Pitter-patter.

I was sat in a dress shop watching my beautiful cousin try on her wedding dress when it first happened. That magical moment when you first feel your baby kick, not just a flutter but a full on boot you in the side. Everyone rushes around to feel your stomach, but the baby doesn’t kick again, that first big one was just for you and you absolutely love it. You smile smugly and feel warm.

You go home and tell the hubby, wait until baby is active again and sit there for hours holding your stomach together, It finally happens, baby lets Daddy feel the magic too. You sit in each other’s arms all night, excited, scared, but most of all, happy. Toddler runs in, you tell them they’re going to have a brother or sister, toddler laughs and carries on playing whilst mumbling something about not sharing his Tigger. You smile, you know he is going to be an amazing big brother.

Today is the day. Halfway point, scan day. Pink or blue? The car was silent on the way, apart from the boy, singing away in the back. He had no idea how big that day was for him, for us. It feels like forever in the waiting room, I’m pacing, partly because I’m nervous and partly because I needed my 4 millionth pee of the day but didn’t want to miss the appointment. We get called in, I lie on the bed, the familiar freezing cold gel is lathered all over my belly and there it is. On screen is our baby, our joy, I’m so overwhelmed I am fighting back tears, my eyes sting and my throat is choked up. But that can’t last long, pink or blue? Pink or blue?! PINK OR BLUE?!

Pink. Pink. Pink!!!!

It’s finally time, it all happens in a rush but I’m in the car, on the way to the hospital. I’m in pain but I don’t really care, the baby is coming, and I’m not even nearly ready for this. We don’t have a name, I had a section last time, the baby is early I’m not ready. I’m not ready! I’m pushing, I see a blur of people around me trying to be encouraging, but I really can’t hear them, I’m scared, and in pain, a lot of pain. I’m pushing again, and again, and again until I’m handed this beautiful angel, She’s crying until I speak and she just stops and opens her beautiful eyes. Her hair is whispy and blonde, she’s got huge eyes, and her Daddy’s lips. But it’s all going blurry.

I hear the sound of a truck. A truck? Why can I hear a truck? I open my eyes and I’m in bed, I look to my left and there is hubby fast asleep. Where is baby? Where is toddler? How did I get here?

It was a fucking dream.

Heartbroken.

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The Worst Things I’ve Been Told As A Parent

Everyone has their own little ways of soothing, disciplining and in general just dealing with their child, and normally I say each to their own, but here are some of the most ridiculous things I’ve been told to do as a parent!

-If your baby bites you, bite them back-
I’m sorry but fuck off, if your baby is biting you, they are probably teething. Plus, I think taking a chunk out of your baby is classed as child abuse. Even if your child does it, and knows exactly what they’re doing, you still don’t bite your child.

-Sleep when your baby sleeps-
Oh Ok then, so who’s coming to do all of the housework whilst we are tucked up dreaming away? No one that’s who, now get your head out of your arse.

-Reward bad behavior with a cuddle-
Ok, so those exact words were not said to me, more in action form. Zak was being naughty once and after ignoring everything I said, they took it upon themselves to give him a big cuddle and kisses. Tell me where the logic is in that one.

-Babies who have a dummy are more settled-
Not once did Zak have a dummy and still sleeps through the night, and he has done from the age of about 8 weeks. So no, babies with dummies are not necessarily more settled. Dummies are the parent’s preference, but personally, I feel like dummies are sometimes (not always) used to just keep their child quiet when they can’t be bothered.

-Stick some whiskey in their bottle-
No, no, no, no, no and guess what? NO. Alcohol is poisonous to adults, hence us getting “drunk”, and you want me to give my child an alcoholic drink that is quite strong for fully grown adults? Yeah, don’t come near my child.

What bad advice have you been given?

Much love xx
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Things all parents will relate to.

A few things have been swirling around my head recently about children, especially toddlers.  Some of the things they do, and some of the things they say leave us all gob-smacked, laughing, the things you experience amidst all of the madness and sometimes most of the time, leaves you crying.

-The inability to listen the first, second and third time you call their name…
To which you then resort to raising your voice, and your child does not understand why you are raising your voice at them, which then leads to a strop.

-The words “no” and “what”…
Zak has recently really got into these words. We could be chatting, and I’ll ask him to do something and I get an immediate “no”. It shocks me every time, if I’d have done that to my parents I’d have been bollocked for it. Zak’s favourite at the minute is “what”. If I call him from another room all I hear is “WHAT?”. It really frustrates me, and no matter how many times I tell him to answer differently, he still does it. Probably because he knows it annoys me.

-The mega cute face they find when you’re mad at them…

The big eyes come out, the cuddles, the kisses on the face and then they bring out the cute phrase/dance/action that they know you love. How can you stay mad at that face?

-The overwhelming feeling that no matter what, you’re not good enough…
I get this one a lot. I constantly feel like my best isn’t good enough, I feel like I am the only one struggling to get my child to pick up the cushion he just threw for no reason, to eat his food, and to just behave in general. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not the naughtiest child out there, but I get those moments where it all becomes too much, and I wonder sometimes why I am failing this, badly.

-Those days where you feel like a TV Mom
I can’t be the only one who feels like this from time to time? The days where your child behaves, the house is clean (well everything is packed into bulging cupboards and it looks clean), you get everything done that you need to and you even had time to slap on some make up, and you found probably the last set of clothes without a bleach stain on them. They are great days.

-Getting stupidly excited when another adult comes over, or you bump into someone you know
When the only conversation you’ve had all day is about minions, farts and lollipops, when you do get the chance to have some adult conversation, you get that rush of excitement run through you. Until of course, your child gets jealous that your attention isn’t just for them and they play up. Then you end up telling them off. No wonder you don’t have much adult conversation.

-Finally, when you’re without your kids, it’s not right
You’ve been stressed and crazy all week, you have bags under your eyes, matted hair, you’re hungry, tired and need a long bath. You finally get that little bit of time to yourself that you have been waiting for. The moment is here and it just doesn’t feel right, you miss their little faces and weirdly miss all of the stress. You then sit there upset because all you wanted was free time and now feel like an awful, selfish person.

Much love xx

 

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Monmag Beauty Product Review – Inca Inchi Oil

I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to review one of the many amazing products from Monmag Beauty.

After a few emails with the lovely ladies at Monmag, I was selected the Inca Inchi Oil, which is a regeneration oil. You can apply by:

  • Applying it directly to the skin.
  • As moisturiser combined with face cream.
  • In addition for body lotion
The oil was delivered very quickly, and I immediately was surprised by what came. A full 15ml bottle of the oil, a little soft toy and a note with it that said “here’s a little gift for your precious one, I hope he likes it”. I thought this was really sweet of them to send a little gift for him too. He’s named it fluffy, because he picked it up with sticky hands and it made his hands fluffy – pure genius three year old logic if you ask me!
Later that night I showered and then decided to see how the oil would work on my psoriasis. I also decided to use it directly onto my skin, as I thought this would have the best effect. How right I was! 
Here is a picture of my knee before applying the oil…
Bad right? Here is a picture of my knee immediately after using the oil…
I am so thrilled with the improvement made to my skin, and how quickly it improved it too! I have been applying it directly after showers since and the skin on my knees feels a thousand times better.
I have also been mixing it with my moisturiser, and been applying it all over, and my skin really does feel incredible, I’ve also noticed the look of my skin has changed too, it looks like I’ve been away on holiday, refreshed, but without the tan (haha if only!).
I have always been self concious of my skin, because people always ask what it is, and I always feel like people are staring. Not any more, this oil really has given me so much more self confidence. I have also found that in this beautiful hotter weather we have been having, that when the skin on my face dries and cracks, a small application of the oil directly sorts it right out for the rest of the day!
I would definitely recommend purchasing this oil. I wasn’t really expecting much from it to be honest, as I’ve tried so many lotions and potions for my skin, and nothing has ever worked! 
I’d like to thank Monmag for letting me review this lovely product, and I hope to work with them again very soon!
Much love xx


Disclaimer: I was sent this product free of charge for the purposes of this review, I have not been paid for this post, but I am lucky enough to be able to keep the product after! 🙂
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Blog Camp 2015

I was lucky enough to be able to attend Blog Camp 2015, hosted by Sally Whittle, from Tots100. What a wonderful turn out! With around 100 bloggers there, lots of coffee, giggles and pictures, it was a truly amazing day!

Coffee and chat when we arrived!

There was a timetable, full of so many interesting topics, it was hard to choose which one to go to at times!

Here is the timetable! Lots of brilliant things to choose between!

The first one I chose to attend was ‘How to take great Headshots‘ with Phil Tregan. This was an interesting one, as I always feel like the pictures I take for my blog are never as good as all of the other wonderful blogs I read, so I thought it would be useful. Here’s a few things that I learned!

Headshots

A ‘headshot’ is a simple ID, usually you keep both head and shoulders in the frame. A question was raised asking if it could just be the head, but Phil said it’s better to take both, as the shoulders can be edited out later if needed. Another few points he mentioned were:
  • Headshot are visibly simple
  • Factual
  • Easy to look at
  • They have a clean background
  • Natural lighting is best, watch out for hard lighting, as you can end up with a large glare on the face which is hard to get rid of.
  • Posing techniques and how you stand, sometimes a headshot of a person stood very straight and directly looking at the camera doesn’t work. Things like turning the body away and then moving your head to look at the camera look much better. You are also able to find more flattering angles using this tip.
  • If you don’t have proper photography lighting, using a white reflector, or anything that can bounce light onto the face will work perfectly, to save having shadows on the face, and making the photo more flattering too.
Phil Tregan and his slideshow about portraits.

Portraits

A portrait has more going on in the photo, and in general they are more posed, and relaxed. There are often more objects in the picture, along with a background to pose with. This makes the photo more interesting to look at. These are few things to remember when taking a portrait:
  • What’s the intended purpose? – What are you trying to show with this photo?
  • Environment. Often photographers will have to arrive at a shoot and take the photo quickly, and use the surroundings closest. Which is the best place to take it?
  • Rapport. What will my subject give me? Often getting the person to talk about themselves makes them more relaxed, which then leads to a better photo.
  • Pose. Help the person you are taking provide the best pose.
  • When taking pictures of children, it can be hard to get them to pose for a photo, so often, photos of them playing with their toys are best. Getting down to their level to take the photo is also another good tip.
Cake break! 🙂

Next I attended the ‘How to be a fashion blogger‘ with talks from Christina and Kat. I truly loved this one, as I’ve been looking to get myself into fashion blogging. I picked up some really good tips from them and here they are!

  • Concentrate on brands you always wear, companies are more likely to work with you if they can see you normally wear their brand.
  • Be nice to brands! This one came up quite a lot. Brands are busy, and sometimes they will mistakes, it’s never on purpose, and they will always apologise if they have. Also if you’re nice, they’re more likely to want to work with you again.
  • If you are emailed by a brand and you’re not sure if you want to work with them, that’s ok. Don’t sit on the email, let them know and then they can find someone else who wants to do it, it doesn’t mean they won’t come back to you in the future!
  • Showcase your skills – reach out to brands so you can get on their radar.
  • Buy a branded item and write the most epic piece you can about it, then tag them in it on social media, this will help get them interested in working with you.
  • Practise selfies of yourself in clothes, work out your best angles, and buy a large mirror if you do not already own one!
  • Using flat lays instead of wearing the clothes are perfectly ok too! Although wearing the clothes shows the reader how it looks on!
  • If reviewing make up, show it on yourself, on your lips, a dab on your hand to show how good the colours look with your colour skin, because that’s what the readers want the most!
  • Create wish lists from brands you wear, and tag them on social media, this also gets them interested!
Lunchtime! Absolutely beautiful food!
I couldn’t NOT have dessert! 🙂
Next, I went to ‘So you want to be a vlogger?

I was really interested in hearing what Sally and Sam had to share about this topic, and I’d always thought about vlogging, but didn’t really know much about it. After finding out these following tips and tricks, I can’t wait to record my first product review and post it.

  • Video blogging or ‘vlogging’ is much more lucrative than a regular blog post, this can include anything including reviews, stories, days out etc..
  • Enjoy doing it. No one is going to want to watch someone who clearly doesn’t want to be talking on a video, or someone who is stiff and lifeless.
  • Make your blog relate-able to your directed audience.
  • Think about what you want to post, do you want your family life posted on the internet?
  • Use a welcome video for your YouTube channel, keep it short and informative.
  • Thumbnails are important, when editing your video, choose a thumbnail relevant to the video, it’s more likely to attract viewers.
  • Organise your content.
  • Add relevant website links to your uploaded videos.
  • Add featured channels.
  • Schedule your uploads for when you will get the most views.
  • Make sure you know how to use your editing software.
  • Don’t start your videos with a pause, and make sure you cut out hesitations and ‘ums’.
  • Promote your video, especially in the first 48 hours!
Another delicious treat before writing workshop!

Writing workshop with Fiona gave me loads of useful tips, and they came from a different angle than I expected, which made me think more about my blog posts. Fiona said that everything you write is a story, and that everything you write is like a TV series or a film. It needs to be gripping, it needs to involve characters, it needs to include suspense, and most of all, it needs to make your readers want to come back.

She also said that you need to really think about what your top like is. Within the first few seconds of clicking on a blog post, a reader decides whether they are going to continue reading or not. Also your ‘story’ doesn’t have to be in chronological order, if there is an interesting point in the story, start with it and then continue to go back and start from the beginning. This way you will draw your reader in. A few other good ways to improve your blog posts are:

  • Rule of threes – things work better in threes
  • Anaphora – repeating a certain phrase
  • Contrasting pairs – when you say something and then contrast it back in the same sentence.
  • Delayed drop – a little bit like a punchline
Nipped out on one of the breaks and saw this awesome lift door art!

Last of all, everyone was gathered together to listen and ask questions with Vicki, Ruth, Frank PR and Lindy. I loved listening to all of the things they had to say about blogging and working with brands. There were many questions about payment for your work, and many answers and opinions given. I think my favourite point made was “write because you’re interested in it”.

I would like to thank everyone at tots100 who made the day happen, and for letting me be a part of it! I met some wonderful people, including Mojo blogs, who I have known for around 4 years now, and never had the chance to meet. I’m already looking forward to next year!

The beautiful Zara (Mojo Blogs) and myself!
Much love xx
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Ouchies & Lots of Tears

Part 1.

Zak had to go for his preschool jabs yesterday.

He normally gets way over excited about going to the Doctors, so I prepared for tears, by buying some smarties for after, and being ready for a clingy child.

We were waiting to go in and he was zooming around where I was sat, buzzing to see the Doctor. We were called in, to a different room than normal, and he was still in high spirits.

The nurse then sat him down and explained that he was going to have some “magic medicine” to make him big and strong, but we had to give it to him a little differently, one in each arm rather than the usual magic medicine he is used to.

-He then got nervous, oh crap.

She gave him his first injection and he let out a huge wail and clung onto me. He started sobbing and holding tighter and tighter. He’s generally not the type to properly cry, he will cry when he strops but this was different, he was frightened and in pain, which then led to me crying. The second one was even worse, Zak crying louder, me fighting back the tears and also fighting to keep him still. At least it was over. Poor Zak just cried into me whilst the nurse explained any side effects he might experience, then, she offered him a chocolate button and POOF! It was like there was a different child on my lap! He shoved it in his mouth and then got down, it was like nothing had ever happened!

Part 2.

My turn to see the Doctor. I’ve been wanting this appointment for a long time now, but as I was sat there, I felt like all of my problems were so minor, and I couldn’t think of what I needed to say. After seeing Zak like that just before, I suddenly didn’t care about me.

I was still teary when I was called into my appointment. I just went for it and explained that I have been suffering quite badly with my depression and anxiety recently. I also mentioned that I think one of the main factors is because I have such low self esteem, and that I’ve been trying to lose weight, but not really got very far. Throughout all of this I was struggling to hold back the tears, I’m not sure if it was because I was still upset from seeing Zak cry and then unloading like that set me off again, or if it would have happened even if Zak hadn’t have had any jabs. We talked for a while, she gave me loads of booklets on healthy eating, all of these I already knew, but maybe hearing it and having information from my Doctor will help. Either way, she has booked me in for next month to re-weigh, and if there is no improvement, she spoke about the possibility of using weight loss tablets.

As for my anxiety and depression, I explained that I’d rather not medicate, as I don’t like the way I feel on them, and I feel like they are just covering up the problem, rather than solving it. So she has signed me up to a refresher course for cognitive behavioural therapy, which is what I had just after having Zak, and it really helped. The only downside is the waiting list, but I think it will be worth it.
In the meantime I’ve got to try my best to sort out my weight, and self esteem issues. So, like I have been trying to do all year, I’m going to work on myself, not just eat healthily to lose weight and look good, but to change my lifestyle and feel good.

So now, at least for now, I’m going to try and name something that I like about myself each day, and try to name something new as often as I can. Mr Pie is constantly telling me how beautiful I am, and for those few seconds I believe it, so I’m going to try and get to a point where I believe it all of the time (or at least most of the tim, we all have fat and ugly days right?!). Here’s my first quote I’ve read today, to lift myself up.

Much love xx



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