Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hospital Bags - First & Second Babies!

The thought of heading to hospital to give birth to your baby is a hugely daunting one for all new mums - when will it be? Will it be an emergency? Will it go to plan? What on earth will you need?!

There are some essentials that you need and also those that you think you will need, that I can guarantee will stay neatly in your bag for the duration of your stay. With baby number one I headed up to the hospital with a Beckham worthy pile of luggage, packed full of everything I could possibly imagine. I had to be prepared for every scenario! Never mind the kitchen sink, I packed the full kitchen department of B&Q!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Being A Blogger Is...

I was tagged by the wonderful Laura (great name by the way) from 'Life With Baby Kicks', for a new tag called 'Being A Blogger'. There are so many great things about blogging, as well as a few nags too. This tag enables us to look at all those things and celebrate the wonderful blogging world by sharing what blogging means to us.

My Sunday Photo # 13

I had a little bit of one on one time with my biggest boy today and we laid on the bouncy pillows at the farm, which are like field size bouncy castles to take our picture. When we laid down though, a (sizeable) lady started bouncing around us making us fall about all over, this picture was the result. With it being so bright we didn't see the pictures until we got home and I loved this one. A happy Sunday.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June Blog Catch Up

Did you miss any of my posts this month?

I had a varied and busy month in June, with lots more to come! I had lots of new visitors (hello!) to the site and some lovely comments and feedback. Here are my posts for June if you missed any, you can click on the thumbnail to view the post!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Keeping Motivated: July Weightloss & Fitness

Wednesday was my last weigh in for June and it has been an eventful month! First a quick look at the goals I set at the end of May for the month of June...

So how did I get on?

Breastfeeding Awareness Week

I'll start by saying that I really couldn't care less how other people feed their babies, nor would I ever judge anyone for their choices. Each to their own! We are all on the same journey and it's not always easy. As long as our babies are fed - that is essentially all that matters. I don't think anyone would deny that breast is best, it's science, but there is a definite place for formula too, and for some it's a lifesaver.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

-TEN- Baby Products - Review

Ten make a great range of essential skincare products, aimed at mother and baby. The Ten range has been created for us mothers to use, safe in the knowledge that they are not only luxurious and enjoyable to use for us, but also free from chemicals and safe for baby too.

I was recently sent two items from Ten's baby collection, their 'Baby Natural Shampoo' and 'Baby Bath Milk'. After having two babies, we have used many baby bath time products from a range of brands. I hadn't heard of Ten but after reading about them online, I was keen to try out their goodies.

Baby S with her post bath time 'quiff'.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Used To Be The Perfect Parent...

My days quite often start with the first few hours in pyjamas, there is usually someone moaning for something, while the house lays pretty much in a 'post burglary' state 99% of the time. The cats meow constantly for food (their plates are full) and our dog that think's she is a cat walks slowly in front of my feet - trying to kill me? My visions of our perfect Topsy & Tim style home days haven't quite emerged yet, but I'm working on it! We are usually late, we can never find A's shoes and I have had to tell him more than once today to remove his boy bits from objects in the house, just your average day in our household.

We've all done it, judge people we don't know for their parenting skills and how they cope with their children - or don't cope I should say. I still do it to an extent but nowhere near as much as I used to. It's bloody tough this parenting lark at times and you never ever know the whole story.

The Appealing Rabbit Alphabet Cards - Review

Have you heard of the appealing rabbit? If not then you wont be familiar with their lovely sets of alphabet cards! These cards are perfect for helping little ones learn in a slightly different way and can also be used as a game too. These cards were the brain child of Sven-Erik Bergman after a struggle his own son had with his writing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Parenting Gripes

It's not always fun and games having kids and although the world doesn't strictly owe us favour, it could give us a freakin' break at times. Do you know what a year of broken sleep feels like? Sometimes I wonder how I am able to hold myself back instead of unleashing my wrath on some (non) innocent human beings that cause me to be more than a little enraged.

I have a few serious gripes when it comes to being a parent and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Now I can mostly put these gripes down to an inconsiderate list of A-holes, but that wouldn't be a very nice post, so I will try and be a little more subtle and not address them directly.

InstaNatural Pore Tightening Vit C Toner - Review

Spray and tone!

I was recently sent my third item by US brand Insta Natural to try out and review. I have already used two of their products recently (Vitamin C Night Cream and Scar Gel) and I have been really impressed with the outcome and very noticeable improvement to my skin. You can see my review for the moisturiser here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

What's Your Day Job? - Meet Claire J!

This week I will be introducing you to another Claire, a Social Worker and Journalist from my favourite place - Sussex. Here is a little bit about Claire and her day job.

The '11 Random Things' Tag

I was tagged recently by the lovely Lena from forayintofashion.com, for the '11 Random Things' tag post. Here are my answers to the questions set by Lena.

'Braun - Series 5 Flex MotionTec' Razor - Review

I'm not exactly the hairiest of women, so when I was asked to review a razor - I looked straight at my bearded husband for assistance. My husband loves trying new products and gadgets too, so he was excited to try this. Then I remembered my dear old Dad. My Dad can usually be seen with pretty impressive stubble. He has sensitive skin and has been known to be more than a little grumpy when it comes to razors, especially electric ones. I decided he would be the best person to trial this for me. I knew Dad would be brutally honest about this product so I could give it a fair review. Mr Waffle's beard remains in tact - for now!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Wedding Gift Ideas - With Homesense

Love is in the air!

It's that time of year again. Love is in the air, birds are singing, cupid is looking pretty smug and everyone is getting married! Amazing! The only thing that can put some of us off this magical time, is the present buying. What on earth do you buy? Hello and welcome to wedding season. Yikes!

Little meaningful gifts in the new marital home are the perfect way to decorate and remember the special day. I love all the little trinkets we received for our wedding and they are so special to me, having been picked out by my nearest and dearest. I now like to give similar little trinkets (within my budget) and I like to think they are as well received as my own.

Happy Father's Day!

This one goes out to all the Dads, Daddies, Fathers, Grandads, Grandpas, Gramps, GGs, Gagas, Pas, Pops and Fuffs. The ones away working all week, the ones that stay at home with the children, the ones that are thousands of miles and away working with the forces and to any others, whatever they do, that love and support their families and work hard.

My Sunday Photo # 12

My chosen photo for this week is a quick phone snap of one of the barons on the 'baron trail' in Lincoln!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Red Lipstick Days!

OK I admit it, I am a total make up addict. I love buying it, trying it, putting it on, even cleaning it off! I've been known to take it off only to re-apply before bed when I've been make-up shopping, shortly before cleaning it off again! I have always been the same and I was fascinated as a kid too, I loved wearing big stage makeup for dance shows, I think it was my favourite part! My favourite make-up bag staple is my lipstick.

For the last 13 years I have worn bright red lipstick pretty much every day! I don't know what it is. Maybe because I am so pale, drawing lips on actually gives me a people face (ha), or the fact that I feel a gazillion times more glam and happy with it on! Either way, I love it and it's my little bit of happy - however shallow that may be. My signature shade and brand is Maybelline 24/7, number 510 called 'Red Passion'. It is just the best lipstick and lasts so well! I think this all began with a teenage 'No Doubt/Gwen' obsession, an obsession that hasn't gone away, how amazing is she!? 

What's Your Day Job? Meet Claire!

Welcome to the first post in my new 'What's your day job?' feature! If you missed my original post you can find it here.

This week I got to interview the lovely Claire (Aka Little Patts), a food blogger from Breadsticklers. Here is a little bit about Claire and the job that she is so passionate about.

A 'Cherry Good' Q&A - Tamzin Outhwaite

Summer is  on it's way and what could be better to look forward to, than relaxing in the sunshine with a nice big icy cold glass of fruit juice. I'm excited to introduce you to a product that you may not have tried yet, as well as their very own celebrity fan club!

If like me, you are a big fan of anything cherry flavour, then you will be really excited to try 'Cherry Good'. Cherry Good Juice is a refreshing drink made from Montmorency cherry juice. It's available in a 'light' option too, at only 32 calories per serving and makes a great addition to a healthy diet. I literally can't think of a better juice flavour! There is also a regular version if you like things a little sweeter.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Father's Day - Last Minute Gift Help!

It can be really hard finding the perfect gift, especially for Father's Day! If you read my first gift ideas post, you'll know that I for one am particularly  hopeless at buying  my husband presents.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Glossary of A

I noticed today, when the buzz of a blimp sized bumble bee arrived, that my son A referred to him as a bumble bee and not, as he always has done as a 'bum bum bee'. There are so many little words and expressions that A, like all children, uses as his own special unique and adorable misunderstanding of our lovely British language. I thought it was about time I noted some of these 'A-isms' down for the future, as my mind is deleting history as quickly as it's being made. A's language and speech is miles ahead for his age, but every now and then he still uses one of his confused toddler mumblings. I must say I love it and think it's beautiful. I will miss it when it's all gone. I call this 'The Glossary of A'.

A Little Bit About Vitamin D!

This is a bit of a random post, but something I thought would be good to share because of some recent events and the fact I was totally clueless! Here is a little about vitamin D.

I didn't really understand what vitamin D is, where it comes from (other than the sun), or what life would be like without it. I know we are told all the time how important the 'sunshine vitamin' is to our children, but I've never really been sure why or thought how it could affect me too.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Wonderful June Wedding

Two weeks ago we went to a wonderful family wedding, to watch my brother in law marry his beautiful fiance, his now wife and my sister in law! It was such a perfect day, a mix of pretty things, a laid back atmosphere and lots of really cute thoughtful little touches that made it really enjoyable and romantic.  I thought I would share some of the pictures with you and inspire some future weddings with a few of the couples great ideas.

Teething: The Survival Guide.


I'm in the midst of my second dose of baby teething and its painful. Its painful for baby and it's painful for anyone within a mile radius of baby!

There are a few giveaway signs that baby has started teething. Some subtle signs and some worthy of calling the army out for a little support (think devil child).
The early teething signs tend to be baby chewing on things, getting a bit dribbly, snotty and maybe slightly rosier cheeks. Once teething really kicks in you tend to get upset tummies, lots of tears, random screams in the night, extra feeds and cuddles required and a generally grumpy faced baby. The most common sign for my two and probably my least favourite, is the biting. Biting when feeding (ouch) then as they get older just walking up and biting onto my knees or hand, double ouch! I'll be honest, teething is pretty shitty, for want of a better word.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Weight Watchers 'Filling & Healthy' - Review

I've been on weight watchers now since October last year, where I was given a three month free referral. Before that, I lost a little at home following (on and off), the old Weight Watchers 'Discovery' plan. I am leaving my meetings soon, purely for financial reasons and the timings of my local meetings, but I wanted to share with you what I think is a great start to a lifestyle change and healthy diet. This plan is suitable for everyone and particularly great for busy parents that are not always able to spend a long time weighing out foods or worrying about portions and pointing throughout the day.

Organyc 'Sweet Caress' Baby Wipes - Review

Soft, luxurious and organic

I've used most brands of baby wipes on the market now. There are several I am not keen on and a few that are my 'must buy' ones on the shelf. We get through so many wipes in this house, it's rediculous! We use wipes for all sorts, so I do tend to buy them in bulk. The main thing I look for in a decent baby wipe is thickness, moistness, ease of pulling out the packet  - whilst also being gentle enough to not irritate baby's soft skin. The problem I have found with some wipes, is that although they do the job well enough, after a few days of use, baby's skin starts to get sore and we have to move brands. This problem isn't as bad with my daughter, but when my son  (now 3) was a baby we really struggled with some wipes.

My Gratitude List - Week 9

I have been super happy this week! I hate admitting that, I feel it's almost setting myself up for a fall, but I guess sometimes you have to think a bit more positively than that, which is part of the reason I do this list every week. My gratitude list makes me reflect on my week and appreciate the little things.

My Sunday Photo # 11

My Sunday photo for this week is from our early morning nursery run again in the city. I just love seeing the river when nobody is around and it's such a nice light at that time too, until winter at least!

All the swans came to see us in the hope of food, an unfruitful effort for them - sorry to any blog reading swans!

This was the first time baby has seen the swans and it was just a really tranquil happy morning.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

JML 'Finishing Touch' - Review

Have you heard of JML? I'm sure you have, but if not they are reknowned for coming up with unique gadgets and unusual, well priced and useful products. I was asked if I would like to trial and review the JML Finishing Touch Lumina Beauty Trimmer. A small battery operated micro shaver suitable for unwanted facial (and similar) hairs. To see how I got on using this trimmer, read on below.

Easy Summer Smoothie - Recipe

This is a quick, simple, filling and healthy smoothie/milkshake that is so easy to make, my three year old can make it all by himself, though I do supervise the blender part (it's good to keep all his little fingers!). It's so simple I can't really call it a recipe, but as it involves some sort of making and my son loves making it too I thought I would share. It's great for kids as it has no nasties, but it's also good for a full tum and a sweet fix if you are on a weight loss mission.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Quinola - Review

During my weight loss venture, I have heard a few times about the heath benefits of Quinoa and the fact that it's not only filling, but packed full of goodness. I hadn't ever tried it though and I would never have considered it as a choice for the children, just because I really didn't know enough about it and presumed it would take too long to prepare.

My children are three and a half years and ten months old. They both have a varied diet, they aren't particularly fussy and I am always happy to try something new for them. It always feels good knowing they are having filling and healthy foods too.

I was contacted by a company called Quinola and given the chance to try some of their microwave Quinoa meals. These meals come in quick cook microwave sachets - exactly like the quick cook rice sachets you see nowaday's. I was sent both the baby meals, as well as the kids meals and each have a few unusual flavours for children's food that we were excited to try. They were both very different and super quick to cook, in around 30 seconds!

I Love My Home # 2

My kitchen makeover!

When we moved into our home we had lists and lists of things that needed doing. Some structural, damp work, walls taking out etc etc. The list was huge. It still is! We are getting there though and I will share a few of our room makeovers with you over the weeks. 

These pictures are of our kitchen before and after. As always our budget was slim to none. Before, our kitchen was dark and dingy. There is ample wood cladding around here and unfortunately the Swedish sauna look just doesn't cut it anymore. To take the wood panelling off would have led to a can of worms and god knows what! the worktops looked like mouldy cellulite, the oven had had it and everything just looked old fashioned, stank of smoke and was in dire need of a good clean and uplift.

A Crazy Day For Baby!

It already mystifies me how my second baby has grown and changed so quickly. In one day, just a few weeks ago, I noticed five amazing things, one day!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

My Weekly Treat

An Interview With The Boy

I saw this going round a while ago and thought it seemed like fun. You basically question your child without prompting or warning and note down their replies. I'm not sure my three year old son 'A'  -AKA The Boy, understood some of the questions (which is obvious once you read it!) but here we go, my interview with the boy. I would ask the girl (S) too, but at the grand age of ten months I'm pretty sure every answer would sound like I was interviewing some kind of dinosaur, so I will revisit this when she understands more words than Booby and Din dins.

Goodbye Mr. Weight Watchers

Next week will be my last official Weight Watchers meeting/weigh in. I've done really well so far (if I do say so myself) and am sad to leave. I really hope that I can keep it up like I feel I can, as I still have quite some way to go. My thoughts and habits have changed so it does seem achievable. My only worry is that I may feel less motivated not being weighed by someone else, but if I do struggle - I can get weighed by my local nurse at the GP's office, so there are options at least. In the mean time I will be weighing in myself at home, or using the Boots Chemist scales at the same day and time to try and stay on track!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula - Review

Palmer's - Treats for your skin and baby's too!

I have terrible stretchmarks from my first pregnancy where I had severe polyhydramnios (excess fluid) and from around six weeks my skin was put under enormous strain from bloating and swelling. By the time I gave birth I was left with pretty bad scarring under my tummy, the back of my knees, arm pits and my breasts. Unfortunately I don't have the type of stretchy bounce back skin that I would like, so I am left with these marks. As much as they are an a happy reminder of what I put my body through to get my amazing children, they do make me feel a little self conscious at times and the ones on my tummy itch sometimes too.

I was sent some products to try, by the lovely people at Palmer's. I was aware of Palmer's but didn't know much about them, especially the extent to which they have extended their range. Here is a little more about each of the items I was lucky enough to try out.

Salad Nicoise Recipe - Total Diet Food

I was given the opportunity to make, sample and share with you a delicious new summer salad recipe! This would make a great meal for busy parents as it's easy to prepare and great for the slow release of energy to keep us going through the day. The recipe is also packed with antioxidants in the form of vegetables and is a very balanced, easy and delicious way to feel and look fantastic! This salad is packed full with goodness too and contains three star ingredients. Tuna, eggs and Olives. Here is a little more about each, to give you an idea of the health benefits within this meal.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Father's Day Gift Ideas 2015

Don't forget Yo' Daddy - June 21st!

When it comes to Father's Day and buying gifts for men, it can be an entirely awkward affair. I find generally that men don't really want for much, or nothing at least that is affordable. I ask my husband every year what he would like for his birthday, he tells me he would like a £5000 mountain bike and that as he will never get one, he just wants nothing. Helpful! My Dad always informs us that he requires nothing and has enough clothing to see him through to the end, equally as fun to buy for! So what do we get these fuss pots for Father's Day? I like to buy or make something from the children, but if I have the funds I also like to get something to show him that I really do appreciate his hard work and handsomeness. Here are a few suggestions for all budgets and if you have siblings and want something a bit more special, why not club together!

Father's Day Gift Ideas!