29.11.15

My Ignite Journey with Julia Buckley week 2.

Urgh....that is the only word (is it a word or just a sound??) that I can use to describe this past week. Bubs has been poorly and so have I, you can read more about this here, so it has been a really hard week. This has meant that my Ignite journey has fallen by the way side and I am gutted about it.

Well...I say I am gutted.. I was actually a little surprised when I took my measurements this week as I was sure that I would have put on as all I have done since last Monday is either sat on the sofa with a poorly baby on me or sat on the sofa under a blanket poorly myself. Also, I haven't stuck to my meal plan this week. At the start of the week it was because Bubba wasn't sleeping properly so I didn't have time to prep and cook all the lush meals I had planned, it was just a case of ''quick eat whilst you can as he is finally down for 5 mins!''. Then from Wednesday onward, I could barely swallow so pretty much was surviving on tinned soup and scrambled egg. AND... I didn't do any of the ignite workouts this week either which I actually really really missed but I felt so rubbish that I could barely heave myself out of bed let alone do burpies & squats!

Apart from missing the exercise so much more than I thought I would, I have also learnt this week that Julia and the ladies that are on this programme with me are a brilliant bunch! We have a message group which we use to support each other, share tips and ask questions and they were all so supportive with what was going on with the lovely Julia messaging me a couple of times to see how Bubba was and to check in on how I was feeling. It wasn't about getting back into the programme, it was about me getting better so that I could get back in when I was ready...and boy am I ready!!!

I am so pumped about this week. I have my meal plan sorted and can't wait to get my sports bra back on (tmi??) and feel that burn!! So...before I go..here are my stats for this week which actually surprised me as I really thought I would have put on..

Belly:            45 Inches (the same as last week)
Upper arms:  15 inches (I lost an inch here..guessing that was because it was the only part of me that
                       has really moved this week!!)
Thighs:          27 inches (the same as last week)
Hips:             46 inches (the same as last week)
Fitness:        Can't really comment on this one as I have felt so rubbish that I couldn't have exercised
                      even if I wanted to.

So that has been my week. Fingers crossed that now I am back to health I will have a better week this week and some great stats to report next time :)

It's been a hard week..

As you may (or may not) have noticed I have been a bit quite this week. I haven't posted anything on here (even though I have sooooo many that I need to get typed up and done!), I've been relatively quite on social media this week and have just generally been a bit absent. This is because it has been a hard mummy week!!
Cutting a very long story short...Bubs was poorly. After a scary temperature reading of 40.1c and a trip to the out of hours doctors on Saturday we found out that the poor little mite had an ear infection in both ears. It then came to light a couple of days after and a hospital trip later that he had also caught a virus at the same time as struggling with the ear infections. This meant that from Saturday until about Tuesday bubba was either crying, cuddling, laying on me or sitting on my lap. Don't get me wrong, it was lovely to get so many cuddles and snuggles from my little bug but it was so horrible seeing how much his ears were hurting him and it was so worrying that his temperature just wouldn't go down. I honestly was so worried about him as he wasn't eating properly, wasn't sleeping great but then one of the nights he was so sleepy that we could barely wake him up. We had a paramedic out to him and she took some blood from his toe and he didn't even flinch. It was so scary and as hubby had some meetings at work that he couldn't get out of I had to face a lot of it on my own which made it that little bit harder. Thankfully, come Wednesday he was back to his cheeky, happy self and his temperature finally went back to normal.
But....then what happens?? I get struck down with tonsillitis. I do get this quite a bit as when ever I get a cold or anything it always seems to go straight to my tonsils but this was the worst I have been in such a long time. My whole body ached, I was either dripping in sweat or freezing cold and shivering, I couldn't swallow so therefore couldn't eat anything and it even hurt to drink water. It was honestly, horrible. I tried to battle through it on Thursday but in the end had to get my lovely Mum to look after Bubs for me as I was really struggling. I felt so bad that it had been a few really tough days for him and then once he was better I couldn't play with him, sing to him and just be Mummy as I was poorly myself. I was prescribed antibiotics by the doctors (2 tablets 4 times a day for 10 DAYS!??) and come Sunday morning I finally started to feel human again and today has been the first day that I have felt I can do what I normally do.
So I'm sorry that My Mummy Spam has been a bit neglected and I am also sorry to all the people that I need to get posts sorted for but this week has just been horrid. I am now back and all systems are go :)

26.11.15

Behind the Blog #7

Hello and welcome to this week addition of behind the blog!! ]
This wwek we are meeting a ''new to me'' blogger as I only recently discovered her blog. Even in the short time of reading it I am in awe at her determination and how she coped with unexpectaly expecting. Maddy from The Speed Bump took sometime to answer some questions for me so here goes...


What inspired you to start blogging?
When I was pregnant, I got a magazine in my Bounty Pack called “Emma’s Diary”. It was ridiculous, and so clearly aimed at married couples in their thirties who’ve planned and tried for a baby. As a 19 year old student facing an unplanned pregnancy, it was so unrelatable, so I decided to write a blog that would give a more realistic account of what it’s like to be a young mum-to-be, to balance studying and pregnancy, and dealing with an accidental pregnancy!

What has been the highlight of your blogging journey so far?

The highlight has really just been sharing my journey with the world! I’ve been blogging since I was twelve weeks pregnant, so I’ve posted about morning sickness, hospital appointments, giving birth, dealing with teething, writing my dissertation, and then finally graduating with a first class degree

last weekend!

Out of all of your posts, which post would you say means the most to you?
There are two posts that mean a lot to me. The first was one I wrote when I was pregnant, which is called “Pregnant By Accident, Having A Baby By Choice”, which was as I first started to come to terms with the pregnancy and the fact that I was going to be a mum, and realised that even though the pregnancy was unplanned, I had made the decision to keep the baby and become a mum, and I was going to love my baby just as much as any other parent.

What would you say is your favourite thing about blogging?
The community, without a doubt. I’ve met so many people through blogging, and I love following their journeys and reading their blogs, and getting feedback on my blog too – as well as discussing all aspects of parenthood with them, and chatting to them on Twitter and Facebook! I also love that I have a complete record of my daughter’s life that I can look back on whenever I want.

Describe yourself in 5 words?
Confident, sarcastic, geeky, playful, honest!

Shhhhh...tell us a secret about yourself :)
I am TERRIFIED of octopus. Okay, it’s a stupid secret, but it’s such an embarrassing phobia! When I was nineteen, I went to an aquarium. When I realised I was in the same room as an octopus, I burst into tears and ran away!

If you were being sent to a desert island, what three things would you take with you?
My guitar, a phone with unlimited battery and signal (I’m a bit of a social media addict) and a rubber dinghy!

And finally, when your not blogging, what do you do in your spare time?
Spare time? What’s that? 😉 Haha, I do a lot of writing, play guitar and listen to music!


You can have a read all about Maddy's journey over on her blog www.thespeedbump.co.uk. Also say hi and tweet her at @maddyleigh1994, and you can ‘like’ the blog on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thespeedbumpblog 

22.11.15

My Ignite Journey with Julia Buckley Week 1

Well this week has been very different for me. A fantastic type of different mind you! I thought I was really going to struggle with this new way of eating and exercising but I have actually really enjoyed myself and have managed to get into the mind set that this isn't a ''diet'' it's my new way of life which I think has really helped. I thought that Julia's Ignite 30 exercise programmes were going to be really hard and that I wouldn't really want to do them after a day at work but they are honestly brilliant! The 30 minutes goes so quickly and she is so motivational when doing the exercises with you that it really keeps me going!
The week started off really really well! I was taking all of my pre planned lunches to work, drinking all my water, doing all of the ignite exercise sessions with Julia each night and then on Friday it all went a little wrong. I had an awful day at work which resulted in one of my colleagues buying donuts for us all as a team pick me up! I had all the good intentions of working super super hard on Friday night with the Ignite workout and then Bubba was poorly! He was clingy, unsettled and really difficult. We thought it was teething as he was cutting his top molars so kept him topped up on calpol and thought nothing more of it. After a horrendous Friday night, he spent all of Saturday just laying with hubby all limp and lifeless. It was so horrible to see him so unlike himself. We were keeping tabs on his temperature and it was when it hit 40.1 c quite suddenly that I panicked and called 111. A few hours and a hospital trip later it turned out that the poor little pickle has an ear infection in both ears (happens quite a bit to him when he is teething) and was given antibiotics to hopefully sort him out. Saturday night me and Hubs were so drained that we didn't cook the healthy veg chilli that we had planned on our meal planner...we had a pizza!!!! A home cooked one mind you (look at me trying to make excuses to myself feel better) and to be honest, I didn't really enjoy it but because of that blip it made me really nervous about taking my measurements..
 So Sunday morning rolls round and I reach for the dreaded tape measure...if you missed the first part of my journey and my original measurements then check them out here.
So this is where I now am a week down the line:

Belly:            45 Inches (2.5 inch loss!!)
Upper arms:  16 inches (1 inch loss)
Thighs:          27 inches (3 inch loss!!) It's all those lunges Julia makes me do! :)
Hips:             46 inches (1 inch loss)
Fitness:        I have noticed a huge change in my actual fitness as I am able to workout of longer                              without getting out of breath or just feeling like I need to give up. I have also noticed                            how much more engergised I feel in myself. This is something that I am loving about                          this programme.

I am over the moon with this figures and to be honest I was a little shocked but I have tripple checked and they are correct :) Seeing this type of progress has just made me so pumped for the next week coming up and I am hoping to be able to report the same type of progress next week but we will see :)

If you want to see what Julia can offer you then check out her website here:
http://juliabuckley.co.uk/

19.11.15

Evil

There is evil in this world. There has always been evil in this world but at times, like now after horrific recent events, that evil becomes more obvious and prominent.

I feel so guilty for bringing my son into a world with such evil and I hate that I cannot do more to protect him.

In recent days I have found myself thinking about the disgraceful people behind these recent attacks and wondering how people can get to that point. How they can get so obsessed with a view and opinion that they would be willing to commit mass murder and acts of terror to push that opinion onto others.

I look at my son, so peaceful and content as he sleeps and find myself thinking of their mothers. I find myself thinking that she must have cuddled you, played games with you, taught you to blow kisses, clapped & praised you when you took your first steps, laughed and smiled at your toddler chatter. Surely, no human being, at that innocent age can be evil.

So where did it happen? Why did you feel it necessary to inflict terror onto the world? When did you decide that it was okay to murder innocent people?

I wonder if their mothers know about the horror they are inflicting onto the world and the pain they are causing so many other mothers. Do they ever stop to think about their mothers? The women that carried them for 9 months, painfully bore them into the world, fed them, washed them, clothed them, nurtured them and comforted them when they cried. Do they then ever think about the children who no longer have their mother's to wipe away their tears as they were killed in some mindless act? Have they ever spared a thought for the mothers who now cry until it hurts and wish with all their might to have their child back to be able to comfort them? The answer to these are all probably no as if they had stopped to think then perhaps this all wouldn't be happening.

After thinking about all of this for the past week I have managed to convince myself that there must be some hope. I may not understand much about other languages, religions or cultures but there is one thing that is universally understood among all mothers out there...

Love.

A love that only a mother can feel for their child and I hope and pray that the mothers of these monsters are trying their hardest to find their smiling toddler that was filled with innocence and happiness among all of anger and hate that has filled their now fully grown child.

Politically, we may not be the same.
Religiously, we may not be the same.
Culturally, we may not be the same.
But we all come from the same thing; A mother's love and I am clinging on to the fact that all of the good in this world along with all of the love that floats around it too will protect my little boy and his generation.

These individual may have brought terror on the world of late but we have something that we can never take from us.
Love and hope.


Behind the Blog #6

This weeks behind the blog is one that I have been super excited about! The blogger that we are meeting this week is one of the first Mummy Bloggers that I got chatting to and she has turned into a staple on my Whatsapp and Facebook ever since! She is so down to earth, normal and funny...she honestly makes me laugh out loud sometimes with the things that she sends and I honestly hope that one day we will finally get round to doing our Mummy meet up and getting to speak in person. Ladies and Gents...please say hello to the beaut that is Jade from Raising the Rings...

What inspired you to start blogging?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and one of my biggest things in life is memories. Once Toby came along I decided I wanted to document our time together. It was originally just for me to keep a diary of the things we’d done, but it didn’t totally work out like that. It’s turned into so much more and now I’m branching out, trying to blog about so many other topics.

What has been the highlight of your blogging career so far?

Getting to work with some incredible brands/companies/people. When I first started blogging, I never knew this side of things even existed so it’s been an extra added bonus. Not only reviewing products, but actually speaking to those behind them. Getting to go to some amazing events is always a bonus. It’s just one of those things that you feel you’ve kind of fallen into and you just feel super lucky to have those opportunities! 

Out of all of your posts, which post would you say means the most to you?

My birth stories. The reason being was that Toby’s birth was pretty bad and very traumatic for me and writing about it (eventually) was very cathartic and healing. Teddy was the complete opposite with me having a planned c-section and this was poignant because it reminded me that not every birth experience is bad or the same. They’re at opposite ends of the spectrum but the result was the same - my two beautiful boys. 

What would you say is your favourite thing about blogging?

Without a doubt, the people you meet! The blogging community can be so incredible when you need it to be, and I talk to fellow bloggers more than I do my real life friends because they just “get it”. The support, the friendship and the laughs are second to none! 

Describe yourself in 5 words?
 
White chocolate scoffing mum blogger.

Shhhhh...tell us a secret about yourself :)

I once witnessed a murder. Just kidding. Honestly though, I don’t have any secrets. I’m very open and don’t keep much from anyone, and if I do keep anything, I wouldn’t consider it a secret. Ummm, I once got a police caution for hacking someone’s computer… is that good enough?

If you were off to a desert island, what three things would you take with you?

A good book, a pillow and sun cream.

And finally, when you’re not blogging, what do you do in your spare time?

I do all the usual boring stuff like housework when I can be bothered, but most of the time I’m trying when I can to do something with the boys. Rainy days are quite hard because Toby has no attention span to sit and do things together, but we love getting outdoors when we can. Other than that, I go to the gym, I play netball and have sessions with a personal trainer where we usually do some olympic style lifting! 

You can find Jade and go and say hi to her here:


15.11.15

A new journey to a new me...

This is such a hard post for me to write that I don't even really know how to start it...it may even seemed a bit rambley and jumbled but just stick with me, it should all make sense by the end.

I have never been a skinny girl. I've always been quite curvy and had boobs and a bum and I was always happy with that. I embraced my curves and was always quite confident with my body and myself. I used to dance a lot and was at a fitness level I was happy with. Since having Bubba, that has all changed and as much as I try to deny it and say ''I am happy with my body...I might have got a bit bigger but I got my son because of it..I will diet/exercise soon...blah blah blah'' it's all rubbish!!! 

I am not happy with my body. It's not my weight because to me weight is just a number, but it's my appearance. I hate that I look fat and that I have rolls of fat on my belly and middle. I hate that I have these huge thunder thighs that have got massive as I over eat and don't exercise. I hate that I don't feel confident with my body anymore and that I feel embarrassed when hubby tried to touch me or sees me naked. I hate that I start to get a little out of breath when I am chasing bubba round the house. I hate that I am now a size 18-20 all over when I was used to being a 14 to 16 at a push. I have grown to hate my body and myself for letting my body get to this point. There... I have said it. 

This is going to change! I want to feel confident and sexy again. I want to love my body and myself like I used to and get fit and healthy like I was before. The way I am going to do this....an amazing lady called Julia Buckley! Julia is a personal trainer/ best selling author of The Fat Burn Revolution/ amazing fitness guru who has created a new programme that myself and a few other bloggers are going to be following for 4 weeks. The thing I love about Julia and her programme is that she doesn't focus on weight. She believes that weight is just a number and the way to get your body and fitness to the place you want it to be is to set 3 achievable daily goals which will get you to you destination goal. These 3 daily goals, joined with healthy eating and exercise should result you achieving the destination goal that you set. 

My goal is to be able to comfortably wear my pre-pregnancy jeans (size 16). 

Now, I need to be realistic about this goal as the programme is 4 weeks long but I know I can do this! If I can fit into these then it would mean that I would have lost quite a bit of fat from my belly, bum and thighs which should also mean that I have increased my fitness level in the process. 

To achieve this goal, I am making the following 3 daily commitments/goals:
1. To drink at least 2 liters of water per day. 
    I do not drink enough water at the moment, On a normal day I will probably have 1 glass of water,     2 coffees and then maybe a squash of the evening but thats it. To help with this, me and Hubs have     brought water bottles with infusers in them so if we get bored of normal water we can chuck some     lemons or something in to give it a little bit extra. 

2. To do Julia's online 30 min exercises at least 5 days of the week. 
    This is a no brainer to me really. I don't exercise. I so a bit of walking and a bit of running around     the park after bubs but I don't exercise properly and I actually really excited about my first video         that we start tomorrow :)

3. Meal plan for lunch and dinner.
    I currently do a meal plan for dinners but not for lunches and I think this is a huge downfall of             mine. Currently, if I am at work I will go and buy lunch and end up with a sandwich, crisps,                 chocolate bar or something like that. It doesn't keep me filled for long and I end up snacking on           biscuits or other things in the afternoon. I've done our meal plan for this week and am going to be       making home made soup that I will be taking in to work which should be a better option than               processed sandwiches and choccie bars!

So, that is my 3 commitments to getting me to my goal. Julia has also asked us to pick an accountability buddy who will be our support during this programme and I have chosen hubby. He wants to loose a bit of fat too so has welcomed the changes to our meals and even wants to try a bit of the exercise with me so it will be great to have someone by my side who knows how much this means to me and will support me all the way through. 

Now for the hard bit...This is the bit I have been dreading...my measurements and photo. I am so embarrassed to be putting this out there but I am hoping that buy doing so it will give me the push I need to follow Julia's programme and find a better, happier me. I will be updating my blog at the end of each week with my measurement progress and then will do another picture in 4 weeks time at the end of the programme to see the results. 

Belly (measured at navel level): 47.5 inches
Upper arms:                              17 inches
Thighs:                                      30 inches
Hips:                                         47 inches

And here is the dreaded photos: (please be kind!!!)





So that's it...my commitments are made, Julia has all my info and will be following up and supporting me and the programme starts tomorrow! I am excited about this and I know that with Julia's help, I am well on my way to finding the new, happier, healthier me! 

Please go and visit Julia and see the amazing work she does at 
http://www.juliabuckley.co.uk 




12.11.15

Behind the Blog #5

2 behind the blogs in one week....ooooo....I am spoiling you :)


In this addition I am very excited to have had a change to ask Beth from Twinderelmo a few questions. Beth is a Mummy to her 6 year old son and twin 2 year old daughters and she blogs all about her life as a Mummy of twins. I love reading her blog and all about her life as a Mummy to twins plus one as I don't know how I would cope. She is so down to earth and writes so truthfully about her life so you can understand that I was super excited when she agreed to let me ask her a few questions to introduce her to you lovely lot out there :)

What inspired you to start blogging?
Initially I started writing predominantly twin posts as I struggled when pregnant to find anything about identical twins that didn't scare me about the health risks that ID twins can bring when pregnant. I then found my blog as an outlet for my grief after losing my Mom to cancer. 

What has been the highlight of your blogging journey so far?
I've loved working with some of my favourite brands and genuinely feel honoured when they ask me to work with them. I think when I was Netmums Blog of the Week with my Kate Middleton post was my first recognition so that was a lovely moment. 

Out of all of your posts, which post would you say means the most to you?
My post for my Moms one year anniversary was the one that was incredibly cathartic to write. On that day it was everything I wanted to sat out loud but couldn't and helped me so much http://twinderelmo.co.uk/2015/04/one.html

What would you say is your favourite thing about blogging?
The friends I've made. Some I've met others who are just inside my computer but I never thought I'd meet such an awesome bunch of folks via blogging and it's been so lovely. 

Describe yourself in 5 words?
Mommy. Crazy. Messy. Sarcastic. Blessed. 


Shhhhh...tell us a secret about yourself :)
I have been to 3 music video shoots and am in 1! 

If you were being sent to a desert island, what three things would you take with you?
My phone, my charger, wifi!

And finally, when your not blogging, what do you do in your spare time?

Sleep!! 

You can visit Beth here:

9.11.15

Snuggly Sundays with Panasonic..

Recently I was contacted by Panasonic with some info about their new, pretty darn snazzy 4K TV's which hubby spotted and promptly dribbled over (you can check out for yourself here). To be honest I have never really been fussed about TV's and the technology behind them but reading about Panasonics 4K Ultra HD TV actually made me understand Hubby's fascination with top of the range TV's a little bit! The picture quality on the 4K TV is stunning thanks to the 8 millions pixels on screen rather than the 2 million you get from a normal HD TV and the way that some of the range connects with your other tech equipment such as cameras and tablets is fantastic!

The more I read about Panasonics range of TV's, the more it got me thinking about how pinnacle our TV is in our house. Don't get me wrong, we love walks to our local woods, trips to the park, story time with bubs and a bit of arts and crafts so don't spend all out time in front of the telly but sometimes when it's rainy and dull outside, there is nothing better than snuggling up as a family on the sofa and watching a bit of our favourite TV. Then...I thought ''why not share my top 5 rainy day TV on my blog now those wintry days are setting in''..so here it is!!

1. Despicable Me
Image from Wikipedia
What is it with kids and the minions from this film?? Bubs doesn't have a very good attention span for films but with this film he will sit and watch at least 30 minutes of it! He loves the minions and gets excited when they pop up on the screen. To be fair, it's not a bad film ( you can have a look at the plot and cast here) and it's the perfect family film to pop on whilst your cooking the roast on a Sunday afternoon.

2. Mickey Mouse Club House
This is one of Bubs favourite TV programmes as he loves Mickey Mouse and loves the music in this so much! He has liked Mickey for ages and has a couple of Mickey soft toy which he snuggles and it totally melts my heart!

3. Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Once again another Disney Junior favourite! This is quite a new show that bubs has got into and it's actually quite good. I'm pretty sure that there has even been times that Bubs has been napping or in bed and me and hubs have ended up watching it. Bubs tends to only watch the music in this and he dances along which is the cutest thing I have honestly ever seen!! If you have little ones then this is a great, educational, easy to watch programme for them (if you haven't got Sky you can get DVD's of it here). 

4. Pitch Perfect.
This is mine and hubbys ''go to'' film. It's a funny, entertaining, easy going film with some fantastic tunes mixed in. I love it and Hubby is not even ashamed to say that it is his guilty pleasure film. This is the kind of thing me and hubby snuggle up to watch on a Saturday night once bubs is in bed and then end up quoting it to each other the whole of the next day!!

"Once Upon aTime promo image" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Once_Upon_aTime_promo_image.jpg#/media/File:Once_Upon_aTime_promo_image.jpg
5. Once Upon a Time
Me and Hubs starting watching this when it was on Channel 5 a good few years ago. When they decided to stop showing it I was gutted. Fast forward to a couple of months ago and I found out that Netflix where going to be showing the new series and with that we promptly signed up to them. If you haven't watched this before, it's a fantasy, action, comedy US show which is all about Fairy Tale characters that get transported to the present day and have a whole host of baddies and nasty things to over come. It's addictive viewing and it's perfect TV for me and hubs when bubba is having his naps.

I would love to know what your go to rainy day films/TV shows are! Let me know in the comments below :)

Note - this is a sponsored post in collaboration with Share it quick. 

8.11.15

Christmas Gift Guide for all the Family

In the world of the famous advert..

''holidays are coming...holidays are coming..''

I feel like I have blinked and suddenly Christmas is right in front of us again. I love Christmas and one of my favorite parts of the season is buying gifts for my loved ones so I thought I would do my first ever gift guide to hopefully help anyone out there that needs a little inspiration :) I've thought about me, Hubby and Bubs (mainly because I don't want any of the other family members coming on here and reading what I could have possibly brought them) but you could quite easily switch and change these around to be suitable for nans, grandads, uncles, aunties, brothers and sisters.

Before we begin, I just wanted to make a couple of things clear:
1. To my friends and family...This guide may or may not include gifts that may be coming your way. If you don't want to maybe get an idea of what you are getting for Christmas then navigate away now!!!
2. Some of these items have been sent to me for review to be included in this guide and some are items that we have brought BUT every single thing in this guide has been included because I would genuinely bu want to receive it or would buy it for a family member for Christmas.

Todders (1-3yrs)

So as you probably know by know, Bubba is going to be 15 months by Christmas so I have made these suggestions with him in mind. All of these gifts are either things that we or someone else have got/are getting him for Christmas or something that I would buy for a child of his age based on the kind of things he likes at the moment.

Photo from the Fisher-Price website.

Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Stand'n'play Ramp way play set

Bubbs loves cars and when ever we go to play groups he always heads to the garages and plays for a good 15/20 mins with the cars. This is his main present from me and Hubby and I think he is going to love it! Price wise, I think it is really good and the fact that it comes with 2 cars included is even better.

Duplo Bricks & Blocks

My family are buying bubs Duplo for Christmas this year and I think to start he will love it as he can build them up and then knock them down but its the type of gift that will last and last. I don't think you are ever too old for Duplo (until you start on Lego of course) and it is the type of gift that just keeps on giving :)

Picture from the Usborne Book website

Books

Bubba LOVES books! He isn't gentle enough to be trusted with paper books yet but give him some cardboard books and he is entertained for at least 10 minutes (which in the world of a toddler is ages!!). He especially loves the ''Thats not my'' range and also any kind of lift the flap book. In my opinion, these are thoughtful, inexpensive gifts that most toddlers really enjoy. See the full ''Thats not my'' range from Usborne books here.

Bath toys

One thing that I have learnt in the last year is that you can never have enough bath toys. They always go a bit mankey and scummy within a few months and as they are so damned difficult to clean, it is just easier to replace them. Currently bubs has some bath crayons and loves nothing more than drawing on the bath each night! He also loves a good old rubber duck and a boat. These can be picked up in most toy shops and even supermarkets and make a really great stocking filler or inexpensive gift.

Gifts for Mums

This section includes gifts that I think would be perfect for Mummies like me and may even include a cheeky hint to hubby...:) Obviously my taste may not be the same as your and you might not think these are suitable but I would love to receive any of these.

LouLouBelle Skin Care 

Photo from Make the Most of 
I was sent a wonderful travel set from LouLouBelle and OMGeee there stuff is beautiful! LouLouBelle is the brain child of a lady called Magda Thompson who is a beauty specialist with a love of aromatherapy and essential oils. She believed that skincare should be as natural as possible so created a range which uses fruit oils, essential oils and natural ingredients to take the best care of your skin. I have been using their toner, cleanser and moisturiser for just over 2 weeks now and it has made my skin so soft and I also LOVE the smell of the products. You can really smell the essential oils and I would really recommend them as a treat for all the mummies out there who need a little TLC. You can find the full range of LouLouBelle products at the ''make the most of'' website here. 

Word Art Print

Photo from the Make the Most of site
I think these kind of prints are so thoughtful and pretty. We received one from a family friend when Bubba was born and it takes pride of place on his chest of draws as I love it so much. Poppy & Millie created a print for me and it is perfect! Karen & Dee are the designers and friends who set up Poppy & Millie to create bespoke, meaningful yet affordable gifts. That is exactly what their prints are. The print they sent me totally exceeded my expectation and I am sure that anyone (especially mummies and nannies we love this type of thing) would be so pleased to receive one of these as a gift. You can view what Poppy & Millie can do here through the ''Make the most of'' site. 

Photo from Not on the High Street

Gifts for Dads

Tie Rack & Belt Hanger. 

If you partner/hubby is anything like my Hubby then he has ties everywhere. I honestly don't know where my Hubby gets all these ties from! This tie rack from Not On The High Street is the perfect gift for Daddys and the words on it, to me, are so cute as Hubby comes home from work, takes off his tie and is straight into playing with bubs. This can also be personalised with your little ones names for that little added touch. 

Track Day Experience

This doesn't have to be a car experience, it could be flying, golf lessons anything like that but I think that a gift that your hubby/partner can enjoy from your little ones is lovely. Something for them that normally they wouldn't buy for themselves. To me, that is really special and I am sure that all of the Daddys out there would appreciate a little ''Daddy'' time. You can find these types of experiences on lot's of different websites and even Argos! 

So, that is my first ever gift guide completed. It seems quite short but I'm really surprised at how much thought and time goes into one of these bad boys!! I hope this will help any of you out there that need some inspiration and your Christmas shopping is going well..unless your one of those jammy buggers who have done all their shopping already..then I don't like you :)



7.11.15

Thinking about the future with Barchester

No one likes to think about growing old do they? I especially don't like to think about my parents becoming elderly but I know that there will come a time where my parents will rely on me more than I rely on them and that scares me. This time is a long way away (hopefully) but recent events have made me think about how I would feel and what support I would want when that time comes.

Recently a neighbour of ours, who is very elderly, got to the stage where she unfortunately couldn't look after herself any more and her lovely daughter had to make the heartbreaking decision to move her mother from her home of 20+ years into a care home where she could get the support and care she needs. I spoke with our neighbours daughter and she explained to me how guilty she had felt, how difficult she had found it all and how much there was to understand about care homes.

It was ironic that a couple of weeks after this has happened, I found out about Barchester. Barchester is a care home provider that is going that little bit further to assist the elderly and their loved ones
Image from Barchester's website
during this huge decision making time. They have released an Ebook (click here) that talks all about how to pay for a care home, what financial assistance could be available and who to contact for financial advise. I work in finance so knew a bit of what was in the Ebook but it was a real eye opener to read all about all the different financial support that is available and to understand more about lasting power of attorneys. They also have a wonderful feature on their site to assist people in choosing a care home which allows you to filter results by key services to help find the right care home. You can have a look at this site here

I wish that I had know about Barchester sooner as I really do think it could have helped my neighbour and her daughter during a very difficult time. I will be keeping their website links as you never know when you could need something like this and I think that any help I could get at a time like that would be very useful. From reading the Ebook and having a look at their website it has put my mind at rest slightly to see that it's not all scary because when you have people like Barchester around, you will never have to do it on your own.  

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