A different type of Christmas.

So, it's been a while. I wanted to take a bit of a break over Christmas as had a few things going on that I needed to focus on. I hope that you all had a very merry Christmas that was filled with happiness, merriment and laughter.

Christmas 2015 felt so different to any other Christmas I have had. Firstly, I was poorly. I had a horrid sickness bug which meant that I didn't even eat all of my Christmas dinner which is crazy as it is my most favorite meal of the year! I felt so yukky and drained that it really took the sparkle out of Christmas. The other thing that I think made it so different was the people that I missed. If you have been following my blog you will know that I have 3 of my grandparents in the space of 10 months, the last being my nan who we lost at the start of December. Because of this I found that I had to really force myself to try and be ''christmassy'. I think that part of it was me missing them but the biggest part was how sad I felt for my parents. I think that is the bit that made me really sad over the festive period as I can't even begin to imagine how they must have felt missing their parents. 

As much as Christmas and Boxing day was nice and it was lovely to see family and to see Bubba start to understand it a little bit, I have to admit that I am so glad that it's all over. I am really looking forward to the new year. In a way I just want to leave this year behind and almost get some closure on everything that has happened and everyone that we have lost and start to look forward again. 
So..even though my Christmas was a bit poopey, I hope you had a great one and will leave you with some super cute pictures of Bubs enjoy Christmas! 

I also wish you a very happy new year! 2016 is going to be filled with lot's of exciting things so bring it on :)


The beautiful Doris & Co

If your anything like me then you will love homeware. Be that cushions, candles, kitchen gadgets, vases...the list is endless. I love the stuff and can't get enough of it. So when I was approached by Doris & Co and asked if I wanted to review a couple of items from them, I jumped at the chance!
Doris & Co is a company who are specialists in luxury hand made pottery from English creamware mugs and kitchen ceramics to wrought iron trivets. It is an English company that uses old fashion methods to create traditional products that make a lovely addition to your kitchen or a perfect gift for a loved one.

We were sent 2 beautiful items from this range. The first being their gorgeous holdfast nipper cheeseboard. I had being saying to Hubby for ages that we needed a cheese board as we are hosting Christmas dinner this year and I wanted to offer cheese and crackers as a desert option. This ceramic cheese board is perfect as not only does it make a wonderful centerpiece for desert, it also can go in the oven or grill to warm cheese or any other canapes that you wanted to serve. From looking at it and holding it (it is super heavy) you can tell that it is a fantastic quality item and for £29.95 I think it is a real steal!

The other item we were sent was the holdfast tea towel that retails for £12.95. In my opinion you can never have enough tea towels and I was really surprised at how big this one is! It is made from 100% cotton which makes it super hard wearing and very easy to care for. I love the motif that is on both of these products and also love that they have a whole range that matches. Yes I am a very 'matching items' type of person :)
Overall, I would really recommend Doris & Co for gifts, essentials or even just a treat for yourself. You can very the whole range and order your items here.

Note - Even though we were sent these items free of charge for purpose of this review, all opinions expressed are honest and 100% my own. 

Delicious Kiddylicious

Bubba loves his food. Lucky for us, he has always been a good eater and will eat pretty much anything that we put in front of him. I loved the weaning process with him because he was so willing to try new foods and flavors and watching him as he started to enjoy something other than milk was amazing.
I remember when bubs was about 7 months old, I was desperately trying to find a snack that was nutritious, easy to eat and wouldn't make loads of mess when we were out. It was proving impossible and everything that came in individual wrappers was either too much for bubba to chew and bite ,as he was a late teether, or they were so messy that I would have to use a whole pack of baby wipes tidying him up afterwards. Then I discovered the Kiddylicious wafers and they have been a staple in my changing bag ever since.
I want to stress before I start gushing about these products that I haven't been paid to write this and I am not being sponsored by the company. Bubba genuinely loves their range and so I do for so many different reasons.
The Kiddylicious wafers are honest a snack game changer! They are basically flavored rice wafers aimed at children 6 months + that are gluten free, dairy free and cause NO MESS! That's right...you read that correctly..no mess what so ever. I don't know how they do it but it's like magic. Once bubba has munched his way through a pack of these 2 wafers in a pack) his hands aren't sticky, he has no mess all over his face and there is no need to reach for the baby wipes. Bubba loves these as when he was little they would just melt in his month and now he just munches his way through them and I love them as not only are they free of any nasties, they are no mess!
The other 2 things that Bubba loves from the Kiddylicous range is their Smoothie Melts and their Fruit Wiggles. The Smoothie Melts are basically melt in your mouth, freeze dried fruit smoothie packed into a handy bag. These are great as they count as 1 of your 5 a day and have no preservatives, artificial flavors or colours and no added sugar. The fruit wiggles are the same. None of the previous stuff with the added extra of being suitable for coeliacs, lactose intolerant and vegetarians. The fruit wiggles are bubs favourite at the moment. He loves to have a bag of these and pick them out one at a time. All these wiggles are is fruits and fruit juices pureed and then made into wiggly shaped snacks.

So, if you haven't guessed it already...I love this brand. I love it because it's not full of rubbish like some are, they are easy to find (check your local supermarket and I'm sure you will find them) and they are so practical for when you are out and about. If you haven't

done so already then I would definitely recommend grabbing some of these for your little ones!

Finding a new normal..

I'm am so sorry that it has been so quite on my blog and social media sites recently. I have purposely not been writing as I can't really don't know what to talk about or what to write. My mind recently has just been clouded by confusion, grief, disbelief and sadness. Last Tuesday my Nan passed away.
She was very poorly and had openly said that she didn't want to be here anymore so even though I really knew that she would leave us probably before Christmas, I still couldn't believe it once she had gone. She was a wonderful woman who gave me many happy memories to look back on so of course I am upset that she is gone and miss her very much. That's not the thing I am finding so hard to deal with as I know she is now with my grandad and no longer in any pain. It's the fact that my family has changed so much this year and the impact that all of this has had on them that I find so hard to cope with.
In Febuary we lost my Brissy then in June we lost my grandad and then last week we lost Nan. That's 3 grandparents in 10 months. My poor mum has lost her Dad and my poor poor Dad has lost both his parents in 6 months. I can't even begin to imagine or assume how they are feeling. To loose one parent is hard enough but to loose two just feels cruel.
I can't help but feel that our family will never be the same, especially at this time of year and I beleive that when you loose people that are so integral to your family then a piece of you goes with them and those holes are never really filled. After what's happened.. How can you expect them to be?
So. I will happily wave 2015 away as its been a year of tears, illness and sadness and will hope next year that my loved ones and I find a new normal and a way of enjoying life again without those special people here. It won't be easy and it will be another year of firsts but I know that as long as we stick together then we will fine and will eventually find a new normal.


The scariest noise I have ever heard...

Friday night was one of the scariest nights that I have had as a parent to date. I have never felt so worried, panicked and scared for my little boy as I was at that moment. I wanted to share what happened so it may help another Mummy or Daddy and stop them for feeling that fear that I did.

So on Friday Bubba had been to my mother in laws, had been as good as gold and was in a really good mood. I picked him up when I finished work, we came home, he was playing and I started to sort things out for mine and hubbys night away (see this post if you don't know what I am talking about)and everything was normal. Hubby came home, Bubs had his mad half hour like he always does, he had his bath and went to bed just like every other normal night. Hubs & I went to bed at about 10.30 and I had literally just dropped off when bubba started coughing. Hubs went into him and then that was when we knew something wasn't right. Bubba started making this sound that I have never heard before. It sounded like a mixture of coughing, barking and gagging and it was terrifying. What was even worse though was that when he wasn't coughing, he was struggling to catch his breath and was making a noise that I can even really describe every time he breathed in. As soon as I heard this strange noise I jumped out of bed and was in bubbas room like a shot. I really thought he was going to be sick so I took him off of bubba and tried to calm him down. As I was cuddling him I could feel the rattling in his chest and could hear him struggling for breath. This was when I started to get scared.

Me and Hubs gave him a few minutes to calm down to see if the noise would stop and he would go back to normal. We honestly thought he had something stuck in his throat so checked his dummy, all in his cot and even shone a torch down his throat but couldn't find anything. After waiting about 5/10 minutes and not seeing any improvement, Hubs got on the phone to the 111 service. I don't really know what was said but next thing I know, Hubs was telling me to take bubs downstairs and within minutes we had 2 paramedics at the door.

As soon as they walked in and they heard bubba one of the ladies said 'Right, he has croup'. In my head I was thinking..''what the hell is croup and how had my little boy got it?? He was fine a couple of hours ago?!?!''. Then the paramedics starting talking about nebuliser and getting him into hospital so I quickly ran to get changed as I was still in my PJs, grab bubbas bags and shoved in his water, a bottle, the ipad (a god send!!), his mickey teddy and some snacks and off we went.

5 hours later, after a lot of tears from Bubs, 2 coffees for me and hubby, some lovely nurses, a lot of walking around a&e with bubba waving at everyone and a steroid syrup thing for bubs..we went home. He did have croup and need the steroids to help relax his wind wipe and help him breath again. Whilst we were waiting for things in the hospital, I had a read up about croup on the NHS website and the symptoms were just spot on to what bubs had:

A child can get croup at any time of the year, although it's more likely to occur during late autumn or early winter.
This may be because there are more viruses, such as colds and flu, around at this time of year.
Typical symptoms of croup include: 
  • a bark-like cough
  • a hoarse or croaky voice
  • difficulty breathing
  • a harsh grating sound when breathing in, called stridor
Stridor is often most noticeable when the child cries or coughs. But in more severe cases of croup it can also occur when the child is resting or sleeping.
Symptoms tend to be worse at night.
Some children have cold-like symptoms for a few days before developing croup symptoms.
These cold-like symptoms can include:
The above is taken from the NHS website and it described Bubba to a tee! The only thing that was different was that he had to awful cough and stridor first and then got the cold like symptoms afterwards. Croup is generally pretty harmless to children but sometimes (and in the case of bubba) children may require medical attention as their windpipes and/or throat can get very swollen and cause breathing problems.

I really wish I would have heard of this before as I wouldn't have panicked no where near as much if I would have know that things were actually okay and Bubba was going to be fine. We defiantly did the right thing by calling 111 though and all the staff at the hospital were just brilliant!

So that was our Friday night! And...needless to say...we didn't end up going for our night away as we didn't want to leave bubba when he was poorly and also we were shattered after getting only 3 hours sleep. Bubba is starting to get better but is still very snotty and has an awful cough. I am writing this on Sunday night and bubs has only been in bed for 2 and a half hours and we have already been up to him 4 times...I have a feeling it is going to be a loooooonnnnggggg night.


My Ignite Journey with Julia Buckley week 3.

This week has been such a better week for us which has meant that I have managed to get back onto the ignite band wagon and I have loved it! This is my third week of having the fantastic Julia Buckley kicking my butt each night in my living room and I have really noticed a difference this week. When I first started this journey 3 weeks ago I was only able to do about 5 burpees before I felt like I was going to die! I would be so out of breath, sweating and literally struggling to jump up. Fast forward to now and I am able to do 14 burpee JACKS (yes...thats right...a burpee and then a jumping jack added onto the end for good measure) in a row with out feeling like I am going to collapse. This is a massive achievement for me and has shown me how much progress I have made.

I managed to achieve my 3 daily goals each day until Saturday as we had an emergency trip to the hospital (more about that in a separate post). Whilst I am talking about the goals, I can really notice a difference from when I have drunk my 2 liters of water to if I haven't. I am finding that my body is literally craving water now which is lovely. I had a coffee on Saturday morning after a very long night and I surprisingly didn't enjoy it. Water is defiantly the way forward for me!

Now down to business...so here are my measurements for this week...

Belly:                  44 inches (1 inch loss)
Upper arms:        14.5 (0.5 inch loss)
Thighs:                25 inches (2 inches loss!!)
Hips:                   45 inches (1 inch loss)

I am so happy with this figures as it just shows how well this programme is working!! We don't like to focus on weight on the programme as weight can be quite unreliable due to water retention etc but I did jump on the scales this morning as well just out of pure curiosity and I have lost almost 1 stone in 3 weeks! I was amazed!

I am loving being on this programme and am so glad that I took the leap and got involved. This week coming up is my last week and I am really going to miss the programme. I am actually looking into Julia's site to see what I would want to do if I stayed on :)

If you want to see what Julia can offer you then check out here website here and keep an eye out for next weeks final blog post about the ignite challenge which will have my before and after photos and total inch loss! :)


Cleaning up with Zoflora.

Recently, I was contacted by a company called Zoflora and they asked me if I would like to try their new limited edition disinfectant. As a Mum, I feel like I am constantly cleaning! It is unbelievable how much mess one little person can make and I am always open to trying new products to help me with my constant cleaning.
 Zoflora is a easy to use, multi-room and multi-use disinfectant that not only kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses but also has an amazing scent that lasts all day. The first thing that I loved about this product was that it kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria and it couldn't have been delivered at a better time to be honest! Bubba had an ear infection, then caught a virus and I had tonsillitis so once I was feeling better again, I made up a spray bottle of the Zoflora Winter Morning disinfectant and got to work cleaning all bubbas toys, wiping over the light switches, door handles and basically anywhere that we could have touched that might have got germs on it. BYE BYE VIRUSES! :)

The second thing I love about this product is the scent. OMGeee...I can't even begin to tell you how good this product smells. When I first opened it, it instantly reminded me of Christmas. The disinfectant is a blend of apple, seasonal spices and mint on a woody base of vanilla and it is lush! I have used the product a few times now and the smell does honestly last for hours after! If I am being honest, I am now saving what I have left of it so that I can use it Christmas morning so the kitchen smells all Christmassy :)

The only thing that would make this product a little better was if it was available in a pre soaked wipe or spray bottle. To be honest, this is just me being lazy as you can make it up and put it in a spray bottle or make the wipes yourself but I find that the making up bit of it a little faffy as you mix 1 cap with 400ml of water. It WOULD NOT stop me from buying the product again as the scent and the cleaning properties totally out weigh the fact that I am lazy and would just like it a little more convenient.

You can check out the whole range of Zoflora products and find your local stockist here :)


A warming winter lunch...

If you are anything like me then you eat to the season. What I mean by that is that in summer I love nothing more than salads, cold meats and good old BBQ's and then in winter I would happily live on casseroles, roasts and ''gravy dinners'' as I call them. This also includes lots and lots of soup! I love nothing more than soup for lunch in the winter as it's comforting, warming, filling and keeps me going until dinner time.

Recently I was asked if we would like to be involved in a blogger challenge with Crosse & Blackwell and I jumped at the chance! The brief was that we would be sent some soup to try and that we needed to make our favourite side to go with it. I love nothing more than a good old tomatoe soup with cheese on toast so that is what I decided to do! I am literally almost dribbling at the thought of this (why did I think it would be a good idea to write this post before lunch?!?) and would honestly eat this for lunch eat day if I could!

Crosse & Blackwell sent us quite a few different soups to try and aside from the tomato one (which I will come to in a minute), the Roast Chicken and Veg one was amazing! It was packed full with huge chunks of potato, veg and chicken and was so yummy! The are so easy to prepare as well. 5 minutes on the hob and then your good to chow down :) You can see the full range of what Crosse & Blackwell here.

Last weekend, it was cold and grey outside and it seemed like the perfect time to open the tomato soup, make some scrummy cheese on toast and all have lunch as a family. Hubby was in charge of the cheese on toast (Big thank you to Aldi for the ingredients for this) as he is amazing at making it, and I was chief soup stirrer! I think I got the easier job :) 10 minutes later, lunch was ready and we all sat down to eat our Tomato soup with cheese on toast. Bubba loved the soup as did Hubs & I and the cheese on toast went along side it perfectly. The soup was without a doubt one of the best tomato soups I have had. It wasn't too sharp but then again wasn't too sweet. It was a perfect consistency and 1 tin was the right amount for all three of us.

To find your nearest stockist of Crosse & Blackwell Soup and the view the full range, check out their website here. 

These soups were sent to use from Crosse & Blackwell and vouchers were also sent to us from Aldi for the side but all opinions are honest and my own. 


Fighting between my head & heart...

Before I write this I want to start by saying that this post is in NO WAY a dig at anyone..it is purely me wanting to get some of my feeling out in the open in the hope that talking about it might make it a little bit easier.
At the moment I am experiencing a massive struggle between what my head is saying and what my heart wants. Let me give you a little bit of background..
Bubba has been on this world for 444 days. That's 444 days that he has been the centre of my world and 444 nights I have tucked him in. In a few days time, this won't be the case anymore. On Saturday me and Hubby are travelling just over 200 miles away to his work Christmas function and we are staying away for the night. It will be the first time I won't get to check on him and give him a kiss before I go to sleep and it will be the first time I won't wake up to his perfect little face in 444 days. This is what is causing the fight between my heart and my head.
My heart is telling me not to go! I have honestly shead tears to my husband at the thought of going away. I can't even begin to tell you how sad, guilty, nervous, worried and upset I feel. I feel like I am being an awful parent for leaving him for the night. What if he wakes up and doesn't realise where he is and gets upset? What if he doesn't settle and gets really upset and won't go to sleep? What if he feels poorly in the night? What if the travel cot isn't comfy and he hates spending then night in it? What if he's really poorly or something happens and we are 200 miles away? What if he misses us and doesn't understand where mummy and daddy are? What if he wakes up in the night and misses his room and his cot? What if people judge us for leaving him? Am I being selfish by going with hubby! Should I stay home and look after him? What if he resents us when we come back for leaving him? Such silly questions and worries but they honestly play on my mind!
Then my head kicks in and I wonder why I am worrying so much?!? Bubba is going to be staying with his Nanny at her house. He goes there every Friday and always has a great time and is always happy there. He sleeps in the travel cot and knows the room and house and FOR GODS SAKE..he's with his Nanny!! He might be my son but he is her Grandson and I know she would never do anything to put him at any harm or upset him and she will look after him. Then I think as well that she has raised 4 boys herself.. They all turned out fine so why am I so nervous?? If anything happens me and hubs will have phones with us and we will have to drive back. My mother in law has even said hat if bubs is really REALLY bad and won't settle then she will come to ours and put him to bed in his own room. I also think, well what's the worst that can happen? If he doesn't settle then he will just cry and MIL will have to deal with it and give cuddles/ soothing etc until he goes to sleep. It's not like he's not a good sleeper normally and it's not like he's not slept there before, just not for that amount of time. The way I am feeling is nothing against my mother in law whatsoever as I know how wonderful she is with Bubs and I can see how much he loves his nanny. I think I would feel like this regardless of who was looking after him.
So that's my internal struggle at the moment. We are going to the party as it's important to hubby and I do also feel a little like it will be good for bubs to spend a night without us to see how he gets on (we are going away next September and that will be 4 nights in a travel cot so he will have to get used to it) and it will also be nice for me and hubby to spend some time together but it doesn't stop me from feeling so awful and nervous. I know that things will most probably be fine too but I can't help but just feel a tug at my heart when ever I think of leaving my bubs :(
What I need from you out there is your thoughts. Is my heart right or my heart? Any reassurance for a overprotective mother who doesn't want to leave her child? I'd love to know what you think in the comments below :)