30 April, 2016

Turning 26, Anxiety and Moving Forward

So Yesterday I turned 26 and as I normally do on birthdays I spent a lot of time reflecting. Reflecting over the year that has just gone and the years before. I have spent so long being controlled by my anxiety that I really haven't done much. I've missed out on opportunities because my anxiety was too much of a decision maker and I hate that.  The last two years have been hard, I had my son and a host of complications after my pregnancy one was developing arthritis, triggered by pregnancy and that really made things difficult. However now I'm on medication I'm pretty much back to normal. But for so long I spent inside, unable to walk far or drive far its made my anxiety more of an issue.

In that time I also spent a lot of time at home or in my safe areas, my hometown or with family. I had a car that was unreliable and constantly needing work and breaking down so that also made me not want to go far as that would set my anxiety off. However at the beginning of this year I got a new car and so for the first time in 2 years I felt free, but the problem I am still having is the little voice in the back of my head (anxiety) that makes me analysis every single thing until I've talked myself out of it.
My worries get so bad that before going out in the car ( long journeys) I think about the worst case situation.

I've missed out on blogging events and opps because of my anxiety. I'm unable to travel into London because I'm so worried in case of a terrorist event and I know it sounds silly but for those who've never had anxiety just imagine you have someone wrapping clingfilm around your head, your unable to breath, unable to concentrate and scared out of your mind. That is somewhat of a way to describe an anxiety attack.  One of the reason I think I worry so much is because I'm terrified of my children loosing their Mum.  Since having my boys I have found that that is my biggest fear in life.

On a social level my anxiety effects me in so many ways that I will avoid events as much as possible. I had a hard time at school with being bullied for my weight and looks and have always taken that with me. I can't take a compliment without thing it's a cruel joke and I'm so unhappy with the way I look. There have been times when I have sat in my room crying. Wishing to feel happy in my body, wishing that I didn't look fat, ugly and frumpy. But it's a vicious circle that once your in it's hard to get out of.

My anxiety at some times makes me feel like it's ruined my life, I often think what do I have to offer people? Why am I here? I feel like a failure.
I never went to university like my siblings, I don't look pretty, I get nervous when talking out loud and I second guess myself with everything I do.
But the one thing I have ever felt safe and secure in is my role as a mother. The moment I found out I was pregnant I felt beautiful, I felt that I had a purpose and I felt proud. I never had that worry about coping and even when I had my second son I took to having two like a duck on water. But that's where my confidence ends. Outside of being a mother my life seems meaningless. I have nothing to offer, and that's where I want to change things.

I want to really push myself, do things that make me feel different about the way I am currently feeling. My boys are now starting the next chapters of their lives, with one at full time school and one starting part time. I now have a chance for a few hours a week to find myself.
I want to start a career, I want to get a fitness plan together that works and makes me feel good about myself, and above all I just want to feel happy. We all deserve to feel happy don't we?

Work wise I would love to work in a job that involved organising, social media and errand running as I love to be constantly doing different things a job involving those elements would be perfect for me but I'm not sure what jobs I could do with that?

Fitness wise for me it's more of the case of thinking differently and just going for it, I may have to rope the kids in to help me with getting active. And days when I cant be bothered I set myself a 30 min activity to just get moving even if it's a walk around the living room!

I hope by starting these small changes I can create a big change in my life and maybe for once in my life I will finally start to finally feel happy with myself.


28 April, 2016

Steepletone Sterling Radio Review

I have always loved listening to music. From a young age I was obsessed with The Spice Girls and The Backstreet Boys I then got into Michael Jackson, Go West and many other artists from the 80's and 90's. Growing up I would always have the cd player or radio on. I remember how I would record the Sunday night chart show on my cassette player, proper old school! Music has always been a massive part of my life.
Even now as an adult I play my favourite tracks in the car, at the gym and even in the shower. I constantly seem to have my phone glued to me with some of my favourite hits blaring out from my tiny little speakers.

Recently I was sent the Steepletone Sterling Radio from Liberty Trading and let me tell you how excited I was, because it's been a while since we had a radio or even cd player in the house. 

 The Steepletone Sterling radio is a retro portable CD & MP3 player which is so handy, as I can take my music anywhere with me as long as I have some batteries with me.
However if I want to keep it in the same room or just don't want to use batteries then it also comes with a mains cable.  Below is a list of some of its key features :

  • Retro style AC/DC portable music system 
  • MW-LW-FM and FM-Stereo analogue radio 
  • Vertical CD player 
  • Built-in stereo speakers 
  • MP3 playback via USB Port (up to 16GB flash memory) 
  • Rotary tuning 
  • Rotary click electronic volume control 
  • Blue backlit LCD display for CD/MP3 
  • Strong vinyl carry handle 
  • Telescopic aerial (4-section/60cm long) 
  • Headphone socket
  • Battery operated (6 x Size C batteries not supplied) or 230V (50Hz) mains operation (detachable mains cable supplied)

The radio is designed with that retro vibe, I love the retro style it's eye-catching and chic and it mixed really well in with my home decor, which is neutrals and minimalistic with a touch of children! Lets face it no matter how hide I try to hide it there will always be one of the kids toys or toys boxes out! So I may as well own it!

The radio is made to an exceptional quality, it doesn't feel light or cheap. I was actually surprised to the weight of it, my first thought would would it feel very light and hollow? But actually it has a good and comfortable carrying weight, there is also a strong vinyl carry handle for easy transportation. I'am extremely impressed with the overall quality of this piece.

The quality of the sound is amazing too! I had it out in the garden with no problems and even had it turned up loud and it still sounded great. There was no distortion and it sounds so much better then from off my phone. The sound does really fill the room, so great for when you have friends over/ parties.

In all I am extremely please with this product and would/have already recommend to others to buy. I am really looking forward to the summer so we can take this out on picnics and possibly on our holiday too! 
You can purchase this radio from Liberty Trading for £76.99 

*This was sent to me free in exchange for a review all opinions are that of my own unless otherwise stated


20 April, 2016

Pamering Myself With Boswells Oxford

A couple of weeks ago I was sent a lovely beauty box of goodies to try from Boswells in Oxford and to really test them out I had the ultimate pampering evening.

I rarely get time to go out and just treat myself so I alway go for the home pampering options because it' s easier than trying to find childcare.
So when I received my goodies I made sure they kids were in bed early and the house was tidy so I had longer relax and take my time to pamper myself.

In my goodie bag I received several items such as:

Flutter by Butterfly from Bomb Cosmetics 

I love a good bath bomb and this was the first thing I had to do.  It contains a cocoa butter swirl in the middle which once melted in the bath you can feel it absorbing into your skin as your in the bath. When I got out the bath my skin felt so soft and smooth. The only negative thing I can say about this was that it wasn't the  best dissolving display I have seen but thats just me nit picking as I was hoping for a bit more of a floor show with colours and fizziness. 

Dr. Bronner Organic Peppermint Soap 

I love peppermint and so every morning my showers have been amazing using this. I know a lot of people don't like peppermint due to that cold tingly sensation it can make your skin feel, but I love that! It makes me feel refreshed and awake and ready for the day, sometimes my day starts at 5am so I need all the extra help I can get whilst trying to wake up. 

Hydrea London Round Bamboo Body Brush 

I've always been a sponge girl and never really thought of using brushes in the shower so this again has been a new experience for me. The bamboo Body brush can be used wet or dry, I personally prefer to use mine wet. The benefits to using a brush like this is to exfoliate and remove dead skin, remove ingrown hairs, tighten and tone the skin and to remove clogged up pores.  I really like using this brush I use it in circular motions on my thighs to help with the little bit of cellulite I have. 
Ive been using it for a good 2 maybe even 3 weeks and I can start to see some improvements in my skin so I'm going to keep this in my daily routine for the foreseeable future. 

Dead Sea Spa Magik Rich Moisturiser 

After each bath or shower I have been using this moisturiser. I love it, it's hydrating and leaves my skin feeling super soft. I actually had a horrible cold when I was trying this and so used it on and around my nose as it was really dry from constantly having to wipe my nose and it sorted out the dryness straight away. 
  I like to use it before applying my make up as I find that it gives my makeup a better finish. I always make sure I have a tube in my bag now as it's so handy I can use it all over my body. 

Weleda Hydrating Day Cream   

I have only been using this cream for a few days as I've had so many face creams this month to test its been difficult fitting them all in as i like to give them a good couple of weeks to trail, but so far I can say that this is a really nice cream and extremely suitable for under makeup which is really important to me however I think it's thicker than the dead sea Spa moisturiser but only by a little bit and tok slightly longer to settle in to my skin.
It contains witch hazel and jojoba seed oil to help soften and improve the skin's elasticity. It smells really good too, it actually reminded me of when I had my pregnancy massage they used a similar scented lotion and it just made me feel so relaxed. 

Antipodes Divine Face Oil

I have never used a face oil before so this was a new one, however it was really easy to apply just like you would with any other face cream except this is just oil. I then would add my moisturiser once I had applied the face oil. 
It says it's suppose to deliver antioxidants and essential nourishment for fresh and healthy skin, as well as reducing the appearance of scars, age spots and lines. 
I have a small scar on my face from a previous surgery I had done to remove a cyst and so I have some scarring, so I have been focusing more on that area. I have yet to see any real results on that but I think it may need a few more weeks to see an improvement. However it smells nice and natural and not chemically or overpowering in scent. 


Jan Marini Transformation Cream Review

As I'm getting older I'm trying to make more of an effort with my skincare routine, I realised that if I want good skin especially as I age, I need to start now. Recently I have been trying out the Jan Marini transformation cream in my daily skin care regime.

Poring to using this cream I had no knowledge of the brand and so when my cream was delivered, I was interested in seeing if their cream had the measurable results it says it had. I like to be fair with my reviews especially on things like face creams. I personally thinks it takes a good 2-3 weeks to see the real effects, so at the point of writing this review I have been using the cream for about 3 weeks.

The Transformation Cream is part of a 5 step management system :

Step 1. Cleanse 
Step 2. Rejuvenate
Step 3. Resurface 
Step 4. Hydrate 
Step 5. Protect 

The cream I'm reviewing comes under step 4, hydrate. Keeping your skin hydrated is really important, when skin is hydrated it is plump and resilient in your skin you have levels of hyaluronic acid. This is what helps the skin retain moisture, so it really pays to drink a lot of water as they bind together to increase the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid. This means less wrinkles! However as you get older your skin becomes dryer that's because hyaluronic Acid in your skin declines. So another way to replenish what you have lost is by using face creams containing hyaluronic acid.

Jan Marini's transformation cream contains hyaluronic acid along with other key technologies such as antioxidants, plant extracts, peptides, beta glucan and thymosin.  All of these key ingredients help with rebuilding and rejuvenating the skin along with repairing and protecting.

So how did I find it? 

 I applied to my face and neck as instructed and used it as part of my night-time skincare routine.You really don't need a lot of this cream as a little bit seems to go a long way.
It's a medium to light weight cream that smells extremely pleasant and settles really nice into the skin. 3 weeks in and my skin is noticeably more softer and my skin feels more fresh especially in the mornings as it use to feel very tight and dry.

Wrinkle wise I don't really have many as of yet but I'm going to keep using this cream in my night-time routine so hopefully it will stop me from getting any!
I am really impressed with the quality of this skincare brand and have my eye on a couple of their other products such as their Bioglycolic Facial Cleanser and their Marini Lash conditioner.


17 April, 2016

5 Steps To The Perfect Summer Party With Waddlegoose

This year I'm super excited for the summer. To be able to get out in the sun, sit in the garden, relax and have as many bbq's as I can! Well that's the plan as long as the weather is good!

Today's post is all about how to have the perfect garden party/bbq, so for those who want to be organised you can start planning and even stock piling now. Trust me I already have! 

5 Steps to the perfect garden party

1. Spring clean the garden

The first thing is to get the garden sorted, you cant have a garden party if the garden isn't usable. We are currently in this process, spending any available dry day weeding, painting and re- gravelling areas of the garden. Ready for when the sun comes out and the parties can begin.  It's so nice to be able to have the kids out on the grass knowing the area is clean and safe, and that it looks nice.

2. Decorate

Decorate the garden and give it a summery feel. I am going to get some outside bunting, along with some plants and some little brightly coloured windmills for the kids play area.
If you look now you may find some of the items you want on deals and if your like me and loving getting things for nothing, save your supermarket loyalty points so you can use on their summer items.  My nectar points especially are going to hopefully buy all of our outdoor plates and cutlery and maybe even some toys for the boys to play with.

3. Drink

No party is complete without an alcoholic beverage and one of my favourites at the moment is this new cyder, Waddlegoose by Aspell that I was kindly sent to review. 

Im not a massive drinker as many of my friends and family will know but it's nice to have the odd one or two especially when it's super hot and sunny out. 

The cyder is a light to medium body that's sweet in flavour and very refreshing, I love mine super icy cold.  Waddlegoose uses apples such as Gala and Gloster 69 so that the cyder doesn't loose that crisp apple bite, but again without it being an overpowering taste. 

It's also great for cooking with! I'm hoping to make a cider pulled pork and caramelised onions in the coming weeks. I also found it's great for making cakes and donuts with so that will have to be tried and tested at some point! 

The three berry cyder is also a hit, made with raspberries, blueberries and blackcurrants, it has a very sweet taste. You can definitely taste the blackcurrent as it reminds me of an alcoholic version of when I make ribeana with lemonade..... yummy! 
At only 3.8% and 4.6%  both ciders are ease to drink and perfect for someone who doesn't like/want a strong alcoholic drink.

Waddle goose is out now and can be brought from your local Tesco.

4. Food

Summer is my favourite time of year for food, I tend to not want to be slaving over a cooker for hours in the heat so I try to come up with quick and healthy meal ideas to keep everyone happy and foods we love. 

I find that during the summer I eat more cold meals than I do hot and I love my fruit more in the summer, so smoothies, salads, and cold meat meals always go down well. And if I'm wanting cooked meals then definitely a full on bbq because you cant get much better than that! 

5. Family & Entertainment 

No party is set without your friends and family. I love spending the time with the people I'm close to and so a party is the perfect excuse to get everyone together. 
 For entertainment wise I love to have music playing, the kids can have their garden toys out. Im hoping this year we may even have a little paddling pool up too. 
Another thing you could bring out for entertainment is a projector, why not turn your garden into a cinema. You can have bean bags or chairs laid out for everyone, maybe even fairy lights up and don't forget the homemade popcorn and baked treats for everyone to nibble on as it's not a cinema without the treats! 

I hope you liked my 5 steps to the perfect summer garden party, what will you be doing this summer?



16 April, 2016

It's Ok To Have A Caesarean

 I spent 3 years traumatise by the birth of my first son, I remember throughout my pregnancy a cesarean was something that was never discussed in any detail. So I assumed I would have a natural delivery. 
Having a caesarean  really affected me on an emotional and physical level. I felt less of a women and I felt robbed of a chance of doing something that my body should of naturally been able to do.

I was left with a large red raw scar and an overhang of skin that made me hate my body so much. There were nights when I cried myself to sleep and days where I was frustrated at being limited to what clothes I could wear. It's been almost 5 years since I've been able to wear jeans due to my caesareans. I never wanted a c-section but it was the only way to deliver my child safely. 

3 years after my cesarean I fell pregnant again. I discussed my options with my midwife early on and decided I would try for aVBAC. My wish for a VBAC never happened.... I ended up having my second emergency caesarean. I spent weeks recovering due to my traumatic delivery and post op complications. 

They say time's a healer.... 

5 years since my first caesarean and my feelings have changed, it's ok to have a caesarean. It's ok that I couldn't naturally labour, it doesn't make me any less of a woman or mother.  It's ok that I may never wear jeans again because I have discovered jeggings!  It's ok that I wanted a VBAC and I'm ok that I didn't get one. 

It's all ok ........

It's ok because I know I delivered my babies in the safest way possible, It doesn't matter what others say. I wear my now faded scars with pride because they gave my babies life. 
Seeing my boys reach each and every milestone made me realise that it doesn't matter how they got here as, it just matters that they are here.  

You should never feel any less of a woman or mother for having a caesarean, it's perfectly fine to have a caesarean just like it's perfectly acceptable to have a natural birth. 
Never let anyone make you feel otherwise. Having a caesarean made me feel so guilty for so long and actually it should never of had to be like that. 

If your pregnant and scared of the thought of needing a caesarean please don't be. 


11 April, 2016

Elsa Dress Review // Chi Chi London

Today'a post is something a little bit different to what I would usually post about and I'm slightly nervous to see how this comes out. But hopefully you will like it! 

As you will know I'm a massive Disney nerd and I have posted about Disney bounding and Disney inspired looks before on the blog. This time I'm channeling my inner princess with a Disney princess inspired look.  
Recently I was contacted by Chi Chi London to review a dress of my choice and immediately fell in love with their Elsa dress.

The Elsa dress is a beautiful pale blue, midi length, tea dress. It has gold embroidered mesh detailing at the top, around the neckline and at the bottom of the dress. It's such a beautiful and elegant dress definitely worthy of the name Elsa, it's a dress I know the Disney princess would love! 

It is fully lined with a mesh underskirt and a padded bust, making it super comfy to wear. I seriously felt like a princess wearing this, it's fit for a princess and very Disney-esque so for all those Disney cosplayers/Disney bounders this is a dress for you! 

I love the capped sleeves as I'm not a huge fan of my arms so this gives them a little bit of coverage and make me feel less insecure about them. 

The skirt has many layers to give it fullness and if you wanted even more volume then I would suggest adding an underskirt. That way you can really go all out on the princess look. 

To achieve my princess look I took inspiration from Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I wore my hair down with a little bit pinned back and in loose waves.
Makeup I kept to a minimum as it's all about the natural beauty. I chose a full coverage foundation, blusher, a subtle cat eye and some gold eyeshadow with a touch of brown on the outer corners to add some depth and dimension and a coat of mascara. 

The dress has an ease access zip on the side so suitable if you have no one to help you in and out of the dress! 

Sizing wise I would say this comes up small, I had to go up a size. So I would suggest ordering a size up.

Now that summer is here this dress would be perfect for so many occasions and in particular I think this would make a lovely bridesmaid dress and prom dress. 

The Elsa dress is priced at £66.99 which I think is a very reasonable price considering the quality of the dress is just amazing. The only thing I would say about the dress is that I found the top detailing slightly itchy after wearing it for a while, so if your like me with things like this you may want to just bare that in mind. 

Every Disney princess has an animal companion, meet one of my newest family members. 

I hope you liked this post and if you want to see more posts like this in the future leave me a comment below. 


06 April, 2016

A Guide To Cesareans

Regular readers of my blog will know that I have had two emergency c sections, so I know all too well of what happens. 
However, I was unprepared for my first one and even though I had searched the internet like crazy I still couldn't find the answers I was looking for. So this is my post on everything you need to know about cesareans and with some helpful tips to help you in the few weeks after surgery. 

Why would I need a cesarean? 

Sometimes complications arise during delivery which means a cesarean is required to deliver the baby safely. Other reasons could be due to a multiple birth, the baby is too large, HIV, if you've had a previous c section ( however this isn't always the case), if you've had previous surgery to your uterus and if you have placenta previa.

Some women also chose to have a cesarean to a natural delivery. 

What is in Involved with a cesarean? 

 It's an incision made just above your pubic bone on the bikini line area, several cuts are made through skin, tissue and muscle to get to the baby. The baby is then delivered safely and you get stitched back up. 

What happens before a cesarean? 

  • If you are having a planned c section you may go in the night before or early in the morning. You will be told to not eat or drink so many hours before. Once you get to the hospital you will have all your pre op checks and possibly given some pre op medication. 

  • You will sign your consent form and discuss all options of pain relief with the anaesthesiologist. 

  • You will be taken down to theatre where they will prep you, while you are being prepped your partner or birthing partner will be gowned up in the next room. 

  • Your spinal block will then be administered,  I personally didn't think it hurt and let me just say I am terrified of needles! As the spinal block is being administered you are also given a small dose of anaesthetic to numb the area. 

  • Once the line is inserted you will be helped to lie down and the epidural line will be taped to your back (well mine was), a cold spray will be put onto your skin to test if you are numb enough.  Once numbed the nurses help put on your surgical stockings, extremely sexy looking and annoying as hell but obviously a needed item because you don't want to be catching a DVT whilst your there too! 

  • A small catheter will be insert into your urethra, this helps drain any urine during the procedure and also for the 12 hours after or until the numbness has gone. 

  • An IV drip will be inserted (this may be done before or in the theatre) to administer fluids, pain relief and antibiotics. 
  • If you haven't shaved or waxed then they will also shave and unfortunately it's a dry shave across the bikini line, so maybe pre-book in a wax if you'd prefer a neater job! 

What happens after? 

Afterwards you will be taken into recovery and given a bit of food to eat and something to drink. Depending on the time of your cesarean you may just want to go to sleep.

A nurse will check on you every so often and also a midwife will come to help you breast feed if you chose to do so. 

Now here is the fun bit! 12 hours after surgery they will make you get out of bed! And it's the most weirdest sensation of your life. But the more mobile you are the better the pain. The first time after my 1st c-section I remembered walking hunched over, my stomach muscles were completely ruined and I felt like my insides were going to hit the floor.  The second time was actually worse. I had lost more than the average amount of blood and couldn't stand up due to my iron levels being so low I was on the verge of needing a transfusion. 

You will also be sent home with a selection of pain relief, I would suggest taking them as they are much better than paracetamol or Nurofen.  

You will/ may also be given an injection for the first 7 days to help prevent any blood clots, when I was allowed home I had to get my dad to inject me as I was too scared to do it myself. He's a farmer so he joked that I was no different to injecting a cow, charming dad! 

What to pack in your hospital bag and tips

Pack the biggest pants you can! 
You will need some high wasted underwear as anything lower will just rub against your stitches and it's not comfortable. Go all Bridget Jones on the underwear!

Sanitary towels the thicker the better! 
I used these to put on the inside of my underwear opposite my scar to help keep the area clean and dry and it also acted as a bit of protection to cushion the area. Obviously you will want extra pads for the bleeding you have after as well. 

Comfy clothes that don't dig into the scar
 I chose to live in night dresses for the first week just for that reason. With Archie I wore a really nice maternity/nursing set from Envie de Fraises. Click here to see my review post.

Air your scar
  Lie on the bed for 5/10 mins every few hours with your trousers and underwear folded down to let the air get to it. Many people will have an overhang after their c-section so it can get a bit sweaty underneath and the one thing you don't want is an infection on the scar. 

Shave or wax 
Give your bikini line at bit of a trim before your due date or cesarean date, being dry shaved at the hospital made my scar so itchy.  

I would also recommend getting a cesarean belt/girdle as these keep the stomach lifted, so will help as you heal and hopefully not cause too much of an overhang.

Just because you are having a cesarean doesn't mean you can't make it special, you can ask for music to be played in the background, if you want your baby put on to your chest make sure they are aware. I didn't have that with Alfie but made sure I had it with Archie.

Also if you want to take pictures or film ask. The lady next to me had her's photographed and they got some amazing pictures of the baby in the sac before being born and everything! Obviously this may be too graphic for some people but I would of loved to of seen Archie being born. 

One last thing.....  never feel like a failure because you couldn't or didn't want a natural birth. I felt and still do feel extremely disappointed in my deliveries, but the one thing I keep reminding myself is that I delivered my babies in the safest way I could. 

I think there is a lot of pressure for women to have a perfect natural birth but really the only thing that matters is that your baby is born safely. 

Did you have cesarean?  If so do you have any tips for expectant mothers? 

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