And then there were three…

Seeing as I have just been advised that it is ‘blogtober’ it seems like the perfect time for us to get started!

My name is Joanna and I am a first time mummy, to a wonderful little girl called Lily Bernadette.

Lily came into my world on Wednesday 21st June 2017 , at 1.01 am , by emergency C-section and nothing has been the same since. My world has gone from revolving round the busy 9-5 office life, to being filled with dirty nappies, sleepless nights and milky smiles and I  wouldn’t change a thing!

My pregnancy came as a HUGE shock, as I had just gotten engaged my childhood sweetheart and had thrown myself right into the chaos of wedding planning. I had also just started my dream job so babies were not in our plans for at least a few years. Our plan was possibly to follow the IVF route as I have a genetic neurological condition called Neurofibromatosis and although my situation is a very mild case, I did not want to pass this on, but here we are.

Whatever the outcome of Lily’s assessment, we will get though it together as a family.

No amount of reading or shopping could have prepared me for motherhood but I am slowly finding my way.

Come back soon to hear about my mummy mishaps and see more of my cuties face ❤





Bath-time Blues -What are they?

As a new mum I spent hours ( and more hours) reading blogs, and endless articles about everything from breastfeeding to toilet training babies from birth ( Yes that’s a thing! )

One thing I came across several times was advice , and people seeking advice to make bath time easier.  ‘she screams as soon as I put her in’ ‘ How do I get her not to cry’ ‘should  I try a different bath’ and on it goes.

We are very lucky. Our baby is very much a water baby. This was clear from her very first bath in the hospital, when the nurse advised us to be prepared for tears, but all she did was sigh and go to sleep. The only tears we see at bath time is when its over.

Our routine is very simple. I make sure I have everything I need before hand as if you are bathing baby alone you won’t be able to get it later . Bath, bath thermometer, towel, baby bath wash and one cute bath toy.

Bath water temp is best between 36-38 degrees, if you don’t have a thermometer you can test this with your elbow to make sure it is a comfortable temp.

Strip baby and use cotton balls to do a quick wipe down before putting them into the bath. Best to do this on a changing bath as cold air and baby bums equal spontaneous wee . ( learnt this the hard way on a brand new plush white rug! )

Once baby is in the bath wash their body, doing hair last so they don’t have a cold head.

If your little one isn’t keen, white noise can help settle them.

We use the Shnuggle bath which is fab because it has a high slightly tilted back and bum bump, both of which helps support baby and stop them slipping under the water.I love this because it makes bathing a newborn a lot less daunting, especially if you are doing it alone. The backrest has a foam back attached so it’s warm and comfy for baby too.


We have the advent bath thermometer, which doubles as a room thermometer too. This is super cute and takes up very little space in the bath. Lily loves to kick it about so it’s helping her motor skills to.

As far as body wash  is concerned, in the early days this isn’t necessary. Your baby’s skin will be very sensitive so only water is needed. When we did start to use a bodywash, I chose Lansinoh Calming Lavender Bodywash & Shampoo because of it’s calming effect and it makes getting Lily to bed after her bath much easier.

We also have the Shnuggle hooded wrap towel. This is amazing as it’s wearable for mummy so you can keep dry when lifting baby from the bath

All of this makes our bath time routine 100% easier, and in effect, more fun!




LilyB and Me and My Mummy Body

 Who would have thought that at 4 months postpartum, I would have more body confidence then I have ever had in my life.

Sure I’m half a stone heavier than before I was even pregnant, and yes I have some tiger stripes ( that I wear with  pride)  but my body gave me my beautiful daughter and for this I love it!

I probably shouldn’t feel surprised that I have been approached several times by lovely ladies with an ‘oh so super’ secret to share with me for how I can ‘fix’ my mum tum ( NO THANKS -my baby LOVES cuddling into it)

Let me tell you I have been both ends of the scales. I have been super skinny and heavy too! When my mental health was at its lowest, I was visiting the gym 5/6 days a week, twice a day. I counted calories like they were pennies before payday and wrote down my weight daily (sometimes twice a day because that big lunch counted). I was a size 6 and had reached my target to be under 8 stone. Was I happy? Was I fuck! I was miserable. Obsessed with the number on a scale, convinced that it would solve my unhappiness. It didn’t by the way.

As someone with neurofibromatosis, it has taken me almost 30 years to love my body, birth marks, tumors and yes my rolls too. I have come a long way and have no intention of going back.

So when I get these messages in my inbox, telling me about a fab solution to my extra lbs, or telling me I’d be an FAB ASSET to their team and can make some extra cash (pyramid scheme!!), I get so mad. My guess is these people search a hashtag, #newmum #newbaby #proudmummy, and target who they consider to be vulnerable people. People who they think will definitely be struggling with body confidence and decide that they can make a quick few quid of someone elses insecurities.

Since getting engaged I have joined some amazing Facebook bridal/wedding planning groups and I see this on these pages all the time. Lovely women heart brokenly asking if they look heavy or fat because they have received private messages from these vultures ‘hey hun, I seen your pics in your dress and I can help you look fab on your wedding day!’ Listen bitch, she looks fab already and doesn’t need your potions.

People like this sort of approach about as much as they like the pesky PPI callers. Also the world and it’s mother knows that your shakes, juices and pills DON’T WORK! Nothing is a replacement for eating right and regular exercise. ( Twice a day is not required! Do what suits you.) There is no quick fix or easy route to a healthy lifestyle. More importantly, a small waist is never as important than a healthy mind!

So ladies, in short, your bodies are wonderful just as they are, baby or no baby, size 6 or size 16. Do what you want, eat what you want and if a diet product seller approaches you, eat them too!!



Joanna and Lily x



Mummy Friends and Me – A Must for Maternity

 In an ideal world my mum would live next door and my best friend would be across the road. I would spend my maternity gossiping over lattes in Starbucks and have regular babysitters on hand so that I could still get to the gym, cinema, shopping , the list is endless.

Unfortunately ‘ideal’ is a far cry from my actual situation.

I live about 4 and a half hours from my home town so see my parents every few months. I have three highly ambitious sisters all perusing careers in different cities and my best friends live no where near me either! Of course I am hugely proud of all these wonderful women in my life, but it still sucks that at the time in my life where I get to take a breather from my own career, I can’t spend anywhere as much time as I would like with them.

I am very much a social butterfly, I love meeting new people and keeping busy. From my own experience I believe loneliness and isolation are strongly related to depression. As I had anticipated that I might struggle with this during my maternity leave, I decided to be proactive in trying to find a way to combat this.

I dived head first into the below.




I came across this on Instagram during the very beginning of my maternity leave. I was stuck on the couch with a very fussy newborn and looking at every mummy hashtag possible to pass the time.

MummyBuddy is a wonderful buddy-up programme that connects mums to be with mums.  It gives the ‘mum to be’ a solid go-to for any questions about pregnancy, birth etc and gives the ‘mummy’ a chance to feel confident in their motherhood journey and pass on some wisdom. Of course, primarily,  there is the benefit of a new friendship for both.

I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea, and it really appealed to me because I would have loved to have done something like this while I was pregnant, especially being so far from my mum, I had so many questions. I am fortunate enough to work in the nursery product industry so I had plenty of people to ask, but still felt like I was becoming a nuisance as every answer I received triggered another question for me.

I am thoroughly loving being involved in this and have actually had the perfect match by the programme coordinators. As the programme is still relatively new, I am really excited to see how it develops!


Image result for mush

Initially I heard about this in the office, and admittedly I wasn’t convinced by the idea. Curiosity got the better of me and I have since been converted to a musher.

Aptly described as ‘tinder for mums’ the mush app allows you to create a personal profile and meet like minded mums in a close proximity to you. Similar to tinder you can select possible new connections based on other peoples profiles, if you both choose to connect , hey presto, you potentially have a new ‘mummy bestie’.

There is also a features  ‘mush up’  aspect where you can organize local meetups.

Your day’s no longer have to be filled  repeatedly with peppa pig and thoughts of gin! (disclaimer – this will still happen frequently )


Facebook Mummy Groups

2am. You are awake doing a night feed, and your significant other (with their useless nipples!! ) is snoring loudly beside you while you contemplate ways to get away with murder. There are thousands of other mums in the same position at the very same Image result for mums togethertime. Pop onto a mummy’s Facebook group and exchange some murder ideas. I absolutely love 2am clubs and they make night feeds so much better.

I joined several of these Facebook groups while pregnant, to get advice and recommendations for baby products and they did not disappoint. It is actually how I found my travel system, which I love, but that’s a whole otheImage result for mum friends knowr blog!


There are groups for support and advice on almost anything from breastfeeding to baby wearing.

Even though I have not met many of these women in person, they have made me laugh, cry, and feel so confidant as a mother by sharing their experiences of motherhood with me.



Maternity leave has been made so much more fun, and less lonely by my mummy friends.


We have been nominated for Blogger Recognition Award!

 I was delighted to find out that Lily and Me has been nominated the Blogger Recognition Award by the wonderful Misisblog

The Blogger Recognition award is a fabulous award by bloggers for bloggers,to recognize the dedication,hard work and efforts it takes to be a blogger.


How it works

To take part in this award the rules are very simple.  If you choose to accept your nomination (Let’s face it, who wouldn’t! ) just follow the below easy steps.

  • Compose a short post about your nomination for the award and give thanks to your fellow blogger who has nominated you, providing a link to their blog.
  • Tell us in a short summary how your blog came to be.
  • Share two pieces of wisdom you would give to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 of your fellow bloggers to nominate.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.




How ‘Lily and Me’ came to be

I have always wanted to write, but always thought no one would want to hear what I had to say.

Like many others I have encountered many hard times in my life, and of course great times too. Getting older and having my daughter has given me confidence and comfort in myself that younger me never though I would have so I decided to bite the bullet and put myself out there because rejection is better than ‘what if’

I hope that speaking about my experiences publicly can help others, like younger me, who may be going through similar things.

Of course I also hope to raise awareness surrounding issues such neurofibromatosis, pnd and depression.


Advice to new bloggers

  • Just do it – Don’t worry to much about what, where, why etc..once you get started you’ll be surprised how easy the writing comes.
  • Carry a notepad. – Ideas can come to you at the most random times. Keep a small notepad on hand to jot these down, as you may not remember it later.


My Nominations

I had the pleasure of choosing 15 blogs to nominate and have come across some pretty fantastic reds in the process!

The 15 I have chosen to nominate are

  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!




Me, myself and I – When there’s too much inside your head.

Today is World Mental Health Awareness Day, so it’s as good a day as ever for this.

Today I feel great. I spent the day with my daughter, went to the park and in general had a good time, aside from some incredibly stinky nappies I had the honor of changing! I haven’t always felt OK though. In fact I have had times where I felt so down, I questioned whether I wanted to live or not.

Four years ago I was diagnosed with an incurable genetic neurological disorder called Neurofibromatosis, that can affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves and skin. In general I had always been quite healthy, but did suffer from migraines that were so bad I would lose vision, balance and as they were so exhausting I would need a full day after they had subsided to recover. I have a very mild case and am mostly unaffected.

At my appointment, I was given very little information about the condition but also given some highly inaccurate information surrounding my future and having children. That combined with my own online research about NF1 ( I highly recommend not to do this! ) terrified me beyond belief. I worried about every possible scenario that NF can cause. Cancer, brain tumors, scoliosis, loss of sight or hearing and much more. It led to one of the worst years of my life where I alienated myself from my friends and family and used drink and sleeping tablets as a coping mechanism.  I was too afraid to talk about how I felt, and knew that I would struggle to keep myself together if I was with people so I hid away. This only led to further unhappiness caused by loneliness and paranoia.

Eventually I started to get back to myself a little bit, after moving home and spending time with family but I never dealt with the underlying issues, and it came back to me worse then the first time round. My work and home life suffered immensely as I experienced terrible anxiety attacks and struggled to get through the day. Again I was using the wrong methods to cope, taking over the counter painkillers as soon as I felt slightly anxious.

I knew I had to get help when I needed to take something to even get through the day, and when it be came a daily thought that if I died, my head wouldn’t hurt anymore and I would have some peace. I ran into a colleague on my walk to work and as they approached me to say hello, I broke down in tears and ran away to hide in the nearest toilet but knew I couldn’t go about my day as normal so my fiance called PIPs who are a charity that deliver Suicide Prevention and Bereavement Support Services, Counselling and Therapies across Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland, and arranged for them to see me right away.

I spent 4 months doing one to one therapy and 6 months taking Sertraline and strongly believe that talk therapy is the best although I know that every one responds to treatment differently. My counselor helped me to deal with and accept my situation and to focus on the positives on my life. I am quite healthy and have a very mild case of NF1 . I have a very supportive partner, family and friends.

The first step towards my recovery was asking for help, and there is plenty of help out there, whether it’s help from family, friends or members of the health service.

I will always be grateful to those who helped me get to where I am today.

If you are affected by a poor mental health, or are concerned for the mental health of a loved one you can contact PIPs here

If you have NF and are looking to connect with a wonderfully supportive community for advice come join ‘Faces of Neurofibromatos’ on Facebook  here 

If you aren’t yet ready to talk about dealing with NF but want some inspiration from two strong positive young women thriving through life visit Katie and Charlotte here