Getting your garden summer ready | Collaboration 

The sun is FINALLY starting to grace us with its presence after goodness knows how many “beasts from the East’s” dumping their snow all over the UK and I couldn’t be happier. Spring and summer are my favourite seasons for so many reasons! Paddling pools, family BBQs, sandpits, watering the plants after a sunny day... all perfect summer time activities but there is a recurring theme amongst all of these things... the garden! Getting our garden ready for summer fun is a huge thing in our house and seeing as we are starting to think about what we want from our garden this summer, I thought I’d share my tips with you:

1. Easy to look after plants
If you are anything like me you don’t have time to be pruning plants and putting them in certain soils etc. We have quite a simple set up in our garden with a few easy to look after leafy bushes and some panseys that we replace each spring. It’s simple but still looks pretty and requires minimum effort to maintain.

2. Organise your shed
There is nothing worse that your child wanting a certain toy out of the shed and when you open the door you are faced with a huge mess of tools, toys, lawn mowers and whatever else your husband has managed to shove into the shed. Get it organised early on so getting the paddling pool out only takes 2 minutes rather than 10 minutes of rummaging (and most probably swearing!).

3. Love your lawn
Our lawn is horrendous! Thanks to a dog and the fact that we used the garden for storage and work space whilst we were having our kitchen remodelled, our lawn is almost non existent in places. Unfortunately for us we have to work with grass seed and wishful thinking BUT if we had the time then I would definitely replace the lawn with artificial grass. It is so simple to look after and looks soooo good regardless of how many water fights the kids have or how many time the dog decides to do his business! When we overhauled our garden a couple of years ago I pushed for artificial grass but we couldn’t find the right one for us so settled on a real lawn. I’ve since discovered grass direct and I wish I would have seen what they do sooner. Their artificial grass is such a great price and I will be going to them when we redo the garden next year!

4. Clean the sandpit in advance.
The first thing Pickle normally goes running to when he gets out in the garden is the sandpit BUT when it has been covered all winter it tends to be stinky and scummy when it’s uncovered. My advice is to be prepared. Get some fresh bags of sand (you can pick them up for less than £5 in most places now) and get ready with some industrial strength bags to dig out the old and replace with the new.

5. A fresh lick of paint goes a long way
Want to give your garden a refresh but don’t want to break the bank? Painting your fences is such an easy way to bring a new lease of life into your garden and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can now find so many different colours rather than just the traditional brown or green and you can theme your garden around a beautifully painted fence. I’m still trying to convince hubby to let me go pastle blue on the fences so that I can have a nautical themed garden... :)

So there you have it. My 5 tips to help get your garden ready for summer!

Note: This is a collaborative post


Don’t pressure me to breastfeed!  | Blog

Ever heard the phrase “my body my choice”? How comes that phrase stands in so many walks of life but when it comes to breastfeeding and your boobs, the choice is is taken away and the “right” thing to do is force upon you? 

A couple of weeks ago I had an appointment at the women’s clinic in my local hospital. I was sat outside the room waiting to go in when I was faced with a wall full of posters and information sheets. As I sat there scanning the wall it dawned on me... 

27 posters on the wall 

17 posters on the wall promoting breastfeeding 

0 mentioning ANY other way of feeding. 

Now, I understand and appreciate that the NHS and baby company’s aren’t allowed to promote any other form of feeding as breastmilk has been found to be most nutritious for baby and helps mum too BUT what about all those mums out there that couldn’t or chose not to breastfeed? I was one of those Mums 3 years ago and even now seeing a wall FILLED with breastfeeding posters promoting how breast is best takes me right back to holding my tiny 3 day old baby and crying into him whilst asking myself if I was failing him as a mother because I couldn’t breastfeed him? Mother’s are under so much pressure now days to be perfect. We are bombarded with so much information that when our baby gets here and we are faced with making decisions we end up feeling like a failure no matter what we choose to do. We are told how to raise our baby, feed it, let it sleep, cuddle it, put it down, let it cry, swaddle it, don’t swaddle it, wear a sling, don’t dare wear a sling... the advice and information is endless and can be so overwhelming!! 

When baby no 2 comes along my plan is to try breastfeeding. I will give it my best shot as I didn’t really get a chance to with Pickle due to him being poorly when he was born so I do want to try this time BUT if it doesn’t work, I am okay with that. I’ve already brought bottles, a breast pump and pack of ready made milk just in case. I am prepared this time, not just physically but also mentally. When breastfeeding didn’t work with Pickle I was made to feel like a lesser mother. I felt like I wasn’t giving my baby the best start in life and made to feel like I wasn’t as good as a mother as those who could breast feed. And do you know why? Because of walls full of posters like the one I saw the other day. This time round if it doesn’t work I won’t berate myself. I won’t feel less than any other mother because I know that it’s okay to do what is right for me and my baby, regardless of what some may say around me. Pickle is now a healthy, crazy three year old who isn’t obese or hyperactive or any other things that apparently formula feeding can cause. He turned out fine so if I have to bottle feed our new baby then I know he will be fine too! 

This time round it is my body and it IS my choice so I will do what I feel is right and I will not feel bad for it!! 


Being 'B-sensible' when choosing our Newborns bedding | Review and GIVEAWAY

Any parent or parent-to-be will tell you that sleeping arrangements for a baby is so important BUT can also be a massive headache. There are so many different options around nowadays that it can get so confusing and overwhelming for parents trying to purchase the right item. Luckily, B-Sensible is on hand to help with all of your fitted sheets needs. B-Sensible is one of Europe's leading retailers in bedding and when you find out what they have to offer it is not surprising! 


What is a Mum? | Mothers Day

Motherhood is hard. There is no denying it. Yes, it is the most rewarding thing that I think I will ever do but it is also the hardest. I don't think that anyone every realises how hard it actually is until they become a mother themselves. I remember being a child and looking at my Mum and just seeing her as my Mum. I didn't see the struggles she went through, the sleepless nights and the worry over the smallest little things that she must have been through to make her into the Mum that I saw. To me my Mum has always been the natural, infallible Mother that I see but it is only since becoming a mother myself that I have realised that she has learnt to be a Mum just like I have.

This got me thinking about what type of a Mother I see myself as and how I see my Mum. I see my Mum as strong, knowledgeable, fearless and caring where as I can see myself as tentative, worried and still in my early days of learning how to be a mother. This then lead to me wondering what my Mum thinks of herself as a Mother. Does she have the same doubts as me? Has she been through the same worries and trials? Here is what she had to say when I asked her what she thought of herself as a mother:


Have I got too fat during this pregnancy... | Pregnancy

It's a Sunday evening as I write this and we have just had the most wonderful family weekend together. Snow days, trips to London and family naps on the sofa. It has been blissful but as I write this at the end of a wonderful few days with my family, I am in tears. I am crying over something that some will think is such an over reaction and something so stupid to be upset about but for me it is such a huge thing. This evening I made the huge mistake of weighing myself and working out how much weight I have put on during my 23 weeks of pregnancy. I have put on 8.8kg. This to some may seem like nothing and so many of you out there are probably questioning why I am upset as I am growing a baby so shouldn't be worrying about my weight and you're right I SHOULDN'T be worrying about my weight but I am. I am and I have been ever since I had my 8 week booking appointment because it was at that appointment that I was told that because my BMI was 0.5 over where is deemed 'healthy' I would be referred to the 'Lifestyle Clinic' and I would be monitored by them for my whole pregnancy. 0.5 of a point has deemed me as unhealthy and means I have to go along to a special appointment once every few weeks to talk about healthy eating, exercise and how to manage my weight whilst I am pregnant. 

Now I understand why the NHS offer this service and I can imagine that for some people it is really helpful and they find the service a wonderful thing but for me all it brings is undue stress and guilt. 

During this pregnancy I have been SO much more active than I was when I was pregnant with Pickle and I have felt so much better for it. When I was pregnant last I suffered with horrendous SPD and was signed off work from 25 weeks pregnant. This time round I am currently 23 week and haven't had any sign of SPD. I am still going to Zumba and going swimming once a week. Our David Lloyd membership has been a god send and the perfect place for us to not only keep fit but for us to spend time as a family together. Not only have I been going to the gym but I’ve going out on walks with Pickle and generally running around after him. So why am I feeling like the worst person in the world for the weight I have put on?!?! This is why I am so upset. I feel like I have been doing everything I can but I know that when I go to my next 'lifestyle' appointment I will almost get a telling off and will have to listen to someone telling me about all of the things I already know and am doing. 

I also feel a little bit like 'woe is me' as well. I have been speaking to lot of people I know and they have put off 2,3 or even 4 stone during their pregnancies yet they have been left alone and haven't been made to feel like a bad person. If only I had started my pregnancy 0.5 of a point lower on my BMI then I wouldn't be sitting here crying and feeling like a huge fat whale who is hurting her unborn baby by putting on 8kg. All of this because of my BMI when I fell pregnant. If I was within the normal range (0.5 lower) then the NHS guidelines state that I could put on upto 12.5kg without anyone batting an eye lid! How ridiculous is that?!?!?!? BMI is such a huge pile of rubbish anyway as even when I was a skinny little size 12 when I was 16 I still had a high BMI because I danced so therefore had huge leg muscles, also don't think the fact that I have always had massive boobs has helped either.  

There isn't really much point in this post apart from somewhere for me to vent my upset, anger, guilt, whatever it is I am actually feeling about all of this. All that is left for me to do now is to worry about how much weight I am going to put on for the rest of this pregnancy and feel like the worst person in the world for doing so.