10/31/2012

Happy Halloween

Just a quickie to say Happy Halloween I know it's a little late


The Little Goat Soap Company Review*

Yes you read the title correctly... Goat soap, soap that is made from goats milk. I'd never heard of using goats milk for beauty items before so I was definitely curious to what the soap would be like. Having read about goats milk on The Little Goat Soap Company's website it seems goats milk it a great beauty product as it contains vitamins A, E, C, some of the B vitamins, amino and citric acids, unsaturated fatty acids and zinc. Goats milk has also been known to help with sensitive skin and skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

The soap is beautiful and moisturising I have actually been using it in the shower and it lathers up lovely and it has a gorgeous smell. My skin feels silky smooth after so this is definitely moisturising, I wonder if goats milk could be used in body lotion?
The Little Goat Soap Company produce soaps in all different scents such as lavender and Bergamot and lemongrass and rosemary you can find them here all totally relaxing scents. 


I think these lovely handmade soaps would make wonderful little Christmas gifts and they are really affordable prices to suit any budget  and they do mini gift sets like this Gardeners pail and they don't just do soaps they have lip balms too.

10/30/2012

Your Image On Canvas Review*

Our home is beginning to look a bit like a photo gallery of Thomas we have photos of him dotted all around. He is blimmin' gorgeous and I am proud of him so I love to show off his beautiful photos. So when Your Image on Canvas contacted me and asked if I would like to review their product I was thrilled as I have never tried any sort of online canvas printing service, so I was looking forward to seeing how it would turn out.

Now I sent the company the picture I wanted to use and they printed it for me but I did have a mess about with their website to see if it was easy to use and it is. You have the option to first choose your photo, you can either upload from your computer or log in using Instagram which is where I got my photo from to use. Then next you get to choose what size canvas you would like they do so many different sizes and you can choose whether you want landscape, portrait or square and the prices for these canvas start at £34.99 for the 12x12 and that is the size I was sent.

Next you get to choose whether you want the image wrapped around the edges or whether you just want the edges left white. You also get to choose the canvas depth you want. There are so many different options you can get for your canvas so that you can get it exactly how you want it for example you can get the canvas coated or uncoated to protect it from scratches, You can have the image altered to be black and white, plus there are different pop art effects you can choose.


I am so pleased with how the canvas arrived it was well packaged and wrapped in bubble wrap. The quality of the canvas is brilliant and the photo is great quality. Definitely well worth the money as they are really fair prices I have looked on a couple of similar websites and they are really high priced.
One thing that might be nice to see on the website is if they could produce collage canvases too

10/29/2012

Yummy Mummy - 17 Holo Nail Polish Review

After trying and failing to get my hands on the Gosh Holographic Nail Varnish both the original and the re-released versions.  I opted for the next best thing, I had heard a lot of bloggers talk about the Holo Polish by 17 so when I was next in Boots I picked up a bottle for just £3.99.


I've tried my hardest to capture the effect but it's not really working for me but it is really pretty I love it! It looks so different in different lighting. I can't compare it to the Gosh version as like I said I've never been able to try it but I have found a really good comparison here


The photo above was just in natural day light with no flash and the photo below was with flash you can see the effect a little better below.


I found that I only needed two coats for a good coverage and it applied smoothly although the consistency is a little on the thin side. The only downside I could find to this product is that the staying power isn't that great I don't normally bother with a top coat (I know I know naughty me) but this nail varnish chipped like mad over night so you definitely need to use a good top coat with it. It's also one of them nail varnishes that tried to trick you, you know the sort when you think it's dry so you can go about your business like normal and then it smudges like mad.







10/27/2012

Newborn Baby Essentials

I thought I would go through A few things that I think are essentials for your new babies. There are hundreds of things that you can be tricked in to buying but most of them you can do with out and to be honest there are some that are just a big waste of money. In the months before your baby is due money can be a bit tight as there are so many things you do need to buy.

Nappies - Nappies Nappies Nappies you go through so many and lets face it your baby will be wearing these for a good couple of years. So I would recommend everytime you do your monthly shop pick up a packet of nappies and make sure you get a variety of different sizes. You can also pick up a few different brands so that you can pick your favourite.

Baby Wipes - You will also get through so many of these you wont believe. For nappy changes and also in the future for wiping messy faces and sticky hands when you are out and about. I would recommend picking these up whenever you see them on special offer. My nan bless her gets us so many packets of baby wipes everytime we go to see her she has packets for us.

Changing Mat - To keep nappy changes as clean as possible poop can get EVERYWHERE.

Nappy rash cream - Luckily Thomas hasn't had nappy rash yet but some babies can get it quite bad and it can be brought on by teething so it's always handy to have some just incase.

Changing Bag - It doesn't need to be anything expensive Boots parenting club even give away free ones that are pretty good we have kept ours for if David ever takes Thomas out on his own so he doesn't have to take my girly one with him. I would say though by one that is good quality though because you will be taking this absolutely everywhere with you for as long as your baby is in nappies.

Bottles & Steriliser - Even if you start off thinking you are going to breast feed like I did I would still recommend getting some bottles and a steriliser just incase for whatever reason it might not work for you and your baby like it didn't for me and Thomas. Plus you can always use them if you want to express in the future. (If like me you decide to use Tommee Tippee bottles don't bother getting the smaller size bottles just go straight for the big ones as the amount of milk your baby needs soon increases so the smaller bottles will become useless after a few weeks so they are a complete waste of money) You will also need a bottle brush too.

Cot/Crib or Moses Basket - You need to decide what you want your baby to sleep in when they come home. Some people completely miss out Moses Baskets and go straight to cots. You can buy these second hand but please please please always buy new matresses.

Blankets and Bedding - You will need quite a few blankets for using as covers as night and also for use with the pram when you take your baby out.

Pram/ Carseat - You need these ready from day one to bring your baby home. Do your research and test a few out in the shops before you make up your mind. I would highly recommend looking in to travel systems.

Muslin Cloths - These are so so handy I seem to have one permantely over my shoulder or by my side they catch little sicky dribbles. I find these are better than the shoulder pad things that you can get as these mop up mess much better.

Bips - You may think that your baby won't need bips until they are older but they do. If you have a little dribbler like me he dribbles when he feeds and also he started teething at 2 months so they catch the dribble.

Vests - Now the weather is getting a lot colder you will need to make sure your baby is warm enough as they can't maintain their heat like we can. I'll be honest with you when Thomas was born after a couple of weeks we didn't bother with vests as it was quite warm so maybe that's something to think about if you are having a summer baby, we ended up with lots and lots of vests which he never wore but thankfully the 0-3 vests still fit him now he needs them.

Sleepsuits - As obviously they need something to sleep in.

Scratch Mitts - When Thomas was first born we didn't bother with scratch mitts as he never scratched him self but now he has cradle cap and baby eczema he is very itchy. If you can find sleep suits where you can fold the sleeves over to form mitts and obviously your baby wont be able to pull them off.

Socks/ Booties - You have to keep the little tootsies warm.

Hats - When your baby is first born they will need a little cotton hat to keep them warm, as I have said before they cant maintain their temperature. You will also need a thicker hat now its getting cold for when you go out.

Cardigans/ Coats - Especially now it's getting cold your baby needs more layers. If you are checking your babies temperature feel their chest or back and don't let them get too warm (don't go by their hands, feet, face and these are sometimes cool even if your baby is quite warm)

Baby Monitors - If you are going to be putting your baby to bed before you go bed then you then these are a must. In the early weeks when Thomas was napping all over the place I didn't take him upstairs until I was ready to go bed. Now he is in a routine and goes to sleep about 7:30 obviously we have to use them.

Play Mat - Even at a couple of days old babies need some sort of stimulation they don't want to be lying in their Moses basket staring at the ceiling so get them a nice colourful mat with some dangly toys to look at.

Swing Chair - We have the Fisherprice space saver swing chair and it was an absolute god send in the early days. Thomas is such a nosey baby so always wanted to have a good view of everything. Plus it use to be the only way I could get him to take naps. If you can try and get a chair that will swing, vibrate and play music and babies find this very soothing.

What do mummys need in the early days?
You do need to think of yourself too and there are some essentials that you need.

Massive big pants - If like me you need an unexpected C-section you will be living in big pants for a long time after. So get yourself a few packs just incase plus you will need them as you will be wear pads, which takes me to my next item.

Maternity Pads - You will get through packs and packs of these after birth as you will bleed rather heavily for quite a few weeks after. Whether you have a natural birth or a section. I just got Boots own brand and I think they were about £1.10 so stock up.

Breast Pads - Whether you breast feed or not you will still need these as some mummys still get leaky even if they don't breast feed.

Nipple Cream - I recommend Lanolin simply because it works and you don't need to wash your nip before you feed your baby as it doesn't matter if they ingest it.



10/26/2012

Yummy Mummy - Sranrom Get Lively Hand Lotion Review*

Hand lotions or creams are a must have for me since being on maternity leave and having Thomas I seem to always have my hands in water whether it's washing the dishes, bathing him or just washing my hands after a nappy change so my hands were getting so dry.

So I need a hand lotion that works and this hand cream from Sranrom certainly does after a couple of weeks of using it just a couple of times a day I've noticed my hands are feeling a lot softer and not as dry as they were.

Firstly let me tell you a bit more about Sranrom as I hadn't heard much about them before. Here is what it says on their site "`Sranrom` (pronounced sa-raan-rom), is a poetic Thai word, which describes the wonderful , and most desirable feelings of pleasure, serenity and contentment.
Sranrom was the brainchild of two young Thai career women. Each were raised in regular Thai homes, where traditional knowledge and herbal antidotes were integrated into all aspects of daily life from food and health to personal care. When the founders met, they realized they shared a vision, a passion and an ethos, and set up our company to produce high quality, natural products, all derived from the ancient Thai philosophies of well-being."

 
This hand lotion contains Orange and Ginger oils and it says that Thai's have been using Orange oil to refresh the senses whilst the Ginger oil is known for it's warming abilities. This lotion is also formulated without all the nasties such as Parabens, silicone and synthetic colours and fragrances. Instead it contains 100% Plant Active ingredients and essential oils and best of all it's cruelty free.

This hand cream is quite thick so you don't need to use very much of it but it's not greasy which is a must for me it also dries really quickly so you can get on with what you need to do without having to wait for your hands to dry.

As soon as you pump out the cream the beautiful orange and ginger scent hits you instantly it's really gorgeous. I'm not normally a fan of heavily scented hand products but I can make an exception for this one I can't stop sniffing my hands after I put it on. This is a 250ml bottle and this retails on the site for £14 which I think is a pretty good price for the size of the bottle as like I said before you don't really need to use that much of it as a little goes a long way.

If you would like to have a nosey at the other products that Sranrom you can find them here. http://www.sranrom.co.uk/

10/25/2012

Sensory Play - Fun With Water

I've been reading a bit about Sensory play lately and the benefits for your babies learning and brain development by using their 5 senses. So I thought I would do a little series on my blog documenting the different sensory activities we have been exploring.

The first activity we tried was playing in water. Thomas isn't really big enough for playing with toys in the bath yet as he can't sit up on his own so I thought I'd get him a bowl of water and let him have a play and make a mess with some of his bath toys that squirt water.

Thomas loved splashing his hands in the water and he found the noises the squeaky noises absolutely hilarious. I have a video of him chuckling his head off. Who would have thought such a cheap game like like this could be so much fun.

It was good to see Thomas's hand eye coordination when trying to pick up the toys and splashing them back in the water. It's really good he knows exactly what he wants and he goes and gets in. I was also using this for a bit of strength in his back as he was sitting up pretty much on his own for a lot of the time.

What sensory games do you like to do with your children or babies?

10/24/2012

Christmas Gift Ideas - All Occasion Sweet Shop*

When I think of Christmas one of the main things I think about is sweets, chocolate and food (Then I wonder why I can't loose weight) Christmas is for eating and being naughty. That's where the Retro sweets from All Occasion Sweet Shop come in.

My mouth is watering just looking at the photos of all the yummy sweets on the website.
All of the sweets start from prices as low as £1.29 and there are various weight options available take a look at the full range of retro sweets

There are also sweet jars and hampers available which will make fab gifts for Christmas, (Are you looking David I particularly like the look of the Retro sweet gift box which at £12.94 is a fab price.)

There are some really fab gift hampers at prices to fit everybody's  budget ranging from £12.94 to £59.98 with free delivery on orders over £50. The  sweet hampers are also reusable so after you have munched all of your yummy sweets you can use them to store your other Christmas gifts in. 

The Old fashioned Christmas hamper is filled with all lovely chocolate and sweets perfect for Christmas such as Terry's Chocolate Orange and gold coins. I use to have these in my stocking every year so they remind me perfectly of Christmas.



The sweetie hampers aren't just for Christmas, they have hampers for Valentines day, Birthdays, Halloween, Bonfire night and to say Congratulations. Plus The Old Fashioned Sweet shop can also cater for Corporate events, Weddings and Parties. 

This is a sponsored post although I haven't been paid in money I have been paid in sweets yum

10/23/2012

Funky Giraffe Dribble Bib Review*

Thomas has been teething since about 2 months, it's fairly normal for babies to start teething quite early on but they don't normally cut any teeth until a few months after. Normal bibs just aren't cutting it with Thomas anymore they are just too thin and I find I get through so many during the day it's ridiculous. I was going to buy some of the bibs with the plastic backing but I had heard some bad things about them, such as they don't wash very good.

I had heard about dribble bibs in the past but to be honest I didn't really give them another thought as I thought they were a bit gimmicky to try and get you to spend more money on something you don't really need when you have normal bibs.

When I was given the chance to review these I was interested to see what they would be like. Funky Giraffe bibs have so many different designs for both boys and girls from just plain bibs to ones with patterns and pictures on you are spoilt for choice. I was sent the ones below which I love I especially like the bib with the whale it's so cute. I love how unlike normal boring bibs these don't spoil your babies outfits they are really quite trendy.


These bibs are so soft you can tell they are a good quality, they are made with a super soft brushed cotton material which is lovely and soft and fits nice and snug around your babies neck. There are also poppers on these bibs instead of Velcro which is great if you have a clever monkey like me who can take Velcro bibs off.  The back of the bibs is made with a soft fleece material which ensures that no dribble seeps through which makes dribble rash a thing of the past.

If like me you are thinking normal bibs are just as good as these, I would strongly urge you to go with these as normal bibs don't protect your babies neck as good as these do. Funky Giraffe bandana bibs retail for £4 each (the XL version as a little bit more) but what's great with the site is the more you buy.


 Thomas loves his new bibs don't they look really fab :)

Funky Giraffe don't just do bibs they also sell romper suits, dresses, hats and much more all with funky designs on they so you will have the best dressed baby around.

10/22/2012

What If I'm Doing Something Wrong?

Becoming a mum for the first time is a very scary experience and I'll admit in the weeks leading up to Thomas's arrival I was pretty terrified. Sure I've had a bit of experience with babies I've got a younger sister and brother and younger cousin's but I've never had to look after a tiny baby for any length of time before. So I had moments of panic thinking what if I don't know what to do if he cries or what if he gets poorly what do I do then. What about if I'm getting him dressed and accidentally brake him?

The reality is when your baby comes along something clicks in your head and you know what to do, you start recognising the different cries (Or in Thomas's case the screams) You know when he is tired rather than hungry and you know when he is just getting bored and wants to be picked up and fussed for a while. There are of course times when Thomas's cries for no apparent reason but all you need to do is keep calm and work through a list of possibilities in your head of what could be wrong. Babies can pick up when you are tense so always keep calm. Also when they are really young you wont accidentally pull a limb off when you are getting them dressed, babies are quite sturdy really just look at how the midwifes pull them about when you are giving birth.

In the early days we use to put Thomas is to his swing chair to go to sleep people would have told us that was wrong and it would be a bad habit to get in to but he was soon out of that habit and he hasn't used that chair to fall asleep in for weeks.

Worrying that you are doing wrong doesn't end there either, No I worried when we couldn't get on with breast feeding I felt like I was failing as a mum but David was very supportive and I know now that breast feeding wasn't for us, we give it a go at least but it didn't work for us. Thomas is doing great on his bottles and that's good enough for me. I was also worried in case I was doing the wrong this with weaning him at 4 months but I knew milk wasn't doing anything for him with the amount he was guzzling before bedtime, so I began to give him some puree with his bed time feed and he loves it. If he wasn't interested I wouldn't of tried I would have left it for a month or so and then tried again. But Thomas is loving all of the new tastes and he is a lot more settled these days so that just shows he was ready.

At the minute Thomas wakes around 6am and I bring him in to our bed where he will go sleep for another hour or 2. Some people will tell me that I shouldn't be doing that as it's a bad habit to get in to. For now though I like it especially as he's in his own room, it's my time to have a cuddle and I love falling to sleep listening to him breathe. I don't mind much about him being in the habit of waking up at 6am either as when I go back to work that's what time we will have to get up anyway.

I think as parents we will always worry in case we are doing something wrong, I know I will. I will worry about sending him to the right nursery the right schools but I guess what I'm trying to say is nobody knows your baby like you do. You know what is best

Personalised Stocking and Sweetie Jar Giveaway.

I have a lovely Christmassy giveaway for you lovely people. You may remember a couple of weeks ago I featured Personalised Gifts Boutique on my blog and they asked if I would like to hold a giveaway on my blog to give one of my lovely readers the chance to win a personalised Christmas stocking just in time for Christmas.

Personalised Gifts Boutique haven't just got Stockings, they have lots of other Christmas gifts such as Santa sacks, Personalised letters from Santa and gifts for a babies first Christmas and they can all be personalised to suit. Check out the full range of Personalised Christmas gifts

Here is the Christmas Stocking you could win and it can be personalised to your child's name

I will also be offering this yummy jar of sweets that can also be personalised. So that will be one Christmas present you can get ticked off your list.


 To be in with a chance to win enter via Rafflecopter below.


  a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

10/21/2012

Séraphine Puffa Quilt Maternity Bag Review*


When you become a mum your old handbags take a back seat in favour of your changing bag. For my birthday I treated myself to a new bag and since then I've hardly used it I just can't be bothered to lug two bags about with me so I just put my bits that I need in to Thomas's changing bag. So you need to make sure that you have got a trendy and versatile changing bag as this will soon become your everyday handbag.
 
www.seraphine.com is a leading maternity fashion brand selling everything any Yummy Mummy or Yummy Mummy to be will need, to see them through pregnancy and beyond. They have some absolutely gorgeous maternity clothes for both casual everyday wear and some stunning evening dresses to prove you don't have to look frumpy and unfashionable whilst you're pregnant. I wish I had known about them when I was pregnant. Séraphine also have some beautiful clothes for if you are breast feeding, you know how some nursing clothes look really obvious with the flaps. Well if you saw somebody wearing some of the clothes on the website you wouldn't have a clue the lady wearing it was breast feeding.
 
The Séraphine Puffa Quilt Maternity Bag is the perfect trendy Yummy Mummy changing bag. It looks good on your arm, in fact I would say this particular bag is perfect for this time of year with the style and colour wouldn't you?
 
 
One of the best bits about this bag is that empty it only weighs 500g It is literally like holding air. I really love this part of the design some bags are so heavy before you even put the millions of things you need to carry around with you. Another great thing about this bag is that the straps are quite thick and padded so even when it's full the straps don't rub or dig in to your shoulders which is something I didn't like about my old bag.
 
 
The bag has lots of pockets inside which is exactly what you need for keeping all of your baby essentials organised. It has two quite big zip pockets as you can see in the picture above, also in between the zip pockets there is a little pouch where you can keep some of your items you want easy access to. 

 
There are also two pockets that come in pretty handy I use the smaller one to keep my phone in so I'm not rooting around in the bottom of the bag and the larger one to keep my keys in.

 
The changing bag also includes a Leopard print wipe clean changing mat which folds up quite small and I love the print, I'm quite partial to a bit of Leopard print. There is also a softly padded bottle warmer which matches the interior of the bag which is really cute I can't believe a bottle warmer can be fashionable. Both of these are changing bag must haves and I'm glad they come with the bag and you don't need to buy them separately.
 
When I first looked at the bag I thought this is never going to fit all the things I need for Thomas in it as it seems quite small, but it's a bit like a tardis even with all the essentials I normally take with me on a daily basis there is still space for lots more things.
 
This bag retails for £69.00 which I think is great for a changing and this one is certainly worth the money because think about it you will be using this bag on every outing until your baby is out of nappies and you don't need to take so much out with you. Plus like I said before you can even use this as a normal bag if you wanted to as it doesn't really look like a changing bag.
 
I'll also be doing a "What's in my changing bag" post featuring this bag very soon so keep an eye out for that.
 




10/20/2012

Bepanthen Baby Moisturiser Review*


A few months ago now I was sent this moisturiser by Netmums to try out and review.
Before this I had been using Johnson baby moisturiser on Thomas and it wasn’t really doing much on Thomas’s skin he was still quite dry. So when I was offered the chance to review this I was happy to try it to see it it would soothe Thomas’s skin.
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This moisturiser is for extra sensitive skin it is free from preservatives, alcohol and fragrances, it is also suitable to use on newborn skin.
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The moisturiser is quite thick so at first I thought it would be quite hard to get it to rub in but surprisingly it dries on the skin really easily so Thomas’s skin doesn’t feel sticky or greasy and I can get him dressed straight away without having to wait until he dries.
Another thing I like about this product is that it is fragrance free I’m not too keen on baby products that are scented .
Unfortunately I have had to stop using this product now as Thomas has been diagnosed with baby eczema so we are using special lotions and potions but I would still recommend this cream. For a 100ml tube this retails for around £5.99 so I think this is a great price and I think it would last quite a while.
Have you tried this moisturiser? What did you think of it?

Yummy Mummy - Sparklable Jewellery Review*

With Jewellery I would rather have really nice handmade and unusual costume Jewellery than really expensive items for the simple reason you can have more of it that way. I love designs that are quite eye catching, things that you don't see very often. That is why I love the items on Sparklable Jewellery they are really unique pieces.

Sparklable Jewellery is made by a lady called Christine who with her passion of gemstones decided to start making her own jewellery late last year. All of the gemstones that Christine uses are genuine and she uses 925 sterling silver.



The jewellery comes really nicely packaged, wrapped in tissue paper and then in a small Organza bags.

This necklace is from the Swirld in Motion range, I was drawn to the Swirld in motion range there are necklaces and earrings available and they are made from beautiful glass swirls with glitter foil and then they are on a coordinating ribbon




The Swirld necklaces are only £10 each which I think is great for handmade jewellery you can get jewellery on the high street for more than this which are nowhere near as nice. Christine also makes matching earrings which are only £5 and all prices include P&P



They really are lovely jewellery pieces I also really like the Hearts of glass that she makes these are also only £10.
I'd highly recommend Sparklable Jewellery the items are great quality and prices and also the delivery is really fast I received the necklace in just a couple of days. You can also find Christine on Twitter


10/19/2012

My Very First OOTD

I'm pretty nervous about this post, but I thought it was about time to start showing my ugly mug on my blog ekkk scary, be nice!
 
So here I am, head to toe in Primark. Some people turn their noses up at Primark but I have always loved it, you can update your wardrobe cheaply and I have never had any problems with any of their clothes and they have always lasted me a long time. So why pay Topshop prices when you can get great stuff from Primark
 
 
I have challenged myself to wear more dresses (yeah now it's nearly winter) The light knit dress was a bargain at £11
I have wanted one of these coloured cardigans for so long I think it can be quite a versatile colour and I will be able to wear it with quite a few different outfits. This was only £10
The tights are also from Primark and they were £2
 

 
Can you tell I'm pretty awkward having my photo taken.
 
 
Here is my teething necklace that I won from a Blog competition that I entered a little while ago. A full post on this can be found here
 
Now I've bit the bullet and shown my face I think you might be seeing a lot more of me on here from now on. 

10/18/2012

Yummy Mummy Training - A Weighty Issue

This week Emma from ameliasmum.wordpress.com is telling us why she is wanting to loose weight after having her baby but Emma wants to do it more so she can be an active Mummy chasing her little girl around the park.

A Weighty Issue?
Baby weight.

There I said it. That dreaded word...or two words, actually.
Do I have it?

Yes.
Did I have it before I got pregnant? Yes, only then it was just called fat.

FAT.
F.A.T

Hopefully sharing a little of my weight loss story (so far) will hopefully go some way to helping other new mums deal with their baby-weight issues, or, let's face it, just general weight issues. This is something I'm unfortunately all too familiar with, having struggled with my weight since I was a teenager.

Why oh WHY didn't I get my brother's fast metabolism and lean frame? I mean, we're twins! It's so unfair. *cries uncontrollably*

Sorry...I'm back.

And I really do mean that - I actually feel like I'm starting to get back to my old self again. I had lost 2 stone (28lbs for any pals from the States reading this) before I got pregnant, then of course, as you do, piled it all on again during my pregnancy (NOT including the 10lb 4oz that was Amelia herself!).

So what to do? After Amelia was born I made a promise to myself that I wasn't going to be a lardy Mum. I want to be a Mum that can chase Amelia around the park and go swimming with her without embarrassment, and all those other lovely things that healthy, active Mums do. It's not about looking slim or fitting into skinny jeans (although that is a major bonus), its about being able to be a healthy person and set a good example to my daughter.

Today I had my weekly weigh-in and for the first time in ten years, yes tenyears, I am under a certain weight...I won't say what stone marker I've just slipped under, as the mortification is too painful because I still have to lose another 3 stone, but I did have a little emotional moment of happiness, because as of today I've lost 25lbs, not bad going for 18 weeks.

I know its hard for some women once they've had a baby to be able to focus on weight loss or even think about joining a weight loss club like I have, as there is so much going on in their lives, and they are coping with massive changes on every level; but having a child is a great boost to make you eat more healthily or even go out for big bracing walks with the pram. It can make a difference, trust me.

Not to get too preachy and 'Jerry's Final Thought', but being a teacher and seeing what the youth of today eat on a daily basis is incredibly depressing...we need to teach our children what good food is and lead by example.

Lord, I hope I don't read back over this in a years time from my reinforced sofa while wearing a bed sheet size nightie and chomping my way through a bargain bucket...

10/17/2012

Baby Book Corner - Grumpy Jumpy Freddy Frog*

 
As you know if you have been following my blog for a while reading is very important to me and I want reading to be an important part of Thomas's life as he grows up, I hope to pass on my love of books to him. So I thought I may start doing book reviews of some of the books we read together.
 
So in this post I am going to talk about this book Grumpy Jumpy Freddy Frog written by Kate Thompson that we were sent by Top That Publishing to review. I believe when you are reading with children you should make story time fun use funny voices and interact with them as your reading. Nobody wants to listen to you drone on in a monotone voice especially not babies or small children.
 

 
I love these hand puppet books as you get to add a bit more to story time you can make them more fun and it is a great way of keeping a babies attention for longer. Thomas loved this book and once we had finished the story we carried on playing with the frog for a while and he was giggling his little head off. I think he will also enjoy this book in a couple of years when he is old enough to put his hand in to the frog and he can make the frog move.
 

 
The story is about a grumpy frog who is sad that he hasn't got any friends because he is so grumpy so he decides that he needs to change his ways to make friends with the other animals around the pond.
 
This book is full of bright eye catching illustrations perfect for keeping your childs attention. Babies especially need brightly coloured pictures to keep their attention. You can purchase this book here www.topthatpublishing.com for £6.29 which I think is a bargain for this type of book with the hand puppet. 

10/16/2012

I'm A Winner - H3idiHo Designs

A few weeks ago I entered a competition over on Online Mummys blog. The prize was to pick a teething necklace of your choice from Heidi's website http://www.etsy.com/shop/H3idihoDesigns So this is the one I chose as I thought the colour could be worn with quite a few different outfits.
 
 
It really is a lovely necklace and I'm so please I won the chance to try one of her necklaces. Thomas likes messing with it too and I'm not too worried he will snap it of break it like I am my other necklaces as it is quite strong.
 
 
Another good point is that even though this lady is based in the US the necklace only took a few days to actually come :)

10/15/2012

Our Weaning Journey - Different tastes

Thomas has been having some food before he goes bed for about 2/3 weeks now. I have been giving him baby rice, banana and peach breakfast and mashed banana. Now he has got use to eating off the spoon and he is enjoying the food I have decided to start introducing stronger tastes to Thomas.

At the minute we are just using some jars although I have a hand blender now so I am going to start making my own food too. Baby food looks pretty disgusting doesn't it. 


I don't think I would be very impressed eating something the same colour as baby poop either Thomas.



It took a little while for him to get use to the taste of spinach and potato bake. I love his face in this picture.



No he isn't doing the hand motion to a naughty word he is expressing how much he is enjoying what he is eating he's saying "Yeahhhh get in ma belly"



I love how excited Thomas gets when he is eating and I hope he carries on enjoying it. This was the most Thomas has ever ate  he finished half a jar so mummy was very impressed with her big boy.

I will be doing a post soon about the food I make for Thomas so keep a look out for that if you are wanting some home made weaning food recipes.

Book Review - The Lighthouse by Alison Moore

When Michelle from http://mummyratesit.co.uk/ asked if anybody would be interested in taking part in a blog linky where we would each read one of the books that had been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, I jumped at the chance I love to read and I thought it would be a great chance to read a book that I wouldn't normally think about reading. You see I'm normally an airy fairy chick lit reader so this would be a good chance to read something different.

There are 7 of us in this linky and here is what we chose

http://themcleanhalladventure.blogspot.co.uk/ who is reading Bring up the bodies
http://mummyisagadgetgeek.co.uk/ who is reading The Garden of Evening Mists.
http://babybishbosh.blogspot.com/ who is reading Swimming Home.
http://circusqueen.co.uk/ who is reading Narcopolis.
So let me tell you about The Lighthouse, This story is about a guy called Futh (You never get to find out his first name) who has recently split from his wife and who is going on a week long walking holiday, I suppose to gather his thoughts about his recent split.
During Fuths first night in Germany he stays in a hotel called Hellhaus where he sees the landlady Ester. They never really meet or talk but she is seen coming out of Futh's room by her husband who thinks she has been up to no good when infact she was just delivering some supper for Futh. This is also where you first hear of the little lighthouse he carries around with him, you later find out that this belonged to his mother and it is the only real reminder her has of her. The story is then sort of split in two and you hear Esters story too. Even though Futh and Ester virtually never meet or speak to one another but the whole story is about how they are connected.
Futh’s first full day of his walking holiday his thoughts of his wife Angela fill his head how they met, their marriage and how it failed.He also thinks about his life when he was younger growing up with just his father as him mother left them when he was younger.  
After Futh's week of walking and getting his head straight he heads back to Hellhous where he finds the consequences of the misunderstanding that happened between Ester and her husband.
This is a sad novel definitely not one to read if you are after a light, happy book. It's quite an easy read you don't really have to think about it very much. For a book that has been shortlisted for the Man Booker prize I thought it would be better than it was or maybe I just think this because it's not my normal kind of book?
If you would liketo read reviews of the other books you can read them here http://mummyratesit.co.uk/blog-linky-the-man-booker-shortlist/

10/14/2012

Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers


Going back to work after Maternity leave can be a stressful time for both leaving you baby in a new environment for possibly the longest period of time since they were born to the stress of worrying how you are actually going to be able to afford to go back to work when childcare costs are so high.

Even though I have a few months left before I go I have to start back work it's never to early to think about what you are going to do childcare wise.

I had heard about Childcare Vouchers before but never really looked in to them but here Busy Bees Benefits explains all about them.

Increase Your Family Budget

You may have found your family budget becoming strained more and more recently.  The rise in household bills, food, fuel and childcare at a time when your finances are already stretched will ultimately put pressure on your disposable income.

As wages have decreased or at best remained the same, the cost of childcare adds more pressure on working families.  Some families are even considering giving up work to save on childcare costs as they can take up to half of a parent’s salary and fees have continued to rise, with an increase of 6% in the last year alone*. 
 

How can you save money?

There are options for working parents to save money on their childcare costs, increasing their family budget, allowing some of the financial pressure to be taken away.  Busy Bees Benefits offer working parents a Childcare Voucher scheme which could save a family over £1800 per year.  Both working parents can exchange up to £243 per month in Childcare Vouchers which attract tax and National Insurance savings.  These vouchers are then used to pay for any registered childcare for children up to the age of 16.

How do childcare vouchers work?

·         Your employer registers with Busy Bees Benefits, free of charge.

·         You tell your employer how much you would like to be deducted, up to £243 per parent, per month, depending on your individual circumstances.

·         Your employer deducts this amount from your wages, of which no tax or National Insurance is taken, they then calculate your tax and National Insurance from your remaining salary, saving you up to £933 per year.

·         Log in to your dedicated account online to pay your childcare provider with the vouchers and it’s as easy as that!

Is everyone entitled to exchanging wages for childcare vouchers?

Any working parent paying tax via PAYE can exchange some of their salary for childcare vouchers.  Unfortunately, self-employed parents cannot currently use Childcare Vouchers.

Can you only use vouchers to pay for nurseries?

Childcare vouchers can be used to pay registered nurseries, playgroups, crèches, au pairs, out of school clubs, holiday schemes, activity camps and independent school childcare.

What are the benefits of using Busy Bees Benefits?

·         Save money on tax and National Insurance.

·         Busy Bees Benefits is part of the Busy Bees group which has over 200 nurseries nationwide, parents using Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers in a Busy Bees nursery will automatically receive an extra 5% credit on top of your voucher values.

·         All working parents, scheme administrators and childcare providers will get free access to retail discounts of up to 20% off a wide range of high street and online stores.

·         Busy Bees Benefits offers working parents access to their Emergency Childcare service, the perfect back-up plan should your childcare provider be unavailable.

 
Do you want to save more?

Busy Bees Benefits are currently running a campaign called ‘Mind the Gap – Raise the Cap’ to increase the current Childcare Voucher cap from £55 per week (£243 per month) to £75.  The aim of the campaign is to make childcare more affordable for working parents by helping them to save more money.  Raising the cap to £75 per week will increase the savings parents can make by more than £300, totalling potential savings to over £1200 per parent, per year.

An e-petition has been set up to persuade the government to make the change.  100,000 signatures are required for the issue to be eligible for debate in the House of Commons.  The petition can be found here - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/31669.

For more information about Childcare Vouchers visit www.busybeesbenefits.com.  Follow Busy Bees Benefits on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date information about the cap campaign and Childcare Vouchers.

* Daycare Trust’s Annual Childcare costs survey 2012

 
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