Sunday, 30 December 2012

Smart ideas for Christmas from Morphy Richards

What do you think of when you think of Morphy Richards?  Personally I think of the mother in law. The Jammy wench has all the Morphy Richards quality gadgets that I desire. Her Kitchen is full of stylish Morphy Richards items that make her less than busy life even easier. Every year I make an effort to gush over all her Morphy Richards kitchen Gadgets, while she tells me how amazing they are. I do this, not because I want to make her feel any better about her amazing gadgets, but because I am dropping serious hints for Christmas. 

Every year I live in hope that on Christmas day, my hints have been noticed and I will be opening my present on Christmas Day from the mother in law, to reveal a much wanted Morphy Richards kitchen item. I imagine my delight, my heart felt gratitude and my excitement and what I will receive. Would it be a Nesta Filter Coffee Maker or a 3-in-1-Twisting-Mixer or a Intellisteam-Steamer

The day came, and I made my way over to the mother in laws. I have to say that when she handed me my Christmas present, it didn't look very promising. Mainly because it was very small. I started too clutch at straws as I thought that maybe Morphy Richards had come up with some new fangled Kitchen invention that happened to be very small- maybe a mini blender, or cork screw. I ripped open the paper, took a deep breath, and revealed a ...........box of cheap purfume. Mother in law, I hate you.......

Now, if I had known that Morphy Richards had a brilliant new Facebook App which allows you to create your Morphy Richards Christmas list to send to Freinds and Family, then perhaps I wouldn't have been disappointed yet again! 

If I had used the app, It probaly would have been as long as my arm (and the James family are known for having long arms!) but these would have been my top 3 items- Not that my mother in law would have been that generous.





This super Stylish Coffee Maker is sure to be the envy of everyone. It has brushed stainless steel and delivers great tasting espresso and filter coffee. The maker has an Expresso Function that is both Compatible with ground coffee and Pods. I love Coffee and I love the sound of this Coffee Maker.





I am afraid that as of late, I have been known to induldge in the odd slab of chocolate cake. Ok, I'm lying.... I am a full blown chocoholic. The cushion has definately got to go, so perhaps this bit of Gadgetry will help me on my way. I have been known to burn most of what we eat, but this grill has an in built function which allows you cook your food to the perfect temperature and to your own individual tastes. Pretty Cool


3, A Soup Maker



Aswell as being a full blown Chocoholic, my one saving grace is that I do like a nice big bowl of soup. You can makeplenty of delicioous healthy soups and this would be the perfect Kitchen Tool to do it. Simply select the setting you want for Chunky or smooth soup. Yum Yum


Any of these items would make great christmas gifts for those you love, and if anyone I know and love is reading this.....TAKE THE HINT!

These really are smart ideas for Christmas from Morphy Richards


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Daxon’s VIP Fashion Bloggers

Calling all Fashionista's! 

You may not have heard of Daxon but it is part of the Redcats group which is the third largest home shopping network in the world. They specialise in top quality clothing at very reasonable prices. Daxon are also currently holding a 70% off sale so now is the perfect time to check them out. 

Check out some of the lovely items I found on their website, for my perfect winter outfit





Ladies Cowl-Neck Dress  for £10.00



Ladies Black & White Floral Print Leggings for £12.00







Pediconfort® boots for £95



Daxon
 are giving bloggers who love fashion a fantastic opportunity! Click on the following link for details http://blog.daxon.co.uk/daxons-vip-fashion-bloggers/




Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Get Fit and Feel Epic plans

I am ashamed to say that my good intentions about healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle have gone by the wayside of late. I had successfully shed some weight but stress and looking after 2 toddlers whilst working full time have led me to take solace in food again. My ideal weight is around 9 stone (I'm 5'4) but when I stepped on the dread scales today I was not surprised when I weighed in at just over 10 stone.  I am still just within the healthy BMI range of 25 but only just. The truth is I don't feel comfortable with my current size, and I definitely don't feel fit and energized.

My Goals for 2013 are primarily to lose the cushion, cut down on unhealthy sweet treats and to start exercising again. These are my goals but I need a plan of action.

Earlier in the year I started using the Slim Pod Which I found really effective. I simply had to listen to a CD before bed each night, and I found my deep rooted eating habits changing. I was starting to pick healthier options and reducing my portion sizes without much effort. I am not going to lie and say I needed no willpower but it definitely helped. It is just a shame that stress in my personal life led to me stopping listening to my CD so the effect wore off.

My plan is to start listening to the CD which is named Drop 2 dress sizes or more and get my healthy eating back on track.

My second plan is to get walking more. I love hill walking but the demands of working full time and looking after 2 toddlers has meant that I just don't currently have the time. I am determined to make the time next year so that I get fit and active again.

Maybe it would be an idea for me to enter the Get Fit Feel Epic competition. Simply tell the  tool how much you drink, smoke and eat in a week, then tell it how much you would like to cut down to. Then hit the button, and you can find out exactly how much money you could save in a year. Sounds good to me as I could do with saving money and getting healthy- it would help my stress levels to.



As a bonus, the lovely Jo from 2 Stars and a Swirl blog is running her own competition to win a  Fitbit Zip and Fitbit Wi-Fi Scales. Check the following link to enter! http://2starsandaswirl.co.uk/2012/12/19/get-fit-feel-epic-and-win-a-fitbit-zip-and-fitbit-wi-fi-scales/


Good Luck!


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Review: Remote Control Candles

'Remote Control Candles' I hear you say? How the hell does that work!' Well it works very well actually.



I was sent a box of 3 Remote Control Candles that are currently available from Paramount Zone for the bargain price of £12.99 (or 2 packs for £21) and are made by Think Gizmos. I personally love candles. The ambience and subtle light they produce is always lovely on a dark evening. Unfortunately with 2 toddlers around creating mayhem (who appear to be on a mission to destroy the house and themselves), I haven't really been able to take the risk of lighting any candles, as chances are that before I have chance to turn around, they would have knocked them over and we would have to run for our lives out of the inferno.



That's why I found these candles a great idea and I jumped at the chance to give them a whirl. They are operated with battery powered LEDS and are totally safe. You may think that this would mean that you would have a static light akin to a lamp but that is not the case. You can actually set them to flicker which is 100% authentic looking. You really can't tell the difference apart from the fact that there is no smoke.  You can even use these outside, which can come in really handy as you don't need to worry about the wind or great british weather. We love camping in the James household, so I can imagine we will be taking these with us on every camping trip!



There is also a 4 and 8 hour timer which is operated with the remote control. The remote control was really easy to use (even for a technophobe like myself). I managed to get the candle light to flicker easily and you can even control the level of brightness. You can't do any of these things with a normal candle can you!

I have to admit that I also like a scented candle but unfortunately that is one thing you have to compromise on. The candles are made out of real wax, but are not scented. There were also no batteries included which was slightly annoying as it meant I had to have a good rummage to find some batteries that worked! These however are minor quibbles.

I was amazed when I looked at the information on the box that each candle glows for 50'000 hours and there are over 200 hours of light before you need to change the battery. That means that these candles are a really good investment, as if you consider how long a normal candle lasts, these far outlast them. Being a bit of a closet environmentalist as well, these are also more environmentally friendly as carbon emissions are minimal.

This handy you tube video demonstrates how the candles work, much better than I could

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGLinaHw8do&feature=plcp

Overall the candles got a big thumbs up from the James household! It looks as if we are not the only ones to give the candles the big thumbs up as the candles have been rated as 4.7 out of 5 based on 4 user ratings review(s) on the website. One person said they have since bought 3 more set as gifts as they were so impressed. I have to agree that these candles make a fantastic gift that is also very affordable.

Paramount Zone also do a fantastic range of gifts for all ages including http://www.paramountzone.com/christmas-gifts-her.php. There really are some great gift ideas at very reasonable prices which really suits a penny pinching household like myself! There is even free delivery when you spend over £14 which makes it even more good value.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Giveaway # 4 Limited Edition Friends prize pack

This is the one where you can win a great prize to celebrate the release of Friends: The Complete Series Blu-ray Box Set'. I am a bit odd in that I only got into friends after it finished being made, but I have to admit that I'm totally hooked. I can watch episodes over and over and still burst out laughing.







I think that I am most like Phoebe, a bit weird and bit wacky at times. I took the 'Which Friend Are You Most Like quiz' and I came out as half Ross and Half Phoebe. I can't say I have ever mugged anyone though!

Warner Bros. Pictures is proud to announce the release of Friends: The Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set November 12th 2012; along with the 30 Days of Friends: Trivia Challenge Blog App and Video Player!

Right, time to get down to the Giveaway. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form for the chance to win a Limited Edition Friends Prize Pack which consists of two oversized cappuccino mugs and a picture frame just like the one on Monica’s door.

Please do complete the entries fully as I check every entry. Any entries that do not comply with what is requested will be deleted. Open to UK residents over 18 only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Friday, 26 October 2012

If I won a Guardian Pro...

Well this is something of a first for me, and I can't quite believe I'm going to attempt this. I blame the lovely MellowMummy who is giving everyone the chance to win a brand new Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 Car Seat on her wonderful Blog. I love a good competition but there is a catch..... I need to write a limerick!

Now, I have never been any good at Poetry and I suspect my attempt with be quite Feeble but I am going to give it a go. Mainly because my son desperately needs a new car seat so winning this fabulous car seat would really come in handy.

Here goes nothing!

If I won a Guardian Pro,
It would help cure my car seat woe,
for my current one bought from the 'booty'
is starting to smell a bit 'fruity',
and my shame is beginning to show! 

Right, I'm off to hang my head in shame...

Everyone can have a go. Check out the Link  following for details on how to enter 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Review: Halloween Phantasee Cosmetic Lenses from Vision Direct

Halloween is now a special time of year for the James family, as my son Bryn arrived this time last year. I still have happy memories of my daughter going out Trick or Treating for the first time with her Daddy while I nursed my newborn son.

This year will be very different, as the new born is now into everything and my daughter is looking forward to us all dressing up for a Halloween party we have been invited to.

My Hubby and I were starting to think about what we would wear when I was given the chance to review Phantasee Cosmetic Lenses from Vision Direct . I have to say I was intrigued as I had never even contemplated using contact lenses as part of a spooky outfit. As I am a glasses wearer, I thought it may be better if the hubby tried them out as I  am 'blind as a Halloween bat' if I don't wear my glasses.  We looked at the wide ranging online selection from the Phantasee Collection, which is perfect for Halloween. We picked out the Dragon Eyes (RRP 29.00) which I have to say remind me of Sauron's eye from the Lord of the Rings. Phantasee cosmetic lenses are available in the following ranges of Crazy and Halloween lenses: Anime, Cat Eyes, Cool, UV Glow, Space, Vivid, Symbols and Seasons.




So before I show you how the lenses look, I had better reveal the hubby in his natural primal state. Be Prepared!



Let the makeover commence!



The First thing I should mention is the packaging is very quirky and you definitely feel that you are in possession of something different. The actual lenses come in two spooky vials which give you the Halloween feel









The Lense Vials are a little bit fiddly to open but I guess this is because they have to be completely airtight.  They are annual replacement contact lenses that require maintenance and cleaning, so we were also sent a  Multi use Lense solution and case (RRP £3.00) for care of the lenses. These can then be used again so you can really get your moneys worth.






My hubby has decided to go as a scary Halloween skeleton and elected to do his own makeup. I thought he did a pretty good job. My daughter also burst into tears when she saw him so I guess he got the desired scary effect!





Now was the time to add the lenses. My hubby has never worn Contact Lenses before so was a bit naive in thinking that putting them in would be as easy as a witch boiling her cauldron. In hindsight it was also a mistake to try and put the lenses in after putting the makeup on. After struggling for about ten minutes and reluctantly calling on my help he did manage to get them in. The resulting tears though did mean he had to touch up the makeup but there was no lasting damage!

If you haven’t tried contact lens before, you can check out the Frequently Asked Questions  on the Vision Direct website so you can learn more of how to use the lenses.








So here are the scary results!

As you can see the effect was definitely striking, and turned a pretty scary look  into a terrifying look! One of the lenses was slightly wonky but by this stage the hubby wasn't letting me anywhere near his eyes to straighten it up. He did say that although they were slightly uncomfortable at first, it was no time at all before he forgot they were in. His vision was also not impaired in the slightest.

Overall we would give the lenses 5 stars out of 5, and I would give my hubby 1 star out of 5 for being able to put contact lenses in! The lenses really do add that special element of scariness to the outfit, and I am sure that there is a pair that would suit every outfit!

You can follow Vision Direct on Twitter \and Vision Direct on Facebook

Monday, 22 October 2012

Anger Management- Advice needed!

This is an uncomfortable post for me as it means admitting something in the public domain which I am deeply ashamed about.

Most people when they meet me, may see me as a little shy, or even worse- a little aloof. I am the first to admit that my social skills aren't great, and I recently scored highly on a autistic traits test(although it was taken on Facebook so could be a load of old bollocks!). I doubt that many people would suspect that there is a huge green incredible hulkess lurking behind my quiet exterior.


There are 2 people that seem to bring this unwanted quality out in me and unfortunately it's my kids. I love them both dearly, but there are times (which are coming all the more frequent) where I totally lose my temper and become this irrational monster. I
always feel tremendously guilty afterwards, but this rage seems to be building inside me and I don't know why.

I feel quite down sometimes and I am wondering if it is symptom of depression or stress. The only thing I do know is that I want it to stop for my families sake. If anyone has experienced similar and managed to put a stop to it, I would love to hear from you.

Esther

X

Dark Shadows Blu-Ray Triple Play Giveaway

Warner Bros. Pictures is proud to announce the release of Dark Shadows, out on DVD and Blu-Ray now; along with the Dark Shadows Blog App!



From the incredible mind of Tim Burton comes the hit film Dark Shadows, based on the classic US television series! Barnabas Collins has been trapped for two centuries by an evil witch (Eva Green) who just happens to be an ex lover. Barnabas now has to struggle with the ever changing 1970s and save his family’s business! With an all star cast that includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller and more, Dark Shadows will be sure to whet your appetite for fun.






My Lucky readers have a chance to win a Blu-Ray Triple Play Pack, by simply filling out the rafflecopter form below. UK entrants over 18 only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure- I haven't been sponsored for this post but I have been provided with the prize to giveaway. This Giveaway is advertised on the Prizefinder

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Win an iPhone 5

I know there are a lot of 'compers' out there that would give their right arm for an iPhone 5. I'm one of them! It is going to be someones lucky day as Find Me a Gift are currently running a competition on both their blog and Facebook page to win an iPhone 5.

Just check out the blog page and complete the Rafflecopter form:

http://blog.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/post/win-an-iphone-5/

For a second chance to win, check out their facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/findmeagift

Good luck everyone!

Boys in tights- a new trend or fashion faux pas?

I came across boys tights last year after reading fellow bloggers, blog about Slugs and Snails . I have to admit that I am not one to follow fashion, but I loved how quirky and different these were.




I tried a few times to win some, but alas I failed so I was really chuffed when I noticed that they had a sale on the site where you could pick up a pair of seconds for 5 Euros- Its an Irish site! So far I have treated my son Bryn to four pairs and they are simply lovely. I love the bright and vibrant designs, and find they go well with Dungarees. The winter will be the perfect time to show them off but I know that they are not everyone's cup of tea. The other day I took him to the mother in laws in them, and she hated them. Much to my delight!

What are you thoughts on Boy Tights. Are they going to take off, or is my son Bryn going to hate me in years to come for inflicting them on him!

Boy tights are available from http://slugsandsnails.ie

Please note that I haven't been sponsored for this post, I am simply posting about a product I love!

Monday, 8 October 2012

My stinky rug and how RugDoctor saved it

I have this rug, bought about 2 years ago in an effort to make my living room more homely. It was a vibrant red, and I loved it!

Fast forward 2 years, and quite frankly its 'manking'. The arrival of baby Bryn last October and experiments in baby led weaning mean that all kinds of crap have been ground in to it. Now if I had been a dutiful wife and mother, I would have spent every evening hand scrubbing it in order to keep it in pristine condition. Instead, I have spent every evening after putting the kids to bed, staring at this thing in a semi comatose state, and stuffing my face whilst looking at it mournfully.

Please see my shameful rug:




Finally a decision had to be made, as I couldn't bear the shame of my stinky rug any longer. 'Its got to go in the skip!', I cried to my husband. As My husband contemplated the thought of shelling out for a new rug, he suddenly become passionate about keeping it. 'It will be good as new with a bit of a clean'. I stared at the rug in despair. How was I ever going to get this sorry thing looking good as new.

Thankfully Rug Doctor came to the rescue when I posted my plea for help on Twitter. They sent me a bottle of RugDoctor Spot & Stain Remover which has benefited from a new formulation. The bottle proudly declares that it will eliminate most tough stains. It was going to have its work cut out with my rug!

My houseproud gran was due to visit, so I took the opportunity to see if my rug could be salvaged. I generously sprayed the whole rug, and held my breath. After a minute of two I set to scrubbing the rug. Lo and Behold it was saved. I was really impressed with how it came up and will definitely be keeping the bottle on hand for future Bryn related stains.


I think the results speak for themselves! RugDoctor Spot & Stain is available at most major supermarkets where Rug Doctors are available to hire.

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Rug Doctor Spot & Stain remover free of charge for purpose of this review.

My First Review! ClaireaBella Polo Jute Bag


I have to admit that I am not the first person to keep up with trends, and have been known to lag behind them most of the time. In fact, I still feel like I am stuck in the 1990's most of the time!

When I was approached to review a ClaireaBella Polo Jute Bag available from www.toxicfox.co.uk. I didn't really know what to expect. I like a good bag, as much as the next women and do have an array of interesting and quirky bags all crammed into my tiny house, much to my husbands disgust.

Before the bag arrived I checked out the ClaireaBella website and found a really interesting story about how the brand was conceived and how it became a hit overnight (following Chloe Simms being 'papped' with one!). Check out the website http://claireabelladesigns.co.uk/ to read more about the amazing story of the ClaireaBella bag and how the idea was conceived.

When the bag arrived, I was struck by how 'Cutesy' it was.


I have to admit that I am not a 'girly' girl so the style wasn't really my cup of tea but I can see how a lot of women would be taken with it. The design is vibrant and striking, as well as being very feminine. The size of the bag was surprisingly small which was a little disappointing as I couldn't really think of how I would use the bag. I needn't have worried though as my daughter took an instant shine to it, and has been using it to store her nik naks in ever since!

Personalised Handcrafted ClaireaBella bags are available at http://www.toxicfox.co.uk/claireabella-polo-jute-bag for £24.99

Disclosure: I received a bag free of charge in return for giving my honest opinion in this review.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A man called Gerald -The MEGA Bloke!

I nominated my grandfather Gerald in the MEGA Blok's MEGA Bloke of the year contest earlier in the year and last week I heard the exciting news that he had been shortlisted in the top ten of this national competition.

I nominated him as, not only has he played an important part within his community over the last 20 years, but he has also been a wonderful great grandfather to my beautiful children. After retiring early from his job through ill health, Gerald decided he still wanted to make a difference and became a volunteer for the Welsh Ambulance Service. He spent 20 years with the service, transporting people to hospital for treatment, which often meant leaving the house at 5am. Gerald has become one of the longest serving volunteers in the history of the Welsh Ambulance Service and at the grand old age of 80 he has now finally retired. He does however still continue to volunteer in a different way, and spends time visiting long term prisoners.

He really is a MEGA Bloke and I would be really grateful if you could vote for him and give him the recognition that he deserves!

http://www.megabloke.co.uk/

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Mystery of the email

The last couple of days has not gone well. I came home yesterday, and instantly went to log onto my emails as I do on a daily basis. As I am competition addict, I can't wait to check my emails to see if there are any WEM's (Winning emails) to those who don't know. I also love checking blog updates and all manner of things that are emailed to me.

Imagine my dismay when I couldn't log on. Cue frantic attempts to change my password which all failed. After having a minor meltdown, the husband sent me to phone Sky (He couldn't put up with my tantrum anymore!) When I phoned Sky, they explained (after 20 minutes on hold) that a company had disabled my email, and that they would need to contact them to find out why. The guy on the phone was very vague, and told me he would be ringing me back today with an update. After the phone call, I had time to think about it and it just sounded very strange. I had visions of the fraud squad shutting down my email as they thought I was in some international money laundering ring (not true!)

Anyway, tonight I had another phone call as promised. The guy was able to tell me that it is another department in SKY that has disabled my email but they are still waiting a response. He is going to phone me back on Saturday because he is off work the next few days, with an update. Why he can't get someone else to phone me back, I don't know. Now I am without my emails for at least another 3 days and I have got the cold sweats! Sky, this really isn't good enough! I can feel a letter of complaint coming on.

Da Da, How very dare you!

Well the day as finally arrived for Bryn to utter his first words. After being bitterly disappointed when my daughters first words were da da, I had high hopes that mummy's boy Bryn would come through with the goods and say Mum as his first words. How wrong was I! Despite being plastered to my side for the last 8 months, he had to say Da Da. Now the smug hubby is bathing in the glory!

Oh well, I am still chuffed to bits and so proud of my little monkey!
Bryn's first Tooth has also made an appearance this week at the ripe old age of 8 months, so its all happening. I love you my little sausage!


Saturday, 7 July 2012

#Silent Sunday


My fantasy list for my 2 monkeys with Baby Huddle


You too can create a dream list and if you tag me esther.james1 in your list, we can BOTH win a massive £100 towards our lists!!! all you have to do is make a list with:
a minimum 7 products on it
of a minimum value of £300
You need to add a profile picture of yourself
Write a short description of your list
Tag esther.james1
Write a short annotation for each product you add to your list
Alll you have to do is sign up to Babyhuddle, and get window shopping!

Babyhuddle

First tooth!

Well Today my beautiful Son Bryn had his first tooth and the ripe old age of 8 months! I was beginning to think that they would never make an appearance. he has been very brave and not complained, although he has been off his food which is very unusual (we don't call him Bryn the Bin for nothing!) I would take a photo but he won't let anyone within a mile radius of his mouth unless your offering him food!


I love you Bryn!

WIN! A Hunter Festival Pack with Daniel Footwear and Glitz & Grime!


The wonderful Glitz & Grime Blog have a wonderful competition to win a Hunter festival pack- http://www.glitzngrime.com/2012/06/win-hunter-festival-pack-with-daniel.html in conjunction with http://www.danielfootwear.com/. Go on check it out!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

PMA- PMT more like!

As Morrisey once said 'Heaven knows I'm miserable now'.

I'm finding it hard to raise a smile at the moment and I need to snap out of it! I don't think its PMT, but I have a face like a smacked kipper which is not what people want to see.

The usual things are bothering me- Lack of money, the weather, work- so nothing knew there, but I have been feeling guilty as I'm taking my bad mood out on the kids.

Iola, my 2 year old is boisterous to say the least, and is definitely high maintenance! I love that she is so clever, but her cleverness leads to mischief, as she can outsmart me in an instant. At the moment, her thing is pinching her brothers dummy. We worked really hard to get her to give it up, but now she thinks its hilarious to keep stealing it from him and having a suck. I don't know why, but it drives me crazy! I am afraid that I lost my rag with her on Monday and shouted at her. Within five minutes she was doing it again!


Maybe its the same with most toddlers, but I watch the other children at mother & toddlers and they seem much more well behaved!

What am I doing wrong? She has been high maintenance since about 18 months, but I am really hoping it is just a phase, a bloody long one!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

JellyStone Designs Pebble Bangle & GIveaway

Jellystone designs are extremely funky teething jewellery http://jellystone-designs-uk.hostedbyamazon.co.uk/ - . Check out Trials and Tribulations of a Brummie Mummy for a great competition to win a teething necklace of your choice.




http://trialstribulationsofabrummiemummy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/jellystone-designs-pebble-bangle.html

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Stop blaming 'asylum seekers' for all the nations ills

This is my blog, and my chance to sound off once in awhile so I'm going to take my chance and probably start a heated debate while I'm at it.

In my job as a housing benefits officer, I have lost track of the amount of times I hear the comments along the line of 'we shouldn't be paying so much money to asylum seekers/immigrants/foreigners'- *delete as appropriate. This kind of comment is made by a wide range of peoople including colleagues, managers and claimants. It really rubs me up the wrong way as it shows a basic lack of understanding of what the reality is! I bite my tongue and grin and bear it, in order to keep the peace. I also know that this way of thinking is so ingrained in some peoples thinking, that no amount of persuasive arguments will help them change their minds.

Here are seven facts about immigration and asylum seekers that people may find interesting:
1, More people emmigrate each year from the UK than immigrate into the UK. 336'000 emigrated last year and 239'000 immigrated here.

2, Persons claiming Asylum are often held in 'detention centres' (similar to prisons). 25,900 people were held in detention in 2010 including 9 children despite the government stating they would end the practice of detaining children.

3, Persons claiming Asylum are not given money to live on, but are given an Azure card which is credited with £35 for a single person (compared to £67 Jobseekers Allowance) and can be used in a limited amount of supermarkets for food. Here is an interesting article on the reality of using these cards -http://www.irr.org.uk/news/a-cashless-society-the-other-side-of-the-coin/

4, Refused asylum seekers are not given any monies to live on, leaving families and persons destitute.

5, Refugees (including families) are usually housed in cramped shared accommodation with no private quarters. I saw an excellent exhibition at St Fagans Museum in Cardiff which included a mock up of one of these houses. It was definitely an eye opener.

6,The benefit rules for immigrants are extremely complex, and relatively few qualify for any assistance. 371,000 foreign-born claimants are claiming for out-of-work benefits, out of a total 5.5 million recipients, which is relatively a small percentage.

7,90% of social housing tenancies are held by people born in the UK

Here is an interesting article, which you may want to read- http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/16/asylum-seekers-survive-on-streets

I know the issue is complex, and there are those which enter the UK to take advantage of what the UK has to offer in terms of benefits etc, but in reality this pales into insignificance when you compare the monies we pay out to long term benefit claimants who have been born in the UK.

There are a whole raft of benefit reforms due in, in the next few years which are going to dramatically change our welfare system. Some of the changes I agree with, some I don't. I will be blogging more about these issues, as it is something that I feel strongly about, especially as I work on the front line of a benefits office.

I am sure that there are people reading this who disagree passionately with what I have , but everyone is entitled to an opinion. This is simply mine.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

I need some space!

Let me start by saying I adore my son Bryn. He is 8 months old now and I love seeing him grow and develop. Having said this, I need to be honest and say that he wasn't planned.

As I have already said in some of my earlier posts, money is tight and we only have a small two bedroom cottage which was already pretty cramped with just one child. When I found out that we were expecting I admit I had a little cry (I guess I should have paid more attention in my sex education classes!). The enormity of what was about to happen was crushing and I wasn't sure how we were going to make it work.

As my pregnancy went on, I slowly started to accept what was happening and start to plan for the future. We initially explored our options, and decided that we would try and cope with the accommodation we have. We couldn't move as we were in negative equity, and had no money for a deposit. We also didn't have enough money for an extension although we did have enough (thanks to my lovely father!) to pay for a small do it yourself conservatory which we were able to have built on the front of the house to give us a bit more room.





We also found out about this great product called a Shanticot (http://www.shanticot.co.uk/) which would allow the baby and our daughter to share a room. It is like a bunk bed but has a cot on the bottom and a toddler bed on the top.

The day finally came for Bryn to make his entrance, and we hoped that we could cope with the space we had. Unfortunately we reached crises point after me having spent six months sleeping on the sofa, with Bryn in his Moses basket. He woke every hour during the night so it just wasn't feasible for him to share a room with either his sister or his father (who was back in work full time). We decided we desperately needed another bedroom so made the decision to get a loan to enable us to buy another house and we would have to rent out our house until it wasn't in negative equity anymore.

This was incredibly risky but at the time we felt backed into a corner and this was our only option. As time went on, the situation with Bryn improved as I returned to work Full Time, so started to bottle feed. He now only started to wake once at night (I can only assume that something was not quite right with the breastfeeding previously) and I was able to sleep back in the bedroom, with Bryn in a small cot.

My husband and I were getting more and more nervous about moving house and the risk we were taking so we decided at the last minute to pull out. After speaking to the father in law he said that he could build us an extension which would give us the extra bedroom that we needed, for a price that we could just about afford. This seemed the perfect solution but unfortunately things have not since gone to plan.

We decided to make an offer for a bit of wasteland that the next door neighbour owns, but unfortunately she wasn't happy with price we offered and refused to tell us what she wanted for it. This wasn't the end of the world though as it just meant our extension plans had to be scaled back a bit but we could still just about squeeze an extra bedroom onto the back of our property. We were anxious to remain on good terms with the next door neighbour but she seemed to be uncomfortable talking to us since we made our offer.

Today my husband spoke to her to fill her in about what we had planned, out of common courtesy. Unfortunately she wasn't happy with what we had planned, and has said she is going to seek legal advice. She is quite within her rights to do this, but I feel very disappointed tonight, as I know that this could seriously delay our plans. It also means our relationship with her will probably be strained which is far from ideal when we have just made the decision to stay where we are.

I really despair sometimes! All we want is enough space for our family but it looks as if it is going to be an uphill battle to achieve, like most things in my life at the moment.




Monday, 11 June 2012

My entry for the Next mummy stylist competition

Everyone knows that NEXT provides good quality and stylish clothing on the high street at prices that won't break the bank. I have a number of slightly mad friends who wake up in the middle of the night and start queuing in the early hours ready for the NEXT sale. This is the highlight of their year and the look on their faces as they bring home their bags is priceless. I can't say I am that dedicated, but I do love the clothing and have the chance to win £500 by styling my own NEXT outfit from either the maternity or the children's wear ranges. I am a little daunted by the prospect as I am no fashion icon but I am going to give it my best shot! I have chosen girls clothing suitable for my 2 year old as these are the items I would love to see her wearing this summer.

Whilst browsing I have come across a fantastic range called Oh Buoy Tom Boy. I can't say I am one of these mums that enjoys dressing their daughters head to toe in pink (although the mother in law tries her best!), and I find boyish fashions adorable on my little girl so this range really appeals to me. These striking yellow skinny jeans would look great on my daughter as she is very skinny, and has long legs (the complete opposite to me!). http://www.next.co.uk/g6210086s4




I would style the jeans with the wonderful swallow print blouse which is a little understated compared to the jeans but will give it the colour contrast that it needs. I wouldn't dress her in too much yellow as she might start to look like a banana! http://www.next.co.uk/x49742s1



In the summer, it is important to keep your little ones head covered up, and if you have to do this, you might as well do it in style. This summer hat could be teamed with a wide variety of outfits so that is why it gets my vote.

http://www.next.co.uk/x492746s1



No summer outfit is complete without a pair of cool sunglasses, and you can't get much cooler than this funky spotty pair, and only a snip at £4. http://www.next.co.uk/x494762s4#817160x49



Lastly but not least, she would need a pair of fun but comfortable shoes to finish off the outfit. I opted for these pretty but practical summer sandals. http://www.next.co.uk/x493758s1#807321x49



I think this yellow and blue outfit is a vibrant number that my toddler would love to wear, and her mummy would also love to see her in it. I am hoping you agree!

This is my entry for the Next Blogger competition. Why not have a go yourself! Check out http://allbabyadvice-blog.com/index.php/2012/06/win-500-to-spend-at-next-in-a-mummy-stylist-blogger-competition/ for all the details you need.

All Baby Advice NEXT Mummy Stylist Blogger Competition




Sunday, 10 June 2012

Oh let the sunshine!

Well, we've finally got round to booking our family holiday, and will be going next week. Its not to far or exotic but we love west wales so are very happy to have booked a swanky penthouse for the week overlooking the beach. One thing that I am hoping for though is some sunshine! Wales is famous for its beautiful coastline and also its rain! If the sun does make an appearance, I will be hopefully be getting these funky sunglasses out that I found on http://www.smartbuyglasses.co.uk

They do a fab range of designer and non designer glasses/sunglasses, with low prices so go and check them out!

http://www.smartbuyglasses.co.uk/designer-sunglasses/Alviero-Martini/Alviero-Martini-AL-0100-CKA%20B-80525.html


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Ten things I love about my hubby!

You may think the title of my blog is a bit odd given that I do like to have a moan about my hubby at times via my blog! There is no getting away from the fact the fact that it has been a tough year for me and my family, This has led to much frustration and resentment for both me and the hubby which ids not normally there. Despite this we still have a loving and supportive relationship for which I am very thankful. It can be easy to take your partner for granted and I certainly am guilty of this! I am also guilty of not showing my appreciation of his finer points (after all, these are why I fell in love with him!). To help redress the balance I am posting what I love about him, to help make up for taking him for granted so often! Apologies if this is too soppy but whats a bit of soppyness amongst friends! 1, To the way he makes me laugh! I don't think anyone makes me laugh as much as he does. I love his cheeky sense of humour and although it is juvenile at times, this is just what makes me guffaw! I am a big kid at heart so I think in this department we are a perfect match. He regularly engages in banter with his friends via email, and text. I just can't help myself from having the occasional read as chances are I will be wetting my knickers laughing at some of the comic quips he comes up with. His sense of humour was one of the main reasons I was attracted to him when I first met him at work! Life without laughter would be very dull indeed. 2, He is a fantastic daddy Obviously I couldn't judge this when we first met as we didn't get round to making babies until some years later! I was a bit worried when our daughter came along that he wouldn't want to get fully involved in the day to day care of her, but I needn't have been concerned as he got stuck in. I don't think I could manage without him, as he is always there to help out with the kids. He changes nappies, gets up for night feeds, feeds the children, takes them out to give me a break and this is just for starters. We have friends who have children, where the daddy is hardly involved in these sort of tasks so I thank my lucky stars everyday! 3, He is devilishly handsome I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I really do feel so lucky to have such a handsome hubby. I have never felt that confident about my appearance and certainly don't think I'm an oil painting, so it has given me a lot more confidence to have a fit hubby! Even now, he still makes me go weak at the knees, and I love the fact that his hair is starting to go Grey as he definately has a George Clooney thing going on! 4, He is very clever I don't think I have met anyone who can debate aswell as my hubby. He is so sharp that I haven't got a chance of winning a serious debate with him. Although this can be frustrating for me at times (because I like to think I'm always right!) it also makes me love him when I see him in action with others. I also love the fact that he can talk to a room full of people and gain their attention with seemingly little effort on his part. He presents and trains to rooms full of people on a regular basis, which I am totally in awe of. 5, He is great at DIY! The hubby managed to keep this skill up his sleeve until relatively recently. I always believed that he was relatively inexperienced with DIY so imagine my delight when I discovered he was brilliant at it. Recently he has put a conservatory up from scratch, revamped our kitchen and re-tiled the bathroom. This is the stuff that dreams are made of! 6, He is very loving If I am ever upset or feeling down, he will do his very best to cheer me up. He is always there for a hug or a cwtch as we say in Wales. We have been through some hard times but he is always there for me, and is my emotional crutch. 7, We have so much in common. The hubby absolutely loves films, and likes nothing more than relaxing in front of a film with a glass of wine. Fortunately so do I. We love the same films, the same music and have the same interests. We really enjoy camping ,music festivals and we also share the same friends. I really am so lucky to have someone who I have so much in common with. 8, He can be very romantic Not long after we met, he took me out for a surprise Valentines meal. After the meal he asked me to drive to the coast, and I was so surprised to find that he had borrowed a camper van for the night. The van was filled with roses, chocolates and gifts. We spent the most wonderful evening sleeping next to the ocean, I will never forget that night! 9, He is very artistic I have absolutely no artistic talent- not a smidgen but luckily the hubby does. He can play the guitar, is a great singer and he makes the most wonderful items out of wood. I am just totally in awe of this and our children will hopefully reap the benefits of this! 10, My family love him My family mean a lot to me- they are my world! Even though I don't see them as much as I should, they mean everything to me. It is so important that my family love the man I love, and luckily they do! When I was younger my dad was quick to spot the dodgy boyfriends and would tell me so. Even though I disagreed with him at the time, he was always right! There has been no such complaints from my dad about Matt, and he really enjoys his company so he must be a good un! My grandparents also think the world of him and treat him as though he is there own grandson. The fact that my family love him means I love him even more. Anyway that's enough of the soppyness for today. Everytime I get a bit annoyed with him, I just need to re-visit this post and I will soon be thanking my lucky stars again for such a lovely bloke!

Friday, 20 April 2012

A tough decision

Well the time has finally come for me to go back to work. I am going back after 6 months maternity which is sooner than I would have liked but unfortunately like most people, my finances will not allow me to have any longer off as the rates of statutory maternity pay as pretty poor. It is a tough decision to go back so early but what makes it harder is that I am currently breastfeeding. I was absolutely devastated when my daughter wouldn't breastfeed and I ended up expressing milk for six months in order that she got the best milk I could give her by bottle. I was delighted when my son Bryn took to breastfeeding like a fish to water and the bond I have with him has been amazing. It hasn't been plain sailing as he constantly wants to be fed and regularly has me up every hour in the night to feed him but it has still been worth it. He loves Breastfeeding so much that he refuses to take a bottle. I have tried the odd bottle up to now but with no success so I have been gradually building myself up into a stressed frenzy as I don't want him to starve while I am in work. I have been sending him to a childminder in order to get him settled before I go back but he refuses to take a bottle and won't feed all day until I pick him up! I have had to wean him earlier than I would have liked in order that he gets something to eat while I'm not there. This week I have decided to increase my efforts and we did get some success in the week with Bryn having a few small bottle feeds, but when I sent him to the childminder yesterday he was worse than ever. He screamed the place down all day and was starving by the time I picked him up. My plan when I returned to work was to breastfeed him in the evenings and night, but for him to have a bottle in the day. I made the tough decision today to stop Breastfeeding as the fairest thing for him now is to have a bottle as I am unable to feed him when at work. It does make me sad because I love the feeling so much, and I wish I could stay off work longer in order to continue but my health visitor has advised me that as long as I keep on Breastfeeding him, he is unlikely to accept a bottle. Today hasn't been as bad as I anticipated. He has had a few screaming sessions but has eventually taken the bottle, albeit for only small feeds. I am really proud of him so far, but tonight is going to be the real test. He usually awakes at least three times for a Breastfeed so I am wondering what he will be like tonight when I offer him the bottle instead. Wish me luck!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Throwaway Comments

Monday is a day I really look forward to, as I get to take my 2 little monkeys to Playgroup and catch up with some of my fellow friends that are mums. I enjoy it but it can be a bit of a challenge as my 2 year old is a bit of a handful. Iola has opted out of sharing, and this can lead to many a playgroup tussle but I am sure that most mums would agree that this is common for toddlers. I have a friend who has a little boy who is very similar, and can be quite boisterous when playing. The odd fracas takes place but his mum always makes sure that he is spoken to about it and says sorry to the affected party if appropriate.

Today both our children were playing relatively well, but the little boy decided to throw something at another child. His mum quickly intervened and made him apologise to the other child and his grandparent. The grandparent commented that 'He hasn't changed then' which upset my friend greatly. She know's he can be a handful but these kind of throwaway comments can be quite hurtful to some of us less secure mums.

It took me back to an incident when My daughter was about 18 months. We were at a friends BBQ and my daughter hadn't had her afternoon nap. In these situations she tends to have very public meltdowns which can be the cause of much embarrassment but I try to best to diffuse the situation. On this particular day I have to admit that she was being hard work but I was hoping for understanding on my friends part which was duly given, but it was a different story for her aunty. She told me that 'I needed to curb my child' before I had any more. This was particularly insensitive at the time becase I had just found out I was pregnant with my second child. I don't know why people think they have the right to pass judgement on your parenting and your children after minimal contact with them. These kind of comments can be very hurtful and people really should think about the consequences of these comments before they utter them! I am thinking that I need to develop a thick skin for this parenting malarky.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Time to move forward

After a particularly angst ridden post the other day , after a miserable few days I have started to feel slightly better. A relatively decent nights sleep and advice from fellow bloggers always helps. I know my situation is far from ideal but I had a chat with the hubby yesterday and we have both agreed to try harder to make our situation better.

I have spent the last few days having a clear out and putting stuff on ebay which will help the place feel less cluttered and make us a bit of extra cash. I am also going to dedicate more time to my blog to allow me to get these things off my chest as I am guilty of bottling things up and letting them get on top of me. I do think I am suffering with Post Natal Depression still (which I had thought I had got over) so will be contacting my doctor for some further support.

We are going to try and get a bigger place as we recognise that its going to help our relationship and be beneficial for our kids but it is going to be a financial gamble again. I have been accepted for a low rate loan which will give us a deposit for a larger house, and we will rent our current place out (providing we get a mortgage of course!)This will be a risk as we are putting ourselves in further debt and we need to find decent tenants for our current house, but things have got so bad that I think its a risk worth taking. If the worst come to the worst, and it doesn't work out, then we will have to make ourselves bankrupt and suffer the consequences but we will still have eachother. Worse things happen at sea!

The mortgage advisor is coming to see us tommorrow so fingers crossed that things work out and we can move to somewhere with enough space for us!

Giveaway #2 £30 Amazon voucher with Appliances Online

 I am extremely lucky to be able to offer my readers a fantastic opportunity to bag yourself a £30 Amazon voucher in conjuction with Appliances Online. Anyone on the competition circuit will know the brand well as they regularly offer brilliant competitions which leave many 'compers' drooling at the mouth! Appliances Online are regarded as the best online retailer of Kitchen Appliances by many and are the largest online retailer for Kitchen Appliances in the UK. If you are in the market for any Kitchen Appliance, I would urge you to check them out!
Instead of just a standard entry, I would love my readers to give some thought to their favourite childhood toy. My daughter Iola and I have been having great fun playing with some of my old toys that my nana has kept stashed away in anticipation of her great grandkids. There is a 50 year old fisher price wind up radio that plays singing in the rain, old toy cars, a trumpet and that old chestnut Guess who!



 Thinking back to my childhood I would have to say that my favourite toy was my Space Hopper
I used to love bouncing up the garden on it trying to bounce higher and higher. It was just the best feeling in the world- so much so, I might invest in an adult one! Anyway I would love to know what everyones favourite childhood toy was, so will be asking you to comment on the blog as part of the Rafflecopter entry form. Please complete the form, and no cheating as I will be checking that all entries are valid! If the Rafflecopter form doesn't come up straight away, just refresh the screen and it will appear.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Stuck in a rut!

As the title of my post states-I am stuck in a rut and need to get a few things off my chest about my life in general. I don't usually like to open up to people about my situation but it has got to stage where I need to sound off a bit before I go mad!

Over the last ten years since I met my hubby, we seem to have made successive bad decisions with our finances. I have been lucky and gained a number of promotions in work over the last ten years, and my hubby has also seen an increase in his wages but life seems to be a constant struggle due to money worries. I really don't know how people on benefits or minimum wage survive as it is hard enough for us who earn a decent wage.  I don't treat myself to new clothes, hair cuts, holidays etc and buy from charity shops. Treating myself (apart from the odd bottle of wine) is just not an option as our finances won't allow it. We have got ourselves into debt over the years after a series of foolish decisions, and spending on credit cards etc. Before I met my husband the only debt I had was student loans from my time at university but I was shocked when we actually tallied up our debt yesterday it was nearly forty thousand pounds! I do feel a certain resentment towards my hubby as he actively encouraged us to get loans and has pushed me in directions that I haven't wanted to go which has led to more debt. I won't go into the finer details but I am certainly becoming bitter in my old age and don't want this simmering resentment to affect our relationship. I have also taken on other work from home in my spare time over the last couple of years, to make ends meet which has led me to feel exhausted and limits the time I get to spend with my 2 year old daughter.

My husband has admitted he has a problem with spending. Whilst I rarely spend any money on myself, he does make expensive purchases for himself, mainly on credit which is just aggravating our situation. Any discussion about this just leads to heated arguments and I suppose that I am a bit of a coward as I just leave the situation lie. He did state the other day that he was going to try and change his ways as he knows it is putting a strain on the family but I am not so sure. He has been suffering with stress and depression so I also don't want to aggravate this.

We were just muddling through until last year when I was shocked to discover that I was pregnant again. This was definately not planned as I know our finances wouldn't cope, and also our house is a small 2 bedroom house with little room for a second child. Since the birth of my son Bryn matters have come to a head. I am sleeping on the sofa downstairs as my son does not sleep in the night so I am unable to put him in the bedroom with my daughter as I risk waking her up. I also can't put him in the bedroom as my hubby wouldn't get any sleep before work and has beem suffering with stress and depression. Ideally we should move to a bigger house, with a third bedroom but we have no money for a deposit and our finances won't really allow it. I am just totally fed up and can't really see any way forward. I am returning back to work in a couple of weeks (out of financial necessity) but I have no idea how I am going to afford childcare, and think I need to get a part time job. This is going to reduce the time I get to spend with my children even more but I think this is the only way to keep a roof over our heads.

I am hoping that life will get better but at the moment, I don't know how.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Making family chores fun

Chores, don't we just love them! My house is a bit like me, A little bit dishevelled, could do with getting rid of some excess baggage and frequently subject to stains!

 I am afraid that when it comes to household chores, I am no domestic goddess and have been known to run for cover and hide, hoping someone else will get on with it. With 2 children aged under 3, my free time is scarce so given the choice of getting on with the cleaning or logging onto Facebook I am afraid I choose the latter chores get left! Unfortunately as my Darling Hubby is also a bit of a householdchoreaphobe and I don't have the cash for hired help, the task inevitably ends up at my feet (or on my feet in some cases).
As the Household chores have been building up, and I was having to start turning away guests from the house, I suddenly struck upon a brilliant idea!

At the moment my 2 year old is quite demanding (as most children are) and doesn't like to be left unoccupied while I get on with the dreaded chores so I thought why not combine doing  the housework and entertaining her. Household chores don't have to be monotonous and can be fun for all those involved with a little bit of imagination. My daughter loves getting involved and acting like a grownup so I try and get her involved in the chores. She loves playing with water so loves wiping anything with a cloth dipped in water, so I frequently get her to clean up surfaces (although there can be some collateral damage with this!). She also likes standing on a step and helping me wash up, as splashing and playing with bubbles are two of her favourite things! She may not be doing that much actual washing up but she is happy and content so I can get on with the task in hand! She is endlessly amused by the feather duster so has great fun running it up and down the walls while giggling to herself, especially when I grab it off her and tickle her with it! Her absolute favourite chore and the most helpful one is the hoovering. There is something about the noise and the fact she is operating machinery (albeit with close supervision from me) which intrigues and delights her. She takes pride in sucking up all the little bits she can see on the floor, and dancing around with the hoover in her hand.  Now she is at the stage where she is asking to get involved in the chores and my house is a lot cleaner as a result!

So everyone, there is family fun to be had with household chores and whilst we have not invented any trailblazing household chore games, we certainly do have fun together!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Babi Pur competition to win a Snowdonia log cabin break

Babi Pur are running a wonderful competition on their blog in conjuction with Trawsfynydd Holiday Village. They are offering one person the chance to win a log cabin break and a limited edition 3 in 1 Wishbone Bike. Please click on the following link to enter: http://www.ethicalshoppingforbabies.co.uk/2012/02/win-a-log-cabin-break-in-snowdonia-a-wishbone-bike/comment-page-1/#comment-12241

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Breast Feeding MEME

I came this Breastfeeding MEME which I thought I would post onto the blog.

1. Why did you choose boob over bottle?

I was absolutely adamant that I would try my best not to give my son a bottle as there is no doubt that 'Breast is Best' With my first child Breastfeeding did not work out as she failed to latch on so I was determined to make a go of it this time. Breastfeeding is a wonderful feeling and its also free aswell as being less hassle in the long run.

2. How long did you breastfeed or are you planning to breastfeed?

I have been breastfeeding for the last four months. I return to work in 2 months time so I may need to stop then but it would be nice to continue with the odd feed if I can.

3. What is the best thing about breastfeeding?

I have an incredible bond with my son which unfortunately I didn't experience with my dauughter who was bottle fed. I also love that I don't have to worry about preparing bottles, sterilising and forking out for expensive formula.

4. Did you have to overcome challenges on your breastfeeding journey?

The first few weeks were very challenging as he was feeding every hour so I was absolutely exhausted. I also had problems getting him to latch on correctly but we seem to have nailed it now! You really have to perservere and there were many times I felt like giving up. I am so proud of what I have managed to achieve.

5. Who supported you the most with breastfeeding?

My health visitor was fantastic and gave me loads of support and advice. I also joined a Breastfeeding support group which I also found very supportive. My husband wasn't as supportive as he could have been as he felt that he wasn't getting the same bond with his son that he did when he was feeding his daughter. He also got fed up with me moaning about being tired so frequently told me to give it up. Men eh!
6. How did you feel when you first breastfed in public?

I felt nervous at first but just got on with it. Unfortunately the hubby told me that I was 'exposing' myself too much when doing (I haven't mastered the art of being discreet!) so this made me quite self conscious. I can't say that I really enjoy doing it in public and prefer it in the comfort of my own home.

7. Have you been questioned for breastfeeding?

Yes, It has suprised me how many people are anti breastfeeding. I remember my mother in law taking great pleasure in telling me that breastfed babies are generally more unsettled according to a recent study. My gran also encouraged me to give up.

8. Has breastfeeding made you feel different about your body?

Not at all. I'm not happy with my body but Breastfeeding has made no difference to this!

9. What do you wish you had known before making the decision to breastfeed your baby?

I think training on how to breastfeed is essential in making those first few weeks goes as smoothly as possible. I was naive in thinking it would be straightforward, but there is definately an art to it!

Giveaway #1- Baby's First Calendar

I am very excited to be running my first giveaway on my blog courtesy of Baby's First Calendar. I reviewed the Calendar a few weeks ago on my blog and I have been lucky enough to have been given one to giveaway to one lucky reader.





If you are struggling to think of a gift to buy for your friends/family new born baby or friends baby shower, worry no more. I have come across this great product which is sure to be the answer.  Instead of buying the typical boring baby outfit which the baby will only probably wear once, why not purchase a Baby's First Calendar. This personalised Calendar is the ultimate baby keepsake which records their key milestones in an easy and fun way. There are stickers for each milestone, an in built room thermometer, safe sleeping advice and space to attach baby’s birth details and photo’s.  It is in an easy to use Poster format so no fiddly baby record book to fill in that just gets forgotten about.

  Baby’s First Calendar Ltd are also a Sponsor to the Cot Death Charity FSID (Foundation for the Study Of Infant Deaths). They donate 10 pence from every sale to FSID to help fund  researchto prevent cot deaths. I'm sure you will agree that this is a very worthy cause. Baby's first Calendar won a Small Business Sunday / #sbs award from Dragons Den Star Theo Paphitis so you can't really get a better endorsement than from a Dragons Den member.  Another great thing about these calendars are that they retail at £17.95 so are really affordable and I am sure that any recipient of one of these calendars would be really pleased to receive such a thoughtful and practical gift! check out the website http://babysfirstcalendar.co.uk/buy-babys-first-calendar  of facebook page http://www.facebook.com/BabyFirstCalendar  for more details.

To win one of these Lovely Calendars, just complete the Rafflecopter form below (If it isn't visible, just refresh the page). The competion will end at Midnight on Saturday the 03rd of March.<a 

Also promoted on

The Prize Finder
http://www.theprizefinder.com

Loquax Competitions
http://www.loquax.co.uk




Thursday, 2 February 2012

Bad Muthahood incident #1

I'm suffering with a guilty conscience today which is pretty typical with my record of shoddy motherhood.

My son Bryn is currently teething so cue lots of dribbing , lots of grizzling and not much sleep for me. When he is like this, I can openly admit that he is quite HARD WORK! I know that might be a shock to some of you with your rose tinted specs but motherhood/parenthood is not all smiles and magic moments. In a bid to limit the pain of dealing with a grumpy baby, I elected to take him out to my local playgroup. I always find the company of other bedraggled mothers helps my sanity as I stop thinking I am the only one in this state and can have a good moan about the babies latest misdemeanors.

As usual, I was in a mad rush. Good mothers may be able to get their children out of the house on time, smartly dressed and fully prepared for their trip out but being a bad mutha means that we are constantly running late, in a shabby state and totally unprepared. I quickly shoved baby Bryn in his car seat which is part of his Graco travel system (excellent travel system bought for the princely sum of £10 from ebay- no expense spared for my little cherub!). I then put the car seat into the pushchair in order to make haste down to the car, and didn't really pay much attention to what I was doing as I was too busy shouting expletives at the hubby while frantically looking for my car keys. The journey to my car involves taking the travel system down a small flight of steps at the front of my house. As I clumsily dragged the pushchair down the steps, Bryns car seat suddenly came lose from the pushchair and somersalted down the steps.  My heart was literally in my mouth as I saw him flying through the air and land face down on the path. I squealed and ran towards my little angel who was now screaming hysterically but was overcome with relief when I saw that he was ok, apart from being severely traumatised! It turns out that I had failed to click the car seat into place which had led to this terrible example of bad muthahood. This 'bad mutha' really must try harder!

Lessons learnt

  1. Be organised in the morning so that I am not in a mad rush to get out of the house (realistically never going to happen)
  2. Always strap baby into his car seat
  3. Always make sure the car seat is clicked into place before setting off from the house
Anyway, I hope you good mothers are not too shocked by what you have read today. You can now go off and feel rather smug that this would never ever happen to your little angel. I am almost certain that another example of bad muthahood will occur tommorrow (as it does most days) so will be updating my blog with the next incident shortly!