Illustrated Teacup

Family | Lifestyle | Food | Motherhood | Tattoos

Sunday, 31 July 2016

A trip to the zoo

A couple of weekends back we did our longest trip so far with Henry up to Cotswold Wildlife Park for my sister's birthday.
We had glorious sunshine for the entire day which meant we got some brilliant photos. Dann took most of the photos with my long lens and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself.We're definitely developing the camera love in the Bradford household.

Cotswold Wildlife Park is an old family favourite of mine as I used to go with my family when I was growing up. It's been at least 10 years since I've visited and it was so nice to recognise the building and the house from when I was younger, but also see how the park has developed and grown since I was a kid.


Friday, 29 July 2016

Advice for new mums, from real mums

The first few weeks of parenthood are a huge learning curve. You spend a lot of the time in a warm fuzz of love, sleepily googling everything under the sun. Or at least you should be. Well maybe not the Google thing.
Before I had Henry I knew I would want lots of advice from people who had been there and brought the proverbial t-shirt.

I'm lucky. I have a wonderful sister in law who not only has her own daughters, but is also a trained neo-natal nurse so knows a thing or two about babies. I also have a number of friends with little ones who have brought their children up beautifully and are a beacon of knowledge. I've also connected with a great group of mummy bloggers, who I've spoken to almost daily since Henry arrived to share the midnight feeds on twitter or just chat and get advice.

Without them all I think I'd feel very alone.

So I wanted to try and help out my readers and collect on this knowledge and share it.


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

A thank you

Starting a family is a wonderful thing. Adding to your circle of love. Creating a new life. Sharing the responsibility.
It's also incredibly hard and insanely rewarding. It's singularly the most difficult thing I've ever done (though luckily I haven't met much hardship in my life I will admit, thankfully) and I honestly could not have done it alone.

This post is basically a really long thank you to my husband and father of my child Dann because without him I don't think I would have survived the first few weeks with our family.

Monday, 25 July 2016

By the sea at Victoria Country Park

I'm really loving summer right now. Yes it is a little hit and miss with the UK weather but when it's nice it really is nice. 

Since having Henry we've been out exploring our local area a lot more. Henry settles really well in the carrycot of our pushchair especially in the evenings when he is a little trickier to put to sleep. Dann has kindly been taking him out for a walk so I can sleep on several evenings each week, and then we've done a few family walks in the afternoons to get out and about. 

We are really loving exploring our local area and discovering all the outside spaces that Henry is going to love when he is older.  

The other weekend we went on a walk from our house through Hamble to the Royal Victoria Country Park and then back home via Netley Abbey. We decided to take the camera with us and get a few photos whilst out and enjoying the sunshine. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

The first few weeks

Newborns are hard work. There's no denying it. You're warned about the ups and downs. The sleepless nights. The endless nappies. But it still doesn't quite prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster that the first few weeks puts you through.

I've never been more physically and emotionally drained than I have since having Henry. The most amount of sleep I've gotten in one go is three hours. Even four lots of 2-3 hours isn't enough because it's so broken. And I've often woken completely confused on the time and when I last fed him as I've dreamt about feeding too!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Searching out Marwell's Zany Zebras

Last Saturday we finally started to see some of that elusive British summer and hasn't it been glorious? There's not much I love more than proper British sun, it just brings out the best in people, and we really don't need much of it to get a great feeling.

So to make the most of the sunshine myself and fellow blogger Alice and her fiance Arran took a stroll around Southampton on Marwell's Zany Zebra trail.
The trail is made up of 47 resin decorated zebras dotted around the city to create awareness for Marwell's conservation  effort for the Grevy Zebras. The zebras are sponsored by local businesses in the community and decorated by local artists in different themes, with some matched to the sponsor. The zebras follow the hugely successful Go Rhino! campaign that Marwell ran in 2013, where you can still see some of the Rhinos across the city after they were auctioned off (there's one at the Hythe Ferry Terminal in Town Quay).


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

10 life lessons to teach my little one

Becoming a mum is one of the most amazing and thrilling things to happen to me, but comes with some insane responsibility. As a mum our little ones are so reliant on us for everything and they base all their early learning on their parents.
Today I thought I'd share some of the life lessons I want to teach my little ones as they grow up.


Monday, 18 July 2016

An afternoon at Southampton Tattoo Festival 2016

We love tattoo conventions. They're fun and unique and so interesting. Plus it feels really good to support independent and local businesses.
Last year was the first Southampton Tattoo Festival, and it returned this year over the weekend of the 9th and 10th July back at the Ageas Bowl, Hampshire. 

Of course being local we decided that we would pop over even with Henry being so little, even if just for a couple of hours. As it turned out we were there for about three hours wandering around the tattoo stands, vintage and trade stalls, and the bike and car show.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Henry's first month

I can't believe Henry has been in our lives for over a month. It might sound like a cliche but boy has it flown by! And another cliche, I can't imagine life without him!

Henry is a gorgeous and lovely little boy. He's literally the cuddliest boy especially chest to chest,or resting his head on our shoulder. He's also the noisiest newborn making lots of grumbling and groaning noises in his sleep which are hilarious. His sleeping positions are laughable as he sleeps just like his Dadda and Grampy. And he is literally the biggest fidget ever! It really explains why I was getting beaten up so much, he even wriggles in his sleep.


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Henry's Birth Story

Today I'm sharing Henry's Birth Story in the hopes it helps other mums to be for the future. I know I personally really enjoyed reading birth stories. I mean they're intensely unique and interesting after all. I'd highly recommend you also read Sophia's with Willow, and Emily's with Little Lady.

As you may know from this blog and my social media Henry arrived eight days early on 12th June 2016.

Friday, 8 July 2016

July Degustabox Unboxing

Every month I look forward to my Degustabox* subscription arriving to my door. I like the surprise of new foods and brands and coming up with recipes and meal ideas to use up the products. 

For July there was a somewhat summery theme to the food box and a great mix of meal components and snacks, perfect for a new family.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The first week as new parents

The first week of having a newborn baby is pretty much one of the most life changing weeks a person can experience. It's filled with ups and downs and as with pregnancy and labour, completely unique to everyone. 
Our first week was a pretty good one actually with visitors and cuddles and not too many tears (from me or Henry). 

So our first full day was spent at the New Forest Birth Centre. Henry was born at 10:28am and it was pretty quiet in the centre so we were left to bond in the birthing room. Whilst I was checked over Dann had his skin to skin with Henry. We then started our very first time breastfeeding with the help of Carla who is kind of the resident expert at NFBC. It was a lovely moment for the three of us and I'm so pleased that Carla picked up my camera to capture the moment. 

We were then transferred to a side room to have our own space, I had a well needed shower and lots of cuddles. Overnight was hard as I was still getting used to breastfeeding and he wasn't always happy to settle which I can kind of understand after being cosy and snug for nine months.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Newborn shoot with Studio1314 - plus special offer

Baby spam alert!! To be honest you guys are probably getting used to all the baby photos now. We've been making the most of some quiet time in our early days with Henry, and of course getting lots and lots of photos in too.

I love photography, taking photos and keeping all those memories.There's something about photos that just make me really happy. Looking back at a moment caught in time. Which I guess is why getting lots of photos of Henry whilst he is little is so important to me. Children grow up so so fast, especially when they are really little. I mean Henry is already a few weeks old and it's absolutely flown by, and I really can't imagine my life without him, though a few hours extra sleep would be amazing on some days!

Anyway, when we were asked by Studio1314* to come by their studio for a newborn shoot I just had to take them up on the offer, plus we wanted to do a special offer for you readers too (see the end of the post for full details and T&C's. You may remember these guys from our couple's shoot last year which captured some of my favourite photos of Dann and I.


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Top places to visit in and around Southampton

We've lived in Southampton now for nearly eight years so I thought I'd share some of my favourite places in Southampton and the surrounding areas.
Southampton is kind of a hidden gem of a city. It's a good size, but not so massive that you get too lost in it - though driving round the one way systems can be a little troublesome.
But if you're a wanderer like me then you'll love Southampton, as almost everything is within walking distance so you can really get exploring.

So here's my rundown of my top places to visit in and around Southampton.
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