Saturday, 23 April 2016

Caesarean Awareness Month - Feeling Out Of Control In a Familiar Environment

"We're taking you to theatre!". I can still hear those 5 words now as if I was right back in the delivery room. 5 words that shouldn't be unfamiliar to me or make me feel uncomfortable. I remember feeling so many mixed emotions. In fact I cried. I'm still not sure if that was from relief, fear or feeling like a failure. 

"We're taking you to theatre!" Why was this making me so upset? I should feel completely safe and at home there, after all I work in one. In fact I have 'scrubbed in' for caesareans and I knew exactly what was coming. Why was I feeling like this?

"We're taking you to theatre!" All those hours pushing and for what, to lose it all at the last minute. They were taking me to the one place I really didn't want to go. I remember my husband telling me it was going to be ok. I remember the consultant telling me it was going to be ok. I remember the midwife telling me it was going to be ok. So why did I not feel ok?

"We're taking you to theatre!". The doors were pushed open. Various midwifes were waving at me from the desk. "Good luck", "won't be long until you meet your daughter". I smiled and nodded but I was fighting back the tears. The corridor seemed so long, it was all a blur. My husband was taken away from me to get changed into scrubs and I was wheeled into theatre without him.

"We're taking you to theatre!". The bright lights felt almost heavenly. It was so bright. The brightness scared me and i'm not sure why. I lay on the operating table feeling overwhelmed. The noise was overpowering. In hindsight it wasn't at all but I remember every single sound. I remember the beeping from the anaesthetic machine, the clatter of the surgical instruments, the scrub nurse performing her checks (normally my role), the water running in the sink where the surgeon was washing his hands and the background music (the bond theme song that I hated). I heard every single sound.

"We're taking you to theatre!" I lay there, alone, frightened, nervous. I felt so heavy on the cold table. I felt insignificant on the table. I felt out of control and I hated it. I spoke really fast. I talked as much as I could and to anybody that would listen. I spoke so much rubbish in the space of 10 minutes. 

"We're taking you to theatre!" My husband finally joined me. The operation started. So many familiar sounds. Too much knowledge running through my head. I couldn't relax, I couldn't switch off. So many thoughts running through my head. This was not what I wanted. This is not how I imagined I would deliver my baby. I knew I was safe. I knew what to expect yet I felt like the whole room was spinning. I have never felt so out of control in my life.

"We're taking you to theatre!" Oh my goodness she's here. The tears are flowing. My face is wet from crying. I just want to hold her and not let go. I just wish I could sit up and hold her properly. I want to cradle her, kiss her, cuddle her. I can attempt these things but the amount of movement I can make is out of my control. I'm so angry and frustrated. Please just give her to me.



"We're taking you to theatre!" I'm still here. I'm still on this table. I just want my baby. I want to leave this room. I want to be a mum. I don't want to be lying here. Please just hurry up. My emotions are running wild. I'm happy, sad, relieved, excited, nervous, frustrated, tired, uncomfortable, uneasy, powerless,".

"We're taking you to theatre!" Those 5 simple words, those 5 life changing words. 5 simple words I did not want to hear. 5 simple words that made me experience child birth from a different perspective. Those 5 words that sometimes make people think you haven't experienced child birth properly. Those 5 words that make you out of control. Those 5 words that still bring me so many mixed emotions. 

"We're taking you to theatre!" Does this make me less of a mother? Does this mean I am not as strong as others? No! The answer is always no. I have experienced a natural birth and a caesarean and there is no way that the caesarean is the easy option. Each are beautiful and traumatic in their own special way.

"We're taking you to theatre!" Have you been? What did you think?





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Friday, 22 April 2016

The Swissotel Sydney - Review

You may have read my review of the kids room at the Swissotel Sydney which is quite frankly the most amazing child friendly hotel room we have ever stayed in. It's now time to tell you about our room and the rest of the hotel.

The Swissotel Sydney is a 5* hotel with a fantastic central location on Market Street. It's within walking distance of all the major shopping centres, darling harbour and the cities major attractions.

We used the valet parking service which I would highly recommend if you are driving to the hotel. With 2 children in tow and a busy street to deal with, it was so easy to just drop the car off outside the hotel and to also have it dropped back off when we wanted to leave.

The hotel reception/lobby are is very large and has a wonderful contemporary feel to it. We were checked in to the hotel very quickly which I thought was great. There is nothing worse than waiting in a huge queue and spending half an hour in reception (especially when travelling with children).

Our room was connected to our daughter's room. It was one of the newly renovated premier rooms. I loved how the room was styled. It was very 'clean' looking. It had a colour palette of crisp white and shades of grey and was filled with modern furniture. There was a long corridor to the actual bedroom and bathroom which I liked as it made the room feel more like an apartment.



The bed was absolutely huge. It really was the focal point of the room which I like. You had an option of changing your pillows if they weren't to your liking from the pillow menu. There was plenty of room around the bed. We were able to put the travel cot next to the bed which didn't make the room feel cramped. 




The mini bar was well stocked with lots of different delights. The Swissotel really tries to make your stay as comfortable and as stress-free as possible. The fact that they had a worldwide adapter for you to use is such a helpful idea. It may seem a small gesture but I think it's a brilliant one.



The bathroom was a really good size and it had a separate bath and shower. I hate rooms where they have the shower in the bath. I didn't manage to use the bath but the shower was lovely. 

We ordered room service for dinner which arrived fairly quickly. I was very impressed with the food especially the Sydney Oysters. Hubby had a steak as a main and I had a nasi goreng.



Wifi was provided free which I think is a great feature. I must admit I hate anywhere where you have to pay for it.

The selection of food for breakfast was massive. You could have had anything you could wish for. There was hot, cold, a massive selection of cereals, waffles, continental and more. You name it, they had it. My eggs benedict was perfect.




The hotel has a fully equipped gym, spa and an outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi. I was desperate to try a spa treatment but we ran out of time after sightseeing.

Overall, we were very impressed with our stay here. The hotel room was a great size. The room service food was so tasty. I'm currently salivating remembering those oysters. The location is perfect, so central and within easy walking distance of all the best attractions. 

**The Swissotel provided us with an overnight stay and breakfast in exchange for our honest opinion**




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Monday, 18 April 2016

The Stroller That Thinks It's A Backpack

A couple of weeks ago, we were kindly invited to The Gadget Show Live to preview the newest stroller on the block, Omnio



The Omnio is a stroller that thinks it's a backpack. To put it simply it easily folds down into a wearable product making it ideal for adventure and travel loving families. It is perfect for families who are always on the move. The stroller has been designed for ages 6 months old to a maximum weight of 22kg. 

I was instantly drawn to it's design. I think it's a very smart, modern looking stroller which is available in 3 colours - black, red and a fab turquoise colour (which was my personal favourite). You will also be able to purchase some matching accessories which are a changing bag, insulated bottle bag and a stroller bag. All can be cleverly fitted to the stroller which is a dream come true for any parent. The less we have to carry the better.



The stroller comes with a fully detachable rain cover and sun hood to suit all weather conditions.

Hubby being the engineer that he is was immediately drawn to the wheels of the stroller and noticed that they were different to the norm. They have a series of curved rollers which means the wheel can not only spin but it can roll sideways. If i'm honest this technical explanation went over my head but what I will say is that when I had a go at pushing the stroller it handled extremely well. It was incredibly lightweight and agile and easily moved whichever way you wanted it to go.
They are also puncture proof which is great for all terrain surfaces.


The stroller easily folds down into a backpack which you can then carry leaving you hands free to attend to your child. This is such a great feature as I can't begin to tell you how many times Eva used to want to get out of her stroller when she could walk, leaving me to battle with looking after her whilst pushing the stroller at the same time. 
This feature is also ideal for all types of travel. I imagine it would be very useful on train and tube journeys. It's also handy for plane travel. As much as i've always wanted Eva to stay in her stroller around an airport, the excitement is always too much for her and she has to run about, once again leaving me pushing the stroller and trying desperately to multi task.
When the stroller is on your back it isn't too heavy. No heavier than carrying a change bag.


The size of it folded down, has a great appeal to me. It folds to 53 x 41 x 28cm. We actually had to change our car when we first had Eva as we couldn't get any pushchair to fit in the boot. It will be able to be stored away neatly in a cupboard, under a desk or in a boot without taking up too much room.


The Omnio will soon be available to pre order but for now you can sign up to their newsletter here to be the first to hear about the launch and more about the product, Newsletter Sign Up. You can also give them a follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram




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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Final Showdown - Mummy vs The Threenager

It was late afternoon, the sun was setting. The bright sunshine that had been was a far cry from the darkness that started to surround us. Shadows cast themselves everywhere. The crowds gathered, eager to catch a glimpse of the final showdown. 

The meet was set. They stood about 25 metres from each other. The stand off began. They stared into each other's eyes. Their glares were determined. Each had their own agenda. Neither were going to admit defeat. 

The eager crowd waited in anticipation for the first draw. Who was going to be the fastest to end this final showdown? Who was going to be resilient and who was going to crumble under the pressure?

They had been in battle all day and they were both now exhausted from the various rounds that they had gone head to head in. The threenager had already used some of her best tactics during the day. She had screamed and shouted so much her voice was coarse. She had already lashed out at her enemy, throwing some of her best hits. Her enemy let her win that round by not retaliating and just taking the bait. She had thrown herself on the floor. She  had stayed there as if she was in some epic battle of musical statues that she was determined not to lose. She had refused to eat and had thrown the food on the floor.

Mummy had used her most stern voice. You know the voice I mean?! The one that is to control the embarrassment of being out in public voice. She had used her best grip to keep her from running away. But boy was the threenager fast and strong. She escaped mummies clasp many a time and ran like she was usain bolt. Mummy had tried all her best war tactics but on this day, they just weren't good enough.

Mummy fought back the tears on many occasion that day. It seemed as though she was going to lose the epic battle. The threenager had broken her to an almost quivering wreck. After all she was looking after a baby too. She was tired but there was the final showdown to    take place.

The crowds were taking their bets. Many of them offered their support to mummy, many thought the threenager was going to win. They had to make their voices heard because everybody likes to judge and place bets on a fight.

It seemed as if there was going to be a clear winner. With mummy stood there with tears in her eyes, trying her best to save face and be strong, the threenager was about to be crowned champion. Mummy couldn't take any more. She turned around and walked away, much to the crowds amazement. Then something extraordinary happened. The threenager quickly followed her in desperation, worried that she was going to be left alone.

Mummy had won the final showdown. They headed back to the car. The threenager was apologising for ruining the whole day at the zoo. Mummy finally let out a smile. Peace had been restored. She felt epic after winning a battle she thought she was sure to lose. All that was left to do was get to the car and drive the hour journey home and then they could put the war behind them. All was looking up, until they passed an ice-cream van........Mummy vs the threenager was about to embark upon another war.


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Monday, 11 April 2016

Gro-Hush Review

I've mentioned before that Ophelia sleeps very well. In fact most of the time she sleeps all through the night. However, one thing she can't do is self settle. If she's in a sleepy state, I can't just put her down and let her drift off. She wakes up as soon as you put her down. She also struggles to sleep during the day. This may be due to her sister being incredibly noisy and distracting all the time.

I was contacted by The Gro Company and asked if I would like to review their Gro-Hush. The Gro-Hush is a portable white noise baby calmer. At first I wasn't sure whether we would benefit from using this due to Ophelia sleeping all through the night but I thought it would be good to see if it will help to settle her during the day. 


The Gro-Hush is unique in that it is portable and plays calming white noise sounds to your baby without disturbing others around them. It has 3 different sounds which are rain falling on a tin roof, ocean waves and a heart-beat. All sounds are set to a safe volume to protect babies ears.

It arrived in a small box and was very easy to assemble. You need 3xAAA batteries (which don't come in the box). They are easily slotted into the back but you do need a small screwdriver to remove the panel. It's very simple to use. You simply press one of the 3 buttons and that's it. It also switches itself off after 10 minutes.

When we first started using it Ophelia wasn't keen. I think it was the feeling of having something against her head that she couldn't get used. However, after about the 5th time of using it, we started to see it working. I won't lie, it's not a miracle worker so please don't expect to use it and it send your baby to sleep immediately. It is designed to calm them down and this is what it does for Ophelia.


I like the fact that it's handheld and small. It fits neatly into your hand. I love any baby products that are small as normally they take up too much space. It fits easily into a change bag if you wanted to take it out with you everyday. The size of it makes it ideal for travelling and it comes in a handy travel case. We actually took it away to Australia with us and we found it an ideal solution for the plane journey. It was great as we didn't disturb any of the other passengers as no one could hear the noise. 


The fact that no one else can hear the noise is definitely my favourite feature. I know there are similar products on the market but the noise of those fills a room. I spent a week on a shared ward after having Ophelia and there were a couple of people using the others ones and they were so noisy. It was highly annoying to say the least. 


The sounds are realistic. Ophelia likes all 3 of them but I think the rain falling is her favourite.

The cover is made from cotton and it is soft against Ophelia's head. It can be removed and machine washed which is always an essential feature on a baby product.

Overall, I would recommend this product to new parents. It can be used from birth and I think the earlier you can start using it, the more effective it will be. It would make a unique, helpful gift for a new baby. You can buy it here, Gro-Hush







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Sunday, 10 April 2016

You know you were a child born in the mid 80's when



I see a lot of these type of posts going around the internet and I love them. There's nothing more fun than reminiscing about childhood memories and of course being able to giggle at them. So here's my take on if you were a child born in the mid 80's. Please note this is mainly relating to girly things:

What you were watching:
When you were very young you were enjoying Captain Planet, after all he was our hero, taking pollution down to zero. I bet you didn't know that Phil Collins wrote the lyrics to that! True fact. 
What about Gummi Bears, bouncing here and there and everywhere. I bet you can't remember that it was actually made by Disney.
Sunday mornings were spent watching Sharky and George, the crime busters of the sea, followed by inspector gadget. 

As you grew a older TV became a bit more sophisticated. Game shows were popular. You loved knightmare (even if it was slightly scary at times with that mask thing they had to wear at the end). You desperately wanted to go on funhouse. I mean there were prizes to be won!! I applied so many times. Your Saturday mornings were spent watching Live and Kicking. How good was that?! Much better than the rubbish on children's tv now. Do you still remember the phone number? Hubby has just sung it to me! 01818118181. You also watched a lot of blue peter and you craved a badge. I've got one!!!

On regular TV you watched Grange Hill and Byker Grove. You watched PJ and Duncan's relationship flourish and admit it, you cried your eyes out when PJ became blind after the paintball incident. 

Then your teenage years hit and you uncovered the wonderful world of Nickelodeon. You would race home to watch Sister Sister, Kenan and Kel, Saved by the bell and Hang time. You were also still secretly watching Rugrats although you'd never admit to it friends.



What you were wearing:
Well looking back now didn't we all look like plonkers but at the time we were ridiculously cool.

On our feet were a pair of Doc Martens. You were super cool if you had pattern ones. You also had jellies. 

For jewellery you had to have a slap band and a mood ring. Your necklaces were chockers. You also had rubber bands although i'm pretty sure they used to be called sh*g bands. You also had best friend necklaces in which you gave your friend the other half. These were mainly brought from Argos. Everything was daisies and ying yang. Peace to the world baby. On your wrist you wanted a swatch watch. 
In your hair you had a scrunchie. You may have had a bandana. You probably also owned butterfly clips. How ridiculous were those?!!

If you went on holiday you had a bum bag. Don't pretend like you didn't! You also came home with a fringe/tassled t-shirt that said something like Spain on it. 

In your teenage years you had to have pedal pushers in every colour possible. You also had a pair of adidas poppers and spent most of your time ripping other people's open. You also had a matching tracksuit/shellsuit. Mine was a pastel blue adidas one. I thought I was the bee's knees in it.

What you were eating:
Let's not pretend like we were the most healthy generation of kids. Come on we grew up on fishcakes, chicken nuggets, ham cobs (as they were called back then). Spaghetti Bolognese really hit the scene when we were growing up and it featured on everyone's family menus. Black forest gateaux was everywhere. After a Sunday roast you tucked into a vienetta. 
Your favourite lollies were either a melody pop or a ring pop. You desperately tried to blow a huge bubble with your hubba bubba.

What you were listening to:
Well didn't we have some funny music trends. Girl bands really hit the scene. Indie music broke through and we all thought we were part of garage nation. You were either mumbling the latest Oasis tune or singing and wishing you were Britney Spears. 

You then wanted to become and mc. Garage music enlightened your life. You wanted to be in so solid crew. Once again don't pretend like you didn't, I bet you know all the words 21 seconds.

The girl bands:
This was the era to be in a girl band. Girl power was everywhere. Let's start with R&B. It brought us TLC, Destiny's Child and En Vogue. What about pop?! We all wanted to be in the Spice Girl's. You loved Eternal, B*Witched, Cleopatra (comin at ya) and then came girl's aloud.

The boy bands:
Here come the boys. East end's bad boys East 17 were your rebellion favourites. There was 5ive, 911, Another level, Boyzone, Blue, Backstreet Boys, Westlife and the original line up of Take That. I remember locking myself in my room and crying for hours when Robbie left.




Your heartthrobs:
Oh so many to list. I wished Craig David was all over me (bleep). Peter Andre knew my flava. Luke Perry from 90210 (if you were allowed to watch it). Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar from saved by the bell. Nick Carter, i've got a crush on you. I've heard he's back on the scene. All of Hanson. Ryan Phillipe, Devon Sawa and Leo. Most of those you find yourself asking where are they now? Except for Leo as he's winning Oscars. See, we always knew he was special. 

Technology advances:
For music you would have started with a walkman. Then you will have advanced to the amazing discman, followed by the mp3. 

Computers and gaming consoles really took off whilst we were young. I remember sitting at my amiga playing lemmings! I loved that game. I also loved my sega mega drive with streets of rage being my favourite game. Then came the NES. Well done Nintendo. My travel must have was my game boy.

Remember the days of dial up internet?!! Those noises that would seem to take an age whilst you waited for the internet to load up.

In high school you would have thought you were chocolate if you had a Nokia with the epic snake on it. Many a lunch break was spent trying to beat everyone else.



Collectables:
There were so many things to collect if you were born during this time. Pogs were quite possibly every child's introduction to gambling. I remember trying to hustle people for what I wanted in the playground. 


Pokemon cards were everywhere. I dread to think how much money they made from us.

You probably had a Tamagotchi friend. Looking back how rubbish were they?! At the time they seemed awesome.

Toys:
Come on admit it, you had a huge Troll collection didn't you? They actually are quite scary looking back. 

Beanie babes seem to really hit the scene. It was very trendy to have beanie type teddies.

You probably had lots of Polly Pockets. I wish they still had these in the same style that I played with rather than the stupid one's they've now got that are huge.

One of my all time favourite things from when I was growing up was my filofax. I thought I was so important with it. Such found memories of writing in one.

What you were reading:
Even though it probably scared you, you were hooked on Goosebumps!! There seemed so many to read. 

In school you would have been reading all about Biff, Chip and Kipper. I'm sure our parents were fed up of us bringing home their latest adventure every week from the school library.

You were desperate to be part of the Babysitters Club. In fact i'm pretty sure there was a tv programme as I am currently singing the theme tune whilst writing this.

Sweet Valley High had us wishing we were a twin. I think I used to switch between wanting to be Jessica and Elizabeth on a daily basis. Again, I also loved the tv programme. 


Epic Movies:
Teen Movies way back when were brilliant in my opinion. They knock the socks off the trash that comes out these days. We grew up on some epic one's. There was Clueless, Bring It On, She's All That, 10 Things I hate About You, Never Been Kissed, Mean Girls, American Pie, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Coyote Ugly, Legally Blonde, Now And Then, Save The Last Dance (best soundtrack ever) and The Craft. I'm sure there are so many more to that list.

So there you have it. I hope you've enjoyed my take on a trip down memory lane. Is there anything you would add to this list?
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Introducing Tony The Taxi Trunki

Not so long ago, a wonderful package arrived for Eva. Inside it was a bright new friend for her to play with. He said his name was Tony and that he was a taxi Trunki. He said that he had a great mission and that was to help Eva to travel the world. 




Eva was delighted. Her face beamed with excitement. They instantly hit it off. She always called him by his real name and if we ever referred to him as Trunki or suitcase we were corrected straight away. She was very chuffed at having a suitcase of her own.



Tony came prepared and set Eva to complete a very important task of decorating him. There were 2 sheets of New York (that's where Tony came from) themed stickers which she could place on him however she wanted. She loved completing this task. It really made Tony unique and special to her. He was exactly how she wanted him to be.


Tony said that he was an ideal guide for aeroplane travel, train adventures, days out, overnight stays and car trips. Basically he was the perfect partner for any journey.


Tony is suitable for ages 3 years and up. He was designed to be used as hand luggage and to act as a boredom buster for toddlers. He is built to be lightweight and durable so he will be able to with-stand anything an excited tot can throw at him.  He has lockable catches to keep all the toddler essentials (teddy, books etc) safe. He has a large capacity (this is a necessity for Eva, she likes to take away lots of things). He also has a tow strap for an adult to pull him along and a carry handle for when he needs a rest.

He arrived with us just in time as Eva was about to embark on travelling to the other side of the world to Australia. Look our for their storybook adventures coming on the blog soon.

If you would like a Tony of your own you can buy him here direct from the Trunki website for £44.99, Tony The Taxi.

Have you got a Trunki in your house? 
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Monday, 4 April 2016

Travel Bucket List 2016

As you know we are a travel loving family. We can't keep our feet on the ground for long, whether it's holidays abroad, UK mini breaks or over nights stays. We just love it. Here is my family bucket list for 2016.


This particular park is quite special to hubby and I. We have stayed here 3 times now since we had our first child. In fact, it was the very first trip Eva went on when she was 3 months old. We also went when I was pregnant with Ophelia so we would love to go as a family of 4 this year. Hubby also used to come here when he was growing up as his grandparents used to own a chalet there. 
We've stayed in a caravan and a chalet there but I definitely prefer the chalet. The park has a great entertainment centre and pool area. Eva had such a fab time when we last stayed there.


We are most definitely a Disney loving family. Awryn and I went to Disneyland a couple of times when it was just the 2 of us and we have also taken Eva. It's a dream of ours to go to Disneyworld but that won't be for a while. There is something so magical about Disney.You just can't stop laughing and smiling. I am one of those parents that completely embrace it. You will find me wondering around with my minnie mouse ears on my head and pin trading lanyard around my neck. 

3) Icmeler, Turkey

I know I have already had a sun holiday this year but i'm sure later on in the year I will be craving another one. If we can afford it, I would love to go to Turkey. I have been on many holidays to Icmeler throughout my childhood and I love it there. It was where Eva had her first holiday abroad. The weather is always fantastic. A far cry from our great British summer!


I recently came across this  Devon campsite on instagram and it's one of the most exciting looking clamping sites i've seen. It's situated on 6 acres of land and is close to the beach. It's philosophy is getting back to basics, to relax and enjoy nature. The accommodation is very unique but modern style pods. My favourite of all of them has to be The Loveland Pod. Something you may not know about our family yet is that we are big stargazers. We have a telescope and love to teach Eva all about our solar system. These pods look like a dream come true for a stargazing family.



**Pictures taken from the Loveland website**


I've been desperate to have a little break in these beautiful log cabins for a long time. My hairdresser has also had a few stays here and raves about it. The idea of a log cabin screams family time to me. I can imagine us having a brilliant time exploring the lovely Forest of Dean (which isn't too far from where we live) and then going back to our cabin and snuggling up with a hot chocolate. I love the fact that there are hot tubs there too.

*photo taken from the Forest Holiday website*

6) The Celtic Manor

Hubby and I love the Celtic Manor. It's our favourite place in South Wales to have afternoon tea. We also adore staying here. The resort always makes me feel like i'm on holiday. I always feel very relaxed after staying there and they have a fantastic breakfast. We've actually not stayed at the hotel as a family so I would love to do that this year. They have recently opened The Hunter Luxury Lodges and their Coldra Court site so it would be nice to try one of those out. 

This picture was taken when we recently had Easter afternoon tea at the hotel


Have you been to any of these places on my bucket list?

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Results With Lucy - Wobble To Model

You may have remembered me talking about how unconfident I am with my post natal body. I know it's only been 4 months since I had Ophelia but with a caesarean and then going on a 3 month trip to Australia, exercise and a healthy diet seem to have taken a back burner.

I am my own worst enemy as every time I walk past a mirror, I start over analysing myself. I want to feel body confident again and comfortable in my clothes. I want to be able to walk into a shop and know that I can pick any outfit I'd like without worrying about whether it will suit me. 

I know lots of people will be reading this thinking give yourself a break but I was always a health and fitness enthusiast. Before I became pregnant I was exercising at least 4 times a week and eating a healthy diet. When I was pregnant I got into a habit of eating badly and not exercising at all. It's a vicious cycle really as here I am 4 months down the line since giving birth and I have cabin fever about exercising, especially in public.

This is a picture of me before I became pregnant. I was in the best shape I had ever been in. I was strong, healthy and confident. I loved the feeling that gave me. 


To help me get motivated and back on track a little angel sent from above popped along and offered me a chance to review one of Lucy Mecklenburgh's fitness programmes from https://www.resultswithlucy.com. As you can imagine I jumped at the opportunity. This is exactly what I needed to kick start my healthy lifestyle again.

I have followed Lucy's fitness career closely since she left the tv show 'the only way is essex'. Like me she used to hate exercise and the thought of going to the gym was daunting. If you see her now she has transformed into a stunning, healthy, strong woman. She is definitely a fitness inspiration of mine. I've followed the Results With Lucy instagram and twitter pages for a while now and I love seeing the motivational quotes and results images shared by users. 

The plan i'm reviewing is called Wobble To Model which lasts for 6 weeks and is all available online so you can do it from the comfort of your own home. This is ideal for a busy mum like myself. It usually costs £39.99 and they have a money back guarantee if you don't see any change. It's an intermediate plan which aims to strengthen and build muscle. This is exactly what I need as i've dropped weight since the birth but I have not toned up at all. The plan includes progressive workouts to follow and a daily meal plan. I love the fact that the plan is so supportive. Hopefully, the structured nature will keep me focused.

I've had to take some before photos and measurements of my body which I will share with you in a future blog post. I've already started the plan and I am enjoying it. Keep your eyes peeled for all of my update posts to see how I am progressing. 



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World Plagiocephaly Awareness Day and Review of the Babymoov Lovenest

I was recently contacted by Babymoov to review their Lovenest pillow and to help raise awareness for World Plagiocephaly Awareness Day. If i'm being completely honest, I didn't have a clue what Plagiocephaly was. This is pretty shocking considering I have had 2 children.


Plagiocephaly is better known as flat head syndrome and is a condition that affects half of all babies under the age of 1. It's diagnosed when a babies head is flat at the back or sides. It's caused through too much pressure on the soft skull bones which haven't fused. Too much pressure can be caused from a baby spending an excessive amount of time lying in one position on their backs in things such as their cot, car seat, mats and bouncers and swings.

Preventative treatments include tummy time, feeding on both sides, changing the way you hold/carry your baby and by moving the position of toys in cots etc to change the focus of your baby. These are things that we are probably doing without even realising but when you hear about the condition, you can understand just how important these actions are. 

As I mentioned earlier I am now on my 2nd child and I have never had this condition discussed with me at all by any healthcare individual I have encountered through my pregnancies, birth and post natal experiences. 

Babymoov are committed to helping raise awareness and treatment of this condition and they have created a great product called the Lovenest which is a pillow that has been made in collaboration with a paediatrician. The ergonomic design features an incline which helps to ensure pressure is evenly distributed across babies head. This helps maintain the natural curvature of the skull. It also works to ensure good ventilation during sleep. It's designed to be used from birth up to 4 months and can be used in moses baskets, cots, pushchairs and bouncers. 

We've got the white Lovenest pillow and we've been using it for quite a few weeks now. Ophelia sleeps on it every night and we use it during the day if she is ever on her play mat. I must admit I keep forgetting to take it out with me to use in the pram. 


We love it. It's been a big hit in our household. Ophelia seems very comfortable when using it at night. It seems to prevent her from moving around which is also a bonus. She gets a good night sleep with it. 


I love the heart shape and design of the pillow. It's simple but looks quite modern. It's got a pretty sparkle pattern on the top which I really like. I also really like the fact that the product is small. This makes a big change to every other baby product around. I don't know about you but I tend to find most baby gadgets to be huge considering they are for such tiny people. 


The pillow can also be washed easily. This type of feature always earns brownie points with me. 

Overall, I would recommend this to any parents. It's a great product which helps to prevent Plagiocephaly. It costs £14.99 which I think is very reasonable and it comes in 6 different colours. You can purchase it directly from Babymoov here, Lovenest.

Ophelia is now coming to an age where she has almost outgrown the pillow so we are definitely going to get the next stage which is the Cosydream which again has been designed to ensure optimal safety when baby is lying on its back.

Have you heard of Plagiocephaly? Are you well informed on the condition? Did your health visitor explain this to you?


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Sunday, 3 April 2016

Me and Mine - March 2016

I've no idea why i've never joined in with the Me and Mine project before. For those that don't know about it, it's a project where you capture a picture of your whole family every month. I think it's so important to do this. We seem to take lots of pictures of the kids but we're hardly ever in them ourselves.

March has been a great month for us as a family and for once I have taken quite a few photographs of us all together. We started the month reunited in Australia. The girls and I spent 3 months there and 7 weeks apart from daddy. Hubby came to join us for the last 2 weeks. He landed the day before mother's day.

This picture was when we arrived at our hotel in Sydney after picking daddy up from the airport. It was the first chance that we could get to have proper family cuddles. I just love how happy Eva looks in it.

The next picture was taken on mother's day which we spent in Taronga Zoo. You can find out all about the day on my blog post, Taronga Zoo. It's located with the most stunning backdrop of Sydney's most iconic buildings, so we had to snap some family shots. We had an amazing day there. It was such a fun way to spend mother's day. 



We arrived back home in the UK a week before easter. One thing hubby and I love to do is go for afternoon tea so we booked to have an easter themed, chocolate one at one of our favourite Welsh hotels, The Celtic Manor. It was very tasty to say the least. The hotel was beautifully decorated for spring and easter.




This month seems to have flown by. It's not been the easiest since I've been back from Australia and I have struggled to settle back into family life here. It must be because I was away from home for so long. The girls are doing well though, so that's the main thing.

April should hopefully be a good month. Perhaps the weather will start getting warmer so we can enjoy the outdoors more. We also have a trip away booked for my birthday at the end of the month over the bank holiday weekend.


The Me and Mine Project
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