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By Invitation Peony Noir – Michael Bublé

By Invitation Peony Noir perfume

Christmas is fast approaching and we all know that it’s not quite Christmas without a little bit of Michael Bublé! This post is a collaboration to review his new perfume By Invitation Peony Noir and I will of-course always give my honest opinion on anything that has been sent to me.

I usually like a smell that is sweet, not very floral, with a little bit of spicy sophistication mixed in there. Smell is subjective to some degree, but we all want to smell nice don’t we! When a celeb brings out a perfume, I am always a little bit skeptical, but I am pleasantly surprised.

The smell

With smell being the most important thing about a perfume, let’s jump right into it. I describe it as having quite an elegant smell, very thought through. With just the right balance of tones to leave you intrigued. It smells as if romance is in the air! A little sweet, but not too much, sophisticated and not overly floral!

This is how the perfume is described on the website: ‘Peony Noir is elegant and romantic, an inviting mix of sweet rose and orange blossom combined with base notes of sandalwood and cedarwood, helping it carry long into the night and making the fragrance the perfect accessory to any women’s evening.

The look

Looking at the lovely round shape of the bottle, I am reminded of Chance by Chanel. I love the dark colour of the bottle, which adds to its sophistication. I don’t particularly love the lid on top of the bottle, but really it is such a minor thing, hardly even worth a mention, it just looks a little bulky on this lovely elegant looking bottle. All in all, a pretty looking perfume!

The conclusion

Overall i’m really impressed. If somebody was to ask me what I thought about this perfume, I would say good things. Perfumes are such a popular gift to get a loved one for Christmas, and they can be so hard to get right but I would definitely recommend this one.

By Invitation Peony Noir perfumeClose up of By Invitation Peony Noir perfume By Invitation Peony Noir perfumeBy Invitation Peony Noir perfumeThis post was in collaboration with Michael Bublé Fragrances.

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Pebbles & Lace teething necklace

Before I gave birth I was gifted with this beautiful teething necklace, bought from the wonderful company Pebbles & Lace. These necklaces have been designed with baby in mind and are perfect for their teething troubles! Recently my little one seems to be suffering with teething, which has come as a little surprise considering she has only just turned 4 months! Being still so young, she has found it a struggle to use the standard teething toys. So I am hoping that the teething necklace will come in handy!

 

As a mother I am so passionate about teaching my girl to believe in herself, so I just love that this necklace is from their Inspirations collection. Each necklace has the name of an inspirational women from the past or present. This is the Florence necklace, named after Florence Nightingale! What a wonderful idea! It is rather stylish too with the pink, grey and marble combo, I always love a bit of marble!

You can also first place it in the fridge to create a soothing cooling experience for your little one, I think i’ll definitely give that ago! Have you tried a teething necklace? Did you find them useful?

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Phone cases by CaseApp

I drop my phone all the time so a stylish phone case is always a must for me. When CaseApp got in touch about their phone cases, I was excited to check out their product range.

One of the best things about CaseApp is that you can create a custom phone case. With the ability to add your own image onto a case, you can choose to have a totally unique case. One option would be to use a favourite photograph of yours to remember a special moment or person.

Not only is there the option to customise a case, they also have a brilliant selection of stylish designs to choose from. The black marble case was my choice, which is always a favourite, who doesn’t love the marble look!?

I also chose a matching marble skin for my MacBook Pro, which I think looks really smart! I love coordinating my phone case with my MacBook Pro. There is an impressive range of MacBook skins available on the site, something to match everyone’s personality!

If you are interested in purchasing a phone case or MacBook skin from CaseApp, I have a 20% discount code for you to use! Type in the code MARIANNESOPHIA20 at the checkout to activate the discount!

For the chance to win a phone case of your choice from CaseApp, give me a follow me on Instagram and look out for the giveaway that I will be hosting this week!

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Wishes for my daughter

I want my daughter to grow up knowing her worth is much more than her stunning beauty.

I want my daughter to grow up seeing incredible women achieving their goals.

Please don’t call my daughter a princess, although she is royalty, she doesn’t need a prince to rescue her.

Don’t just buy her dolls and pink ‘girly’ toys. Don’t buy her clothes with messages on that refer to her appearance. Buy her doctor kits and Wonder Woman outfits.

Let her read books about strong female characters who take their future into their own hands.

Let her watch films with characters she can aspire to, let her see a variety of different ethnic groups represented on tv, in books and through toys because we all deserve to have our stories told.

Never underestimate my daughter because she is a girl, she can accomplish anything she wishes.

I know my daughter is beautiful, but don’t only remind her of her beauty. She must not think that how she looks defines her.

I will encourage her to believe in herself. To keep going when she falls down because that is how she will learn.

I want my daughter to feel confident in who she is because there will only ever be one of her and she is incredible.

But most of all I want her to know how much I love her just as she is and that she never has to worry about being ‘good enough’ for anyone, including me.

X

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Mummy Diary / Week 2

I am pleased to announce that my beautiful daughter has arrived! She is now just over two weeks old. I feel incredibly lucky to have her and I can’t believe she is finally here! In just this short period of time, I have experienced so many emotions. So for all the expectant mums out there, here are four things that I have learnt during this time.

1.Be patient, things take time.

Over the last two weeks I have realised that as a new mum, it takes time to learn how to be a Mum, how to understand what your baby wants. Just as any new job, it is a learning process. Part of me thought that I would instantly know and understand what my baby needs and why she is crying, but as with everything you learn these things and get to know your baby. Don’t be hard in yourself, this is completely normal.

It also takes time to heal. Labour is called labour for a reason! I hadn’t anticipated that I would need a recovery period. I had no idea what my body was about to go through. It was unrealistic for me to think that I would be up and about as if nothing had happened the next day. Who knows, maybe for some people this is achievable, but it wasn’t for me. Our bodies need time to heal, especially when running on very little sleep! If I’m completely honest, as a squeamish person, a part of me needs time to mentally recover too.

I also want to remind you to be proud of your body. It may not look the same as it used to just yet but it deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated for all that it has achieved! It has done amazing incredible things and deserves your praise.

 

2.You can’t always predict how things will go.

This is so true with labour, you may have a plan in mind but you may also end up with something totally different. I thought that I wanted to spend a lot of time in a pool but when it came to it, I didn’t end up staying in the pool at all! You just have to do what you need to do to get the job done.

In some ways this is also true after birth, sometimes things don’t always work out as planned. I passionately wanted to breastfeed and I felt so strongly about it. Unfortunately this hasn’t worked out for me and now I am trying to deal with disappointment and some feelings of guilt. This was something that I had always wanted to do and I am just coming to terms with this. But I have to remember that as long as my baby is loved and getting fed, that’s all that matters.

 

3.Don’t expect too much from yourself right away

I thought I’d be out and about quite soon but I did not feel up to it at all. I might have a goal for the day and I may or may not achieve this depending on how the day goes. If you manage to shower then that’s great, and if you don’t, then you don’t. Turns out taking care of a tiny human being is a lot of work and you may not have a spare second to even wash! The most important thing is that your baby is being cared for, so don’t worry if your house is a mess. I sleep whenever I get the opportunity! Sleep is so precious to me right now.

 

4. Accept support but when needed

Support is so important and greatly appreciated. Relatives helping out with chores or simply watching your baby whilst you take a shower, neighbours offering you cooked meals, it’s all life saving, all of those little things. But you will also need your space, time for you and your baby alone as your own little family. Remember you’re the Mum now, advice is appreciated but at the end of the day it’s up to you to decide which advice you want to follow.

 

Finally to all the expectant mums out there, I wish you all the best with your labour and everything beyond that! I hope everything goes smoothly for you, remember your are a queen and you can do this. Any words of advice from other Mum’s out there is also greatly appreciated!

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Preparing for labour

I’m going to admit it, I am nervous about the thought of labour. It’s not far off for me, in fact it could happen any moment now but hopefully not before I finish writing this! To be honest, I think I have every right to be. First of all it is not something that I have ever experienced before and secondly, well, it’s meant to be quite painful. Now I know some people are super laid back and would probably think that maybe this is all a little overboard, but I am a worrier and although it may seem a little over the top, if these things will help me to relax, then for me they are worth doing.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I am probably not the only one out there feeling anxious and just maybe somebody else might relate. So for those out there that are feeling this way, I decided to share with you some of the ways that I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for labour.

1: Understanding as much as possible

The saying goes, ‘ignorance is bliss’ but in this situation I can’t relate. One of the things that frightens me about labour is that I will have no control over what is happening to my body. A useful way therefore to combat the feeling of loss of control is to understand as best as possible what my body is doing. Understanding what is happening will help me feel less frightened. One of the highly recommended books out there that provides a great deal of information for every stage of pregnancy is What to Expect When You’re Expecting and I have found it really does contain so much useful information! Last week I read the Labour and Delivery chapter which covers a wide range of scenarios and also breaks down each stage of labour in detail.

Another important thing for me is to make sure that I take the opportunity to ask all my questions at my appointments. Find out as much as you can, the more information that you have, the more equipped you will feel and the better you will understand all your options.

2. Having ideas and options for handling pain

I had never heard of a tens machine before my pregnancy and I only learnt about them at my antenatal class. I can neither recommend or discourage you from using a tens machine as I have not yet tried using it and as I am not a doctor, I can’t give any recommendations or advice on this.

So why have I added this to this list? Well, it just helps to know that I have options when it come to dealing with pain. To know that I have a tens machine ready to use in early labour helps to calm my nerves. You can find out more about tens machines on the NHS website, along with all the other pain relief options. I was able to hire a tens machine through my hospital, this may be an options for you too. Overall it is jus good to know that there are further pain relief options available to me should I need them.

3. Positive media for a positive mind frame

I’ve been hearing a lot about hypnobirthing recently and I like the sound of it! It’s all about staying calm and relaxed. It highlights what happens when you allow your adrenaline to take over rather than allowing the oxytocin to do it’s job. If I had the spare money and time, I would definitely look into taking some classes for this (I left it rather late to start looking into this), but I have tried to take as much on board as possible from researching online.

I have been listening to positive birth affirmations through my headphones in the hope of staying relaxed and positive about labour. Along with listening to this, it is my plan is to play relaxing music to keep myself as calm as possible during the labour (we will see how this goes!).

Another thing that I have been doing is watching positive birth stories on youtube. I am really trying to work on replacing all of those negative thoughts and feelings by watching positive stories (rather than all the bad ones!) One youtube channel that I have found particularly useful for this is by the The Positive Birth Company.

I have also been viewing some beautiful photography by positive birth photographers out there, images stay in your mind, so I have been looking at these and I have found them pretty amazing!

4. Getting visual

Taking some of these positive birth affirmations, I decided to get creative! When I write messages down, they are more likely to stay in my head. I have also created a Pinterest board full of positive birth affirmations, so that if I need some encouragement I can flick through the positive messages. Examples of positive affirmations are:

I have everything it takes to birth my baby.
I choose to be relaxed, calm and confident during my baby’s birth.
My body is capable and strong.
You can do anything for a minute.
The pain that I am feeling cannot compare to the joy coming.
All the strength I need is within me.

Feel free to take a look at my Positive Birth Affirmation Pinterest board for inspiration!

5. Looking ahead to after labour.

This fantastic book was given to me at my baby shower. The idea is that you write letters to your baby so that they can read them in the future. I have been anxious throughout my pregnancy, not wanting anything to go wrong. So this has been such a wonderful way for me to look ahead positively to the future, daring to believe that everything will be okay and that my baby will arrive here safe and sound. Spending time writing a letter is such a refreshing and positive thing to do and we honestly can’t wait to hold our baby in our arms.

I also found these adorable milestone cards online,  I have seen milestone cards used a few times now and I love the idea of them. This is another way that I have been looking ahead to after birth. A great way to remind myself that afterwards I will have a precious beautiful baby in my arms and I can look forward to seeing her achieve all of these milestones! Nothing will compare the joy that I will feel when my baby is born!

6. Aromatherapy

My midwife provided me with some aromatherapy oils that are meant to helpful in labour. My hospital seem to quite like the idea of using aromatherapy. It is yet another sense that we can use to remain calm and aid the progress of labour. I actually haven’t done much research on the effectiveness of aromatherapy, but it definitely is a very interesting concept and I am definitely up for giving it ago.

These are just some of the ways that I am trying to prepare. Even though I kind of feel that nothing will really be able to prepare me fully, if it helps a little bit, then to me it is worth doing! This will probably be my last blog post now before my little one gets here so send your prayers and positive thoughts my way and I will speak to you soon!

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