Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Valentines Gifts for Every Woman

For Valentines we don’t go big in our house but we also don’t shun the day like some grumpy buggers out there! I don’t see the harm in having a day dedicated to telling someone you love them, especially after the year we have just had!  We enjoy presenting each other with a soppy/funny card and there is usually some sort of dinner or flowers, chocolate or small gift involved!  Here are some of my favourite present ideas for the lady Valentine in your life, I've tried to include something for everyone!

Perfume: I personally don’t think you can go wrong with buying the one you love a delicious smelling fragrance.  For some reason my boyfriend thinks it’s a lame “cop out” present but I am genuinely over the moon when I receive perfume as a gift and Molecule 01 is my absolute favourite scent EVER.  I instantly know when someone is wearing it, it’s said to adapt to each person’s natural scent so it smells slightly different on everyone and it lasts all day and beyond.   Thank you so so much to Corrie for introducing me to this wonder in a bottle (I actually hate the bottle design though, it looks so cheap?! But I promise you it smells incredible)
Another oldy but a goody is Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle, it’s one of those fragrances that can take you from day to night and suits everyone

Jewellry: Unless you’re presenting your special person with that forever diamond then Etsy is the place to shop for jewellery.  You can find some really unique pieces at really competitive prices and by buying from Etsy UK you’re supporting small businesses at the same time. Winning.  I love these earrings, this ring, this ring  oh and this necklace!

Books: I know its Valentines but that doesn’t mean you need to give your other half some sort of soppy love story.. no no no give them a creepy novel about a slightly mental and stalkerish girl snooping in on people’s houses whilst sat on the train!  Jokes aside, The Girl on the Train is so awesome for both sexes to read.  It’s a total page turner, one you won’t want to put down until you find out what on earth the ending will be! Some people don’t seem to love the ending, but I thought it was brilliant – make your own judgement before the movie comes out!
If you simply must get that soppy love story I mentioned then make it Me Before You, it’s probably the only book that’s made me shed a tear!

Beauty: The woman in your life will thank you for buying her the ever popular Pixi Glow Tonic.  I’ve been using this religiously since I received it in my Christmas stocking and I’ve noticed a huuuuuuuge improvement in my skin tone and surface.  I also highly recommend Clinique’s Chubby StickHighlighter it really is the stuff highlighter dreams are made of!  It’s so easy to use and the consistency is creamy and lovely, it makes cheekbones pop!

Tech: Instagram is by far my favourite social media platform but it’s also made me realise how many photos I don’t actually print!  This Pocket Photo Printer has completely changed my game and I’m not printing most of my photos the second after I’ve posted them in Insta!  Its small enough to travel with, cheap to run and connects via Bluetooth to your smart phone, there really is no excuse not to print photos anymore!

Something Instagrammable: For the social media bunny then something that looks pretty in a flat lay Instagram post is an easy buy!  My bestest Hannah bought me this gorgeous One Line a Day 5 Year Journal which not only will make a great Insta photo but I’ve been honestly enjoying filling it in!!  I’ve decided to ask myself a question for each day so it will be interesting to see how my answers differ over the next five years!!  These Fairy Lights would be perfect for photos as well as making your bedroom cosy this Valentines and I’m obessed with the little Lightboxes spread-eagled all over social media at the moment!  Handy tip: we got ours for a mere £11 in store at The Range (they seem to retail for so much more everywhere else!!!)

If all else fails grab your girl a bottle of the fizzy stuff (I like Verve) and tell her she looks extra pretty!!

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day this year??

Saturday, 16 January 2016

How I'm Getting my Fussy Toddler to Eat

This is in no way a miracle fix in getting your fussy toddler to eat but its a few things we have been trying in our house to get a super fussy Harry to put anything other than "beige food" in his mouth!
Harry eats pretty much anything his childminder puts in front of him and I was started to feel like I was being duped!  Why would he eat it there and not at home?!  What was I doing wrong?!  I decided that after the Christmas pig out, I would put a plan into action and get him eating some of the things that he should have been eating.
Before I give you some tips to try yourself please remember that I'm not an expert, proffessional, i'm just a mum doing what she can to get some nutrition into her kid!  its my way of doing things and its working.. for now!

So first things first, I think a big part of Harry not eating properly (especially at his evening meal) was snacking.  All of a sudden he was signing and talking to me and tell me that he wanted to eat, and in the excitement of this I was letting him graze CONSTANTLY. I didn't realise it at first but then I started to write down the half biscuit here and slice of toast there and realised I was giving him far too much food bribery in between meals, so he wouldn't be particularly hungry enough at meal times to even contemplate eating it.
So straight away we cut down on snacks, pretty dramatically actually.  I literally will give him just one thing, whether its a small jacket of raisons, biscuit, smoothie or a yoghurt, and I will only let him have it a good 2-3 hours before his main meal.  He still tells me he's hungry quite a lot but I say no and he accepts it usually so I know it was just a bit of a habit.  If your toddler is still having bottles of milk, take a look at how much they are drinking as milk is so filling, its almost a meal in itself

Getting Harry involved in the prep and cooking process of meal times has been a massive help when it comes to getting him to try new things.  I know what you're thinking - MESS!  and yes.  it can be messy and it can take you twice as long to peel those potatoes and stir the pasta but I really think its so important to let your little ones get involved.  I let him handle a knife with my help to chop up all the vegetables and give him a slab of cheese and a grater and the kid is on cloud 9!!  He is much more likely to eat his dinner if he has helped me make it plus when he's chopping up things such as carrots he tends to have a few nibbles here and there which is getting some goodness into him before he's even got to the table!  Its also such a learning game, we name everything we're using he gets to feel the different shapes and textures of the food and when he's bigger hopefully he will be learning how to cook!

Harry pretty much decided himself that he would no longer partake in sitting in his highchair.  Luckily for us we have the amazing Stokke Steps system so all we had to do was remove the baby seat part and he has a fully fledged chair that is the perfect height for table, and still has sides to ensure he can't topple out. 
It was then that we realised that we very rarely (OK never) sit at the dining room table and Harry doesn't see us eat our meals often so perhaps we need to start sitting with him and eating together.  It has helped so so much!  I think it gives him a sense of independence being out of his highchair and technically free to get down and roam around and seeing us eat what he is eating is helping him to understand that this is what people do!  Instead of prepping something separate for him I usually give him exactly what we are having, even all the veg.  Usually he will completely ignore the vegetables but sometimes he will have a few peas or we can hide them in a few mouthfuls.  I think the key is to provide a vegetable on their plate every single time so they get used to seeing it there and will inevitably try it!

All the emotions.  Lock them up!!  If Harry refuses to eat his dinner or pushes his plate away we simply say "no don't do that" or "eat your dinner" and if the answer is still no then we say "OK, time to get down" - which is usually met by a screaming fit, tear, head banging, the lot, but we remain complacent and calm and we refuse to get angry with him.  This shows him that he can't get what he wants just by kicking off and 9 times out of 10 it works BUT only if you stick to your guns.  You simply must be consistent as if you show any signs of weakness then they will get you in that kitchen and dishing them out all the toast and yoghurt!!
It sounds a bit harsh but unfortunately discipline has to come into play when it comes to eating and we have found this the best way to do it.  Remember they are not going to let themselves starve and they do give in eventually and every day gets a little bit easier.  

Yes, we do have slip ups.  Days where we are at social events or days out and food bribery is the only option!  We also aren't particularly strict about Harry using a fork and spoon, to be honest if he's shovelling food in with his hands then i'm happy for now! Manners can come later.
I also don't mind having the TV on whilst he eats if he asks for it.  Sometimes I find the less focus there is on the food the more likely he is to just eat it whilst happily watching his favourite Princesses on Frozen!  

I never thought I would be so happy to see someone eat ONE pea but honestly it felt like all our hard work has been paying off!!  Its still early days for us and our fussy eater but I have managed to get him to eat so much more than he was eating before.

Do you have a fussy eater?  What are your top tips for getting your fussy eater to EAT!??


Friday, 8 January 2016

A New Year & No More Secrets

We are already heading at full force into January and I've written and deleted this post what feels like a thousand times now. Its almost like writing it down means that it happened and it wasn't just a blurry nightmare.  My blog is somewhere I not only give you guys my opinion on certain products, present ideas and updates on Harry's hearing, I also use it as a sort of online diary so to keep secrets from my readers feels like telling a lie. 

Let me start again. Firstly Happy New Year to you (when is the official cut off to stop saying that??!)  I hope your Christmas breaks were spent with your loved ones wherever you may be!
I for one have waved goodbye to the weirdest year of my life, it started off full of fear and anxiety when we put our baby through 6 hours of surgery for his cochlear implants. Then a month later our hearts were bursting with joy when they were switched on and we were high on that insane bubble right through the summer.  But right at the end of the summer, back in August, I received a devastating phone call.  My boyfriend Scott had been rushed to hospital following a seizure and no one could tell me if he was OK.   I managed to get to him within a couple of hours (he was taken to a hospital in another county) and the doctors were sure it was an isolated incident, something that shouldn't reoccur and we shouldn't worry.  Of course we worried but we trusted in their words that nothing seemed to be wrong with Scott and people have seizures sometimes for no reason at all.

Unfortunately they were very wrong as exactly a month later Scott had a second seizure in bed next to me and was taken to hospital yet again.  Obviously this time it was taken a little more seriously and we booked to see a neurologist ASAP to find out what was going on.  That was when we found out the terrifying news that Scott had a brain tumour that needed to be operated on immediately.  The words brain and tumour together are probably some of the worst you can hear and of course every single thought and emotion went through our bodies and we cried for what feels like an eternity

Just 5 emotional days later we travelled down to the Spire hospital in Southampton for him to have his surgery and I'm so happy to say that the operation was a complete success and he was home with Harry and I just 2 days later.  I will never ever forget those tense hours at the hospital pacing the room, waiting for him to be brought back to me safe and well.  When he was finally brought back up to the ward he managed to give me a little thumbs up and a half smile and that’s when I let out that breath I had been holding for god knows how long.

Although the operation was successful our journey didn't quite end there and after a couple of months of healing Scott had to undergo almost 7 weeks of radiotherapy to kill the cells around the area and help prevent the tumour from attempting to grow back.  Travelling down to Southampton every day for him over Christmas was very tiring and time consuming, but he got on with it and did what he had to do.  Despite losing half a head of hair hes managed to stay so positive which I truly believe has helped his body recover from everything that its been through

 Even though he will be monitored regularly and closely, it finally feels like its all over and we can go back to being a happy and normal family of three.  I'm so immensely proud of Scott, its so true that you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice that you have.  If this whole thing has taught me anything it is to love so much harder, to not take life for granted and to enjoy the little things.
I am so excited for the year ahead of us!!  GOODBYE 2015!

Did you face any challenges in 2015?

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