risk so I didn't need to be monitored but I didn't mind. The examined me right away because I was in quite abit of pain, and possibly due to the blood. At this point I was 9cm dilated. I was so happy that i'd got so far by myself without any intervention or pain relief. I was then offered gas and air which I took. They decided against braking my waters because I was so far along so decided to leave me to labour naturally. I got to 10cm pretty quickly and felt like I needed to push. What I was actually pushing was my waters. They came out intact, they didn't break and just hung like a water balloon in between my legs for awhile. Apparently this is rare and good luck, Sometimes baby comes out into the sack but Amelia didn't. Her hand was up by her face so I was struggling to push her out. I felt the gas and air was working really well and really helped with the pain. I was all fours on the bed for most of the pushing stage. We had to change position to try and get her hand out of the way so I went onto my side, with my leg up in the air. Clint actually held my leg up for ages. She then started to come out. Everyone was saying she has loads of hair. After about 1 and a half hours on the labour ward Amelia was born at 13:18 weighing 6Ib 5oz They passed her to me and it's such a surreal feeling holding your baby. It doesn't feel real, it's really weird. They confirmed she was a girl and it was amazing. We did skin to skin right away and it was lovely having that time to just hold her and look at how perfect she was. It was all over, I was so proud and just amazed that i'd done it and honestly is wasn't that bad. They then took her to be weighed and got her dressed and then we got more cuddles. She was born small and on the 2nd centile so they needed her to feed, we tried to get her to latch but she wouldn't so she had a bottle as they needed to check her blood sugars due to her weight. She had to be monitored for 24 hours and she was fine and we managed to get her blood sugars up and was discharged on the tuesday, she was born on the Sunday. I am going to be writing a blog post about my feeding experience so I will go into more detail in that.

My midwives were great, they made me feel so comfortable, I didn't feel stupid at all. I'd worried a couple of times if the monitor went quiet but they reassured me that it was all fine. I felt very comfortable and was half naked for basically the whole labour, I did have a sheet over me at the start but this didn't last long. I had some funny moments on the gas and air for example I kept repeating ' I just feel like i'm shitting myself' and apparently I was asking the student about her course and how long she has left before shes qualified? I also described gas and air as the feeling you have when you are drunk and have your head on the toilet door.

 Overall I had a really positive labour experience, the whole thing from having contractions to giving birth took about 18 hours. Pushing was around an hour. I got to 9cm without any pain relief and only had gas and air towards the end. My midwives were amazing and made the whole experience very pleasant. They dimmed the lights to make the room feel more relaxed. They were friendly and chatty and just lovely. I had been very vague with my birth plan because I knew that not everything goes to plan, so I didn't get my birthing pool but I really don't mind. The pain was bareable, the only really painful bit was pushing her out as I did tear a little and needed a few stitches but I think I managed the pain really well and breathing through the contractions really helped. The gas and air really helped with the pain and didn't make me feel sick or out of it, I knew what was going on the whole time. I had the injection to deliver the placenta and this came away very quickly and I was stitched up quickly too.

We were moved onto a ward after a little time just holding her and getting myself dressed and spending some time taking pictures and just taking it all in. I was crying and thanking the midwives. I remember saying ' I can't believe shes here' a few times. It really is an incredible experience.

I understand that not everyone has a great birth story and I haven't wrote this to rub in that I had a positive experience personally. But I found when I was watching videos or reading birth stories that they can be unpleasant and everyones quick to tell you how bad their labour was and you always hear about what went wrong and I personally wouldn't change anything about my labour apart from I wish Clint could have stayed on the first night when I was having contractions by myself but even that wasn't that bad. He was at the birth and thats the main thing.

Did you have a positive birth story? You can share your birth story and thank your midwives using the #Thankyoumidwives hashtags and tag Smart Cells, head over to the Smart Cells site to find out more about the campaign. 




This post is collaborative with information from Smart Cells

FASHION: SUMMER FASHION PICKS

PLAYSUIT: QUIZ US // STRAW BAG: TOPSHOP // SHOES: OFFICE // TSHIRT: RIVER ISLAND // STRIPE JUMPSUIT: BOOHOO // ROSE GOLD SHOES : BOOHOO // ORANGE TROUSERS: RIVER ISLAND // POLKA DOT PLAYSUIT: BOOHOO 


It's starting to actually feel like summer woohoo! I'm feeling very inspired and really want to go out and get some new summery additions for my wardrobe. I thought i'd share a few bits and pieces that i'm loving right now! 


First up how cute and summery is this playsuit from Quiz, it's gorgeous! I love the green and white and think you could easily dress this up or down depending on what accessories you went for. They have a really good selection of playsuits and dresses perfect for the summer.  Quiz is expanding to the US for any of my US readers. 

Next up is this jumpsuit from Boohoo, again I think you could dress this up or down. I love stripes and I would add some colour to this by wearing a brightly coloured bag and shoes. 

How gorgeous are these Rose Gold sandals from Boohoo. I love the colour and the style and think they are such a versatile piece to add to my collection. 

These Orange paper bag trousers are a little out of my comfort zone but absolutely gorgeous! I'm trying to be a little bit braver with my clothing choices. I feel like i'm a little bit stuck in a rut with my fashion. 

Straw bags are so on trend this summer so this cute lobster one from Topshop would make a lovely addition to any bag collection. 

This cute little tshirt is from River Island and I tried it on the other day and it's just lovely. I love the pearl detailing which makes it so cute and a little bit nicer than your basic white tee. 

The polka dot playsuit is from Boohoo and I'm just a little obsessed with polka dots right now and I love a good playsuit so i'd love something like this. 

I'm loving mustard right now and recently bought a similar pair of mustard shoes, I think they add a really nice pop of colour to an outfit, you can see how I styled my pair of mustard sandals in my latest outfit post. 










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