29 June 2017

BREASTFEEDING WEEK // 5 THINGS I HATE ABOUT BEING A BREASTFEEDING MUM


Collectively, I have breastfed for 6 years and 1 month over the space of 2 kids and over that period of time I have come across a lot of amazing people and a lot of dicks. I've had people tell me how amazing it is that I've managed to battle through the struggles I have, I've had people look at me as though I was bare ass naked having a shit in the street when I was feeding my first baby in the car, I've had health professionals praise me, I've had a doctor say that when they get teeth it's time to stop (that one still makes me laugh). Hell, I've had someone inbox my bloody boyfriend saying they were offended about me posting anything about breastfeeding online and then later on proceeded to say they even found my tweets about how proud I was to have managed to reach another milestone/etc (because breastfeeding is fucking hard!) offensive too.

So here is my list of 5 things I hate about being a breastfeeder. I could have thought of WAY more but lets keep this one short and sweet shall we:

1. The judging. Oh GOD, the judging. I am literally so sick to death of seeing people calling breast feeders disgusting, child abusers, being told to leave restaurants, shops, cafes. No, no, no and no. Why is it that everyone loves a pair of tits until they're being used for what nature intended? 

Also the presumption that breastfeeding past a certain age is "for the mother", let me just clear that one up on behalf of all mothers who are currently breastfeeding an older baby/child: HELL NO IT ISN'T. It's exhausting, time consuming and as anyone who has ever breastfed a toddler or older child will know, it's mostly having your nipples ripped off as they spin their heads round at the Peppa Pig theme tune and being kicked in the face while having your eyeballs pulled about.

Most Mums don't set out to breastfeed a child of 2, 3 or 4+ it just sort of happens. Breastfeeding does have health benefits for Mum, yes, but the actual act of breastfeeding a child is for the child. To comfort, soothe and nourish the child. The immunity benefits of breast milk don't just stop at a certain age, just as broccoli doesn't stop being healthy as soon as a kid reaches 3 years old. Breast milk is forever changing, altering itself to custom fit that individual child. Also, milk teeth are called milk teeth for a reason, once a child loses a tooth most will also lose their ability to latch onto the breast.

2. The name calling. Breastfeeding Brigade, Breastfeeding Nazi, Breastfeeding Police, Nipple Nazi...OH F*CK OFF. Comparing Nazis, who are guilty of genocide, to people feeding their kid is tasteless at best. It's offensive and abusive and when, and only when, breastfeeding mothers start mass murdering people who don't breastfeed or drop bombs on the formula aisle will it become acceptable to use such terms.

3. The assumption that we think formula is the devils piss. Definitely not. Formula is awesome, it saves lives. Bloody expensive, but awesome and just because someone supports and is passionate about breastfeeding, does not, in any way, shape or form, mean they are anti formula. Or Nazis. Or whatever else. There will always be the high horse dwellers but they will be dicks whatever path they choose.

4. When people say I'm lucky to be able to breastfeed. I'm not lucky. My boobs work, woo!, but "lucky" implies that it's a walk in the park and it is so not a walk in the park. I work bloody hard at fighting breastfeeding aversion, D-MER and pain (still! Although only normally for a week around my period) and "lucky" kind of shits on the sleepless nights, the skin crawling, the bleeding nipples, the mastitis, the blocked ducts, tongue and lip tie issues. The nipple blanching, the vasospasms, the food sensitivities, the ulcerated nipples, the sleepless nights and toddler nursing gymnastics. Even without any problems it's still bloody hard. "Lucky" just doesn't give any justice to the sheer, exhausting determination it takes to even attempt to breastfeed a child.

5. The assumption that because we are breastfeeding that we think we are better than those who don't.  Let me just say this on behalf of 99% of breastfeeding women: We are not better than anyone, we don't think we are better than anyone, we don't want anyone to feel guilty we just wanna feed our babies. 

Trust me, if you are reading this and feel judged for not breastfeeding then please don't. Why you didn't, doesn't matter, you don't need to validate your reason for choosing not to and no one thinks any less of you, I promise. It makes me so sad whenever someone explains to me why they couldn't breastfeed like they need to prove that they have a legit reason. Any reason that meant you weren't happy with your decision is a legit reason. Don't beat yourself up, breastfeeding or not you're still f**king badass <3




Gee x


Social Media:

28 June 2017

REVIEW // AVEENO BABY DAILY CARE MOISTURISING LOTION


The first issue we had with Lily's skin was soreness around her neck. At first we thought perhaps milk was getting in the creases are causing the soreness that way but she's breastfed and I find that there are hardly any milk dribbles at all. We tried various creams and they helped a bit but never got rid of it completely. We took her to the doctors and one of the first things we were prescribed after trying everything else, including natural products such as coconut and olive oil, was Aveeno. It was great and cleared up the soreness around her neck completely. 

Lily was eventually diagnosed with eczema and gets it pretty badly on her arms, chest, legs, hands and face. When its bad its red raw and bleeding, and when it's good it's still pretty bad. We currently have a prescription cream which still only manages to half heal it.

We picked up this cream before getting the more hardcore, prescription stuff and it's brilliant for soothing the skin and we use it whenever she has patches that look particularly sore and after baths as I find that the Colloidal Oatmeal in it really helps stop the itchiness. It hasn't cured her eczema but it's well worth investing in some purely as something to soothe the itch. I do prefer the smell of the adult one (which works just as well), but the baby one has a "baby" smell to it. Not baby smell as in poo and milky sick but more like a classic baby lotion scent so it makes for ultimate baby snuggling!

I paid £5.99 for this from Boots.


Gee x


Social Media:

24 June 2017

REVIEW // BURTS BEES - BRING BACK THE BEES COCONUT & PEAR LIP BALM



Firstly, I would like to thank Mr Bumble Bee on the left for landing in frame at just the right time and making my photo awesome. While I've been suffering from awful hay fever this little one has been busy keeping our planet alive.

I love Burt's Bees, I've used their baby products since my eldest was small and their lip balms have been something I have re purchased many, many times. They're amazingly hydrating and the natural ingredients are a winner for me, as always. As well and being 100% natural it also contains no phthalates, parabens, petrolatum or SLS.


I find them brilliant for prepping my lips ready for lipstick, particularly matte lipstick which is about as forgiving as a transparent swimming costume. 




This Coconut and Pear Lip Balm (£3.99) is limited edition and probably my new favourite from their entire range, the smell is amazing, just like Eat Natural Almond and Apricot Yoghurt Bars. It took me at least 2 weeks of using this to figure that out. You know when you smell something and it reminds you so much of something else but you just can't place exactly what? Yeh, that. Racked my brain for ages over that one. 


I have about 4 of their lip balms already on the go so really didn't need this but I love anything coconut so that, plus the fact that with every purchase of this limited edition balm and the fact they will plant 5,000 bee friendly wildflower seeds, was more than enough to sway me. They also pledge to do the same if you send them a #SelflessSelfie




"If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, 
man would have no more than four years to live" 
- Albert Einstein


Bees are more important to our world than most people imagine and I have already planted my own bee friendly seeds this year! A pack of your own wildflower seeds only cost a couple of pounds from supermarkets or garden centres (plus they are bloody beautiful when they bloom). 

See a bee on the ground? He's probably not dead! This time of the year the bees really live up to the saying "busy bees" and the poor stripy fellow is probably just exhausted from flying backwards and forwards all day (I feel you Mr Bubble Bee, I feel you). Make him an energy drink by mixing one tablespoon of water with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar as recommended by the RSPB. So, lets all do out bit to look after our yellow and black stripy friends.




Gee x


Social Media:

22 June 2017

REVIEW // MS FLOW TRIAL BOX


I love a good box and a box that means I don't have to panic buy period supplies is even better! Ms Flow do just that! This is their Trial Box* which is full of awesome.

They're a personalised subscription for that time of the month. You get to choose whether you want pads or tampons, what brand and absorbency level and leave the rest to them. Each month you get a supply of whatever protection you chose which comes sealed in little stripy paper bags (which are recyclable for you green people) along with lots of other goodies to pamper yourself and help prop you up during the hormonal mosh pit that is a period. 


This is their Trial Box, perfect for those who want to "try before they buy" or in this case, subscribe. In this particular box you receive a selection of sanitary products which I think is a brilliant idea. I have been stuck in a rut of buying the same ones each month and never really veering away from my usual brand so I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone these could be my new favourites. I particularly like the look of the Natracare Organic, as you'll probably have noticed by now if you read my blog regularly, I'm a sucker for anything natural. 

The full list of the pads and whathaveyou that you get are:

Always Ultra Sanitary Towels
Bodyform Sanitary Towels
Natracare Organic Sanitary Towels
Natracare Organic Tampons
Tampax Tampons
Tampax Pearl Tampons
Tampax Compak Tampons
Tampax Compak Pearl Tampons
Lil lets Tampons

It would make an absolutely fantastic little gift for somebody who has just started their first period actually as it gives them a wide range of things to try first rather then buy multipacks of everything all at once. 


Each month, along with your essentials, you will be sent a selection of luxury beauty, relaxation and indulgence products to help you through. Brilliant right? In this box I got:

ANATOMICALS CRUISIN' FOR A SNOOZIN' FULL SIZE

This is a little pot of sleep. It looks like a little pot of vaseline but it smells like lavender so I love it purely because of that. It's a sleep enhancing balm which you are supposed to massage into your temples or any other pulse points and it works its magic. Unfortunately I cannot accurately review this because I have a baby.

JASON ALOE VERA MOISTURISING CREME SAMPLE SIIZE

Jason has been a brand I've wanted to try for quite a while actually so I was quite pleased with this one. The smell is a bit weird at first, it kind of smells like a dentist but once it's on the your face it goes pretty quickly, once I'd put my make up on I couldn't smell it at all. 

I really loved this sample, I wish it could have been bigger because it's actually started sorting out my epic disaster of a face. Using baby wipes to take make up off and generally slacking majorly in the skincare department for the last couple of years has made my skin suffer. It's dry and a bone and dull as the sky in November and my foundation just clung to the dry patches and looked crap but this has sorted the dryness around my nose and for that I am thankful. 

ANATOMICALS DAY AND NIGHT SPOT STICK FULL SIZE

For the inevitable hormonal break outs. My skin isn't as bad as it used to be spot wise these days although this month my face appears to think it's 15 again. I've been putting this on any spots at night and the swelling has completely gone by the morning. Bloody fabulous this little stick of magic is! It contains Tea Tree and Witch Hazel which are known for their spot killing abilities and it's all round awesome. 

DR STUART'S DETOX TEA 

I have a soft spot for tiny separate bags of tea. I've not tried it yet because I hardly get a second to sit down let alone sit down and drink a hot cup of tea haha. 

L'OREAL COLOR RICHE NAIL POLISH in OMG BLUES FULL SIZE

A nail polish is always a winner. I prefer more pastel colours in the summer but this will be nice for Autumn. 

CANDY KITTENS SOUR WATERMELON FULL SIZE

These got stolen before I even had a chance. They're the sweet baby of Jamie Laing from Made in Chelsea. They used natural ingredients so no e numbers or ingredients you can't pronounce so you can totally eat the entire bag and call it healthy eating. 

YLANG YLANG AND LAVENDER CANDLE

This was what I could smell before I opened the box! Bloody hell does this smell lovely, very spa like. I love a good candle so this was always going to be a winner in my books. Great for having a relaxing bubble bath with a nice cold glass of something.

LINDT MINI CHOCOLATE BUNNIES

These don't really need a review because chocolate is always a winner and because I'm awesome, I saved both of these for each kid. Mum points for me. 

Want one? Awesome! Want 20% off? Even more awesome! The wonderful people at Ms Flow have given me a code just for you guys for 20% off your first box just enter the promo code: SPECIAL20 when you checkout!

I wish you all a very happy period with no cramps and a light flow (we can hope right?)




* Disclaimer - I was sent this for the purpose of review.

21 June 2017

STAND UP TO BULLYING // TIPS FOR SELF CARE




If you follow me on twitter you'll know that lately I've had some issues with bullies online and have spent that last week or so trying to keep my head above water and not relapse again. I try damned hard to be as transparent as I can be online, especially with my mental health problems in the past and also the present. I talk about the shitty days as well as the good and voice my struggles without the sugar coated rainbow sprinkles so I (hope) can help other Mums, women, people in general see that they are not alone and that really, no one has their shit together, some people are just better at coating themselves with a thick layer of bullshit. Unfortunately, there will always be the bullies that see that as a weakness and attack you for it and sadly, this is what I have experienced lately.

This blog post isn't going to be about the shit I've had flung at me by Internet dickheads but about self care and how to get rid of the smell of their colossal farts of negativity.

1. Distance yourself from any and all negative farts. Block, unfollow, delete, leave, throw their number in the ocean, quit your job if you have to, whatever. I felt like I couldn't do this for an awfully long time because I was afraid of offending people but you know what? Fuck them.You do not owe anything to people who thrive from affecting others mental health. Do what you gotta do and don't feel bad about it. Family members, facebookers, friends, bloggers, exes, Internet dickheads; you owe nothing to any one them if they are hurting your health.

2. Search through a fuck tonne of quotes, memes, anything positive or enlightening. Even cat videos (always cat videos). Whenever I feel crappy I always do this and it has a pretty high success rate in boosting my mood even if just for a short while. Here are a few of my favourite quotes that are helping me get through current shit:

"The common mistake that bullies make is assuming that because someone is nice that he or she is weak. Those traits have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it takes considerable strength and character to be a good person." - Mary Williams

"Don't forget that you're human. It's okay to have a melt down. Just don't unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed"

"An adult bully tries to avoid responsibility for their own bad behaviour by blaming the target for causing it." - facebook.com/antibullyingresources

"If someone treats you like shit, just remember that there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people don't go around destroying other human beings"

3. Have a bath with all the bath bombs and bubble bars, light all the expensive candles you've been "saving for special occasions" because life is a special occasion. Slather your hair in a mask and use all of your beauty products ever. Shave your legs with actual shaving gel for once, shave a heart into your pubes! Exfoliate every inch of yourself and moisturise every majestic curve of your badass body. Go all out with the pampering because you fucking deserve to be pampered like the mother fucking royalty you are.

4. Listen to your body. It's easy to forget about our physical needs when our minds are hurting but it is so importantt to keep hydrated and energy levels stable. When I'm feeling shitty the last thing I want to do is eat and I end up paying for it with a hypo later on. If you cant remind yourself, ask someone else to remind you or set alarms on your phone. I have a habit of trying to do everything at once to try and fend off panic attacks and other intrusive thoughts and for the most part it helps but it causes me to neglect my physical self because sometimes its difficult to know know when to stop.

I have always been told by doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, etc (I still don't know the different between all of them) that panic causes adrenaline surges and if that adrenaline is left there it makes us feel more anxious and irritable and so the cycle continues. The best cause of action is to be active. This is hard if you have a chronic illness, like me, because while being physical reduces the adrenaline in your system it also increases pain levels.

I suffer with severe anxiety to the extent that having panic attacks on loop every day wouldn't be strange for me. I have adrenaline surges with most thoughts I have and it is fucking exhausting alone and I feel like I would need to be running a marathon constantly to work off all of the adrenaline my body produces most of the time but even something simple like punching a pillow will dispel some of it and every little helps right?

5. Don't stop doing what you love. Bullies love to isolate people, they will try to follow you everywhere they can and try and intimidate you, insult you, and generally try their absolute best to push you out of whatever they are jealous of. It's easy to fall into the trap of giving up. I have two words of advice when dealing with people this and that is: "fuck them". Fuck them side ways, front ways, from above and below because they don't know how to function without making at least one persons life miserable and that's a pretty shitty way to live. I know that's easier said than done when you feel like every turn you make they're there waiting to kick you square in the nuts but just remember, "anybody trying to drag you down, is already below you". Plus, they will get bored eventually and move on to some other poor bastard.

6. Allow yourself time to heal. This one is probably one of the most important. More often than not we feel pressured into not letting people see something is affecting us and we bottle it all up only for it to come out all at once at a later date. Allow yourself to feel the emotions, allow yourself to validate what you have been through and how it has affected you. Allow yourself to feel and know that it is okay to have emotions. You are not weak for feeling or admitting that you HAVE suffered by the hands of another.

7. Laugh! Laugh at the negative farts and the breath from your laughter with blow them away with any luck.

8. Know that you are not alone and know that if you ever find yourself feeling like you are, there will always be somebody waiting to lend an ear. My inbox is always, always open.


<3



"Don't do that. Don't tell me I'm not trying to swim through 12 oceans and drowned in every single one of them. But each time the water seeped into my lungs and the fishes started swimming in my bloodstream, I spat it all up and continued swimming. I am not a life raft. I will not pop in the middle of the ocean. I am a fucking ship and I promise you I will make it to shore ALIVE." 
-My quote wall, originally from Tumblr


Social Media:

19 June 2017

REVIEW // NUK HYGIENE CLEANSER


I normally use Method products to clean the house these days but they are normally very highly scented and quite "soapy" so I have been avoiding them on the highchair as I feel the soapiness may transfer to the food. I ordered this from Ocado on a whim because I'm a sucker for trying things I've never seen before and I liked that it was specifically aimed at baby things.

The bottle was quite a bit smaller than I anticipated which I'm secretly thankful for as it fits better under my sink (I'm a cleaning product hoarder). Despite this it appears to have lasted longer than the one I normally use on the highchair which is a bonus. It contains no alcohol, solvents, preserving agents or allergens and is made from naturally derived ingredients which I like, it makes me feel less worried about using it on things that are going to come into contact with mouths and food surfaces. 

What I particularly like about this is that it have 2 different spray options. There is a little flap over the nozzle which you can flip up for regular spraying or down for a foam which I find much easier to clean the highchair with. It also doesn't have that horrible chemical smell to it which is a much welcomed change for me.

I bought it on offer for £1.99 but it's regular price is £3.99 so quite a bit more pricey than other brands but I feel the kinder ingredients make up for that.

What's your favourite anti-bac spray?

Social Media:

17 June 2017

PREGNANCY AFTER A LOSS // THE FIRST TRIMESTER


I've decided to write Lily's pregnancy story in a sort of series because otherwise it will more than likely be ridiculously long. I had wanted to do weekly updates when I was actually pregnant with her but life and other shit just got in the way.

In May 2015 I found out I was pregnant with Lily. What is even more amazing, is that I got those 2 pink lines exactly a year ago, to the date, with my Angel Baby. Pure coincidence? Or was this planned for me? Who knows, but it felt as though my Angel had chosen this little bean to send to me which sounds silly when I write it down but it helped. 

I had been feeling a bit shit and really tired so I honestly just took the test to rule pregnancy out. We had been careful and in my mind there was no way I could be pregnant. Turns out I was super wrong but also incredibly happy. I smiled as soon as I saw the two lines. Knowing what date it was I just felt that this was meant to be. 



After the initial shock of things had calmed down was when the anxiety came out. From this point on, I was absolutely terrified of losing this baby and honestly believe that it was all too good to be true and that my body was going to fail me again. I couldn't be happy because I felt like the second I let go of my anxieties and let myself get excited, even for a second, that it would be then that my baby would be taken from me again before they even had a chance. I remember reading everything there was about pregnancy, when the risk of miscarriage reduces, counting down the days to 6 weeks when the first drop happens and the baby's heart starts beating. Praying that the beat didn't stop this time. 

We told Ben's family first as I was anxious about telling mine after what happened last time. Eloise ended up letting slip to my sister and then my Mum who ended up taking it better that I had first thought. Then came the public social media announcement which happened on the same day as I had announced my Angel because I felt like that was the right time. I didn't want to wait until 12 weeks because regardless of what was to happen, I wanted my baby to be remembered. I also felt like doing it on the same date would reduce the chances of losing the baby because the odds of everything happening on the same dates was slim right? 


I started bleeding at 6 weeks. Exactly the same as last time; The same heavy feeling. The same blood loss. How could my body be doing this to me again? Pretty much down to the date? How was this fair? I still hadn't forgiven my body for last time and I had only just began to drag myself out of the dark there was no way I could cope with this happening again. 

I rang the doctors who said I needed to come in. I remember sitting there, the terror bone deep, waiting for my name to be called. I went in alone, leaving Ben in the waiting room and explained to the doctor what was happening. She echoed the same words the EPU lady had a year ago "it will either progress or it won't". She had me lay down on the bed and checked me over to rule out anything serious and told me to come back if I started bleeding more or experienced any pain and off I went. I asked to be referred for a scan but she said there was little they could do at the stage (I was later told that she should have sent me for an emergency scan considering my history). I wanted her to tell me everything was fine and I was being stupid worrying so much but she didn't and I left feeling even worse than I did before, convinced this was the beginning of the end all over again. 

This is when my pregnancy test game went up, I must have been testing 4+ times a day. I became completely obsessed with pink lines and pissing on sticks. I kept trying to tell myself what I was told last time, that the colour of the line on a test is not instinctive of a healthy pregnancy but it didn't matter. I think I took multiple tests every single day for over a month and would have continued longer if I hadn't left them were I couldn't get to them. It was so unhealthy the amount I was stressing over the colour of a line. It was all I could think about for the first few weeks of knowing. I'd get up at ridiculous o'clock and take a test, it was my first thought when I woke up, even during the night if I happened to wake up I would want to test "just in case" and every time I saw the line, still there, still just as dark, I relaxed for a few minutes. Literally a few minutes, then the anxiety would build and build and build. It was like I was addicted to taking pregnancy tests. The bleeding stopped after a few days, going from bright red streaks to brown to nothing.

It was around now I started to get the nausea, a lot earlier than I did with Eloise, along side my already painful boobs, I'd wake up and instantly feel just a little bit sick. If I woke up and didn't feel sick I would panic, or if my boobs hurt a bit less. I was forever analysing my symptoms and if anything became less apparent, my mind would spiral downwards and I would convince myself of the worst possible scenario, over and over again and that's very much how my entire pregnancy was spent. I was absolutely overjoyed with being pregnant, I loved everything about it but at the same time I was terrified of anything bad happening. So much so that I don't think I ever actually got to enjoy it. 


Midway through the first trimester I moved out of my Mums place for a second time and in with Ben and his family as tensions were quite high at home and after a particularly stressful day Ben basically helped me pack some shit and took me and Eloise home with him. That decision ended up being a complete disaster but more about that later. 

After moving house, I also moved doctors. I was about 8 or 9 weeks now and because I was a new patient I had to wait 2 weeks for a check up before I could see a midwife. The doctor was surprised at how my old surgery dealt with my earlier bleed, especially given my history of pregnancy loss and she booked me in for an emergency scan in the early pregnancy unit. I was so relieved that someone finally listened to my concerns! 

The scan date came round and I was terrified. I was completely convinced they wouldn't be able to find a heart beat and I felt so sick with anxiety. If you've ever been to the EPU you will know how truly awful it is sitting in the waiting area knowing that all these ladies are here because they are equally as terrified as you, and some will be told their babies have passed away. 

During the scan there were two sonographers, one doing the scan and the other as a second opinion. As soon as they put the probe on my tiny bump and I say the tiny little bean that was to become my Lily there, bouncing away I finally relaxed a bit. I remember her saying "there's your little jellybean" which became Lily's in utero nickname. I even call her Lily Bean so much I'm sure shes convinced that's her real name. After that they didn't say an awful lot and that alone made my brief relaxation completely disappear. I was even more convinced there was something wrong. They printed off a photograph that I was to pick up from reception after the appointment had ended because waving a scan photo around in front on parents that could have just lost their babies would be just awful.

After the scan the sent me to a different waiting area to see the consultant who was just reviewing the scan findings. I was called in what felt like hours later, to be told that everything looked okay with the baby but I had a Subchorionic Heamatoma on a section of my placenta. This basically means that when my placenta began to form a small section came away and caused a pocket of blood to form underneath as the placenta grew over and around it. They told me that this was the most likely reason for my bleed and that it will either be reabsorbed by my body or it will make its way towards my cervix and come out with more bleeding. I was booked in for another scan and they explained that they would reassess the heamatoma then in the hope my body will absorb it without any issue but I was also told that if it isn't absorbed that it is likely to get bigger as my placenta grows and it could could increase my risk of miscarriage, placental abruption and pre term labour. Not what I wanted to hear at all. My mind spiralled downwards and whilst I was glad to have found the reason for the bleed I was also distraught at the thought of losing another baby. Why was my body doing this? Why couldn't it just do it's job properly? The thought of losing another pregnancy wasn't fathomable to me. It couldn't happen. Not again. 



Social Media:

12 June 2017

REVIEW // NUTRIMUM BREASTFEEDING BARS


I've seen these being advertised online quite a few times and they intrigued me. I noticed they were on offer in Boots so I picked up a box the other week. I now realise they do a Cranberry and Chocolate flavour and I wish I'd found that one instead as I would have preferred that over the Red Berries I bought but eh, food is food and they were still nice. One thing I particularly liked was thats they were way more gooey than your average cereal bar.


Basically, it's a cereal bar that is fortified with vitamins to help support your body whilst your boobs work their magic. Now, you don't HAVE to take vitamins whilst breastfeeding, your milk will be just as good regardless but getting the correct amount of vitamins daily will help your body stay as energised as it can be whilst changing endless nappies on 2 hours broken sleep.


I'm crap at taking vitamins in pill form, they're normally the size of a golf balls and I can't swallow them at all so the fact these cram them into food is pretty cool! Not only that but it encourages you to actually eat rather than just knock back a tablet and go off again into the endless whirlwind of nappies, poo and spit up.


One bar contains -


Iron which contributes to the normal function of the immune system which you're going to need with the amount of germs children appear to spread like wild fire. It is also said to reduce tiredness and fatigue which is something you're going to need all the help you can get with!


10µg vitamin D which is the amount recommended per day by Department of Health when breastfeeding. Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones.


Vitamins B2 & B6


They come in individual packets which are very plain actually, they are just plain off white. I feel that there is a lot of room for improvement here and having a colour design on the packets themselves, as well as the outer box, would be far nicer in terms of aesthetics. Not only would this make the actual bars look more appealing it would also be better for advertisement as it would draw far more attention that way.


They work out quite a bit more expensive if you were to have one everyday rather than tablets but if you're like me and struggle with the submarine sized pills then these would be brilliant. They also do pregnancy ones which I wish I'd known about when I was expecting Lily. 


They're £2.99 from Boots and Ocado.


Social Media:

8 June 2017

YOU ARE NOT SHIT IF YOUR BABY DOESN'T SLEEP THROUGH YET


For some reason, when you have a baby, people see this as an excuse to give you advice about literally fucking EVERYTHING. Sleep appears to be one of the things high on the list of unsolicited, and normally shit advice. When I fell pregnant with Eloise, I was 18 and still living at my Mums in a tiny bedroom that could hardly fit a double bed in let alone a cot I apparently absolutely needed, but somehow I managed it. It was a second hand thing that was originally from Mothercare with cute little spinning balls that I pictured her playing with quietly when she woke up in the morning as she got older. Yes, you can all laugh at me.

I hadn't really heard much about co-sleeping or bed sharing back then and all the baby magazines and shitty leaflets are all about the cots, the swinging cribs and the moses baskets. One of the first things my health visitor said was, "you should put her down to fall asleep or you will make a rod for your own back", all I had done was feed her to sleep and carry on holding her afterwards. I was fine with doing this because it just felt like the normal thing to do but her reaction surprised me, so back then I didn't think co-sleeping was a thing, if you weren't supposed to even hold your baby to sleep.
She told me I should be letting her cry to make her learn to self settle and I shouldn't 'give in'. I remember making sure I had placed her in her carrycot whenever that particular woman came round for a while after that, afraid she would judge me for cuddling her to sleep and I would say "oh yes, of course I lay her down in the cot". In hindsight I'd liked to have told the old bag where to bloody go and that I will fucking well cuddle my baby to sleep and she can take her sleep training advise and stick it up her arse. Hindsight me is always very sweary and opinionated but in reality I would probably just smile and nod.
Everyone has different ways of doing this whole parenting thing and that's totally fine but that doesn't mean it's cool to pressure Mums into doing something they're clearly not comfortable with when there isn't even a problem. If I had asked for sleep training advice, okay cool. But I didn't. Yeh, talking to you miserable health visitor lady.

She retired after the first couple of visits much to my delight and the next lady I got was wonderful. She was very supportive of breastfeeding and actually suggested I start training to be a breastfeeding peer supporter. She also spoke about co-sleeping after I mentioned I'd been doing some research and  bringing Eloise into my bed around 4am and how much easier she had been settling like that. She advised me on how to do it safely and by 7 months I was bed sharing full time. I was happier, Eloise was more settled, no crying the second I put her in her cot and me staying up most of the night holding her, feeling like the number one shittest Mum because I MUST be doing something wrong. All because I couldn't bear to see her so upset and I had been too afraid to do what felt natural to me, and co sleep sooner. The cot then became a giant laundry basket haha!


With Lily I bought a crib and moses basket knowing there was probably a 3% chance of me actually using them. (I even co-slept in a hospital bed with her which was rather fun. We ended up wedging the plastic crib up against the bed with the sides up for extra piece of mind and the bed was just about big enough to comfortably sleep in.) When we brought her home I think she lay in the crib for about a minute before crying so I picked her up and that was that. I actually don't think we put her down for at least the first 3 months of her life. She slept on one of us in the day and next to me at night and thinking about it, minus the times she falls asleep in the car, that scenario is still very much the same, 16 months later.

After we made the decision to scrap the cot/crib/basket thing, we forked out a shocking amount of money for a Chicco Next 2 Me Crib. Nearly £200 if I remember correctly. Our thinking was, she would sleep in that (because it's technically it's just a bed extension) but I could still cuddle her and breastfeed easily blah blah blah. Would she sleep in it? Would she fuck! That thing became a very expensive side table for the best part of 7 months before she decided that actually, it wasn't that bad. Personally I don't think it's worth the price tag because the mattress isn't the greatest and like sleeping on a wooden board from the feel of it. I have had to pad Lily's out otherwise she just isn't comfortable on it. I would have liked a slightly nicer mattress for that price but then again, I paid fucking £180 for an organic, sheep wool/coconut fibre or some crazy shit mattress for Eloise which she slept on for all of 3 seconds and that was hard as a board too.


Prior to Lily accepting the padded out co sleeper, we had a bed guard on her side of our double bed which sufficed nicely. She wore a Grobag and slept in the crook of my arm attached to my boob. The duvet was always pulled right over and away from her, as was my pillow which I would place lovingly over Ben's face when Lily needed to snuggle in closer and it would get in the way.

Our general routine now is that she will fall asleep during the evening in the living room and we will carry her in (although this happens VERY rarely these days and rarely I mean never). If she doesn't fall asleep before we go to bed we will carry her in and I will breastfeed her to sleep in our bed and once she's asleep I will transfer her over a few centimetres praying to the baby sleep faries that I don't end up waking her. Most of the time it does wake her and I feed her over the terribly placed, hard as buggery, plastic lip on the side of the frigging crib thing and swear about the excruciating pain it causes whilst it slices my ribs apart. She will then eventually fall asleep. If it's a good night she will sleep a solid 4 hours before waking for a feed. If it's not then she will be constantly attached to my tits, wiggling her bum in the air making fart noises with her nose on my boob, whilst the shitty plastic thing will have bruised my sides to utter shit. I have actually caused friction burns on my arm more than once from how many times I turn over when she wakes up/to swap boobs and permanently have bruises on my arms and rib cage from the bastard crib. I shit you not.

I don't even want to imagine how little sleep I would get if I we didn't co sleep.



All this brings me to this question that has been flitting around my mind ever since I was 18 - Why is today's society so fixated on having babies conform to our crazy set of expectations. People always ask me if Lily is "good" or "does she sleep well?'. In answer to your questions, nosey random stranger, yes she is good. All babies are good. The baby who is screaming at the top of his lungs, the baby quietly gurgling in their pram; The baby smacking their Dad in the face with a wooden alphabet block, the toddler pulling all the flour down off the shelf in Tesco. The baby pulling the used sanitary items out of the bathroom bin, the baby who smears their dinner EVERYWHERE and the one currently emptying a bottle of juice on the clean floor (yep, that ones currently mine). They are all good. There is no such thing as a bad baby. And do they sleep well? What sort of question even is that?  90% of babies haven't got the memo about sleep and if your child is waking up 1, 2, 10 times a night, they are not broken. You are not a shit parent. You do not have to let your baby cry it out if you don't want to. You do not have to "place your baby down to awake so they learn to self soothe" if you don't want to. Fun fact - babies aren't pre programmed to self soothe. Needing comforting is normal for babies, they shouldn't be sleeping through by x, y or z age. Every baby is different! Just like children masters potty training at different ages or when they wean from the breast or learn to feed themselves with a bottle. I don't see how leaving a crying baby is soothing for anyone involved and it's just never been the road I've felt I wanted to go down. I think it would honestly break me. Some babies just appear to be nocturnal and that's NORMAL and TEMPORARY.

Trust me, I know the exhaustion is fucking painfully crippling most days. I am constantly tired. I have a chronic illness with makes me tired anyway so I'm tired squared. I feel like walking dog shit most days and my baby rarely goes to sleep before midnight but guess what? I'm not a shit Mum. I am not lazy for not wanting to sleep train her. She is not bad. She is not a problem that needs to be fixed. So to the Mums who don't want to sleep train or who have and it hasn't worked or those who have babies that just don't fucking sleep- you are not shit.

The crippling exhaustion isn't forever. One day you will be looking back at this when they're in high school and you're having to drag them out of bed and oh how you shall laugh. I know I will. And probably cry too because I will be knocking on 36 by then and I swear I have seen grey hairs already so fuck knows what I will look like in 10 years time.

Basically, do whatever feels right for you and your family and don't feel pressured into doing things you aren't comfortable with because other people attempt to make you feel inadequate. Other people are not you and other babies are not yours. You are not obliged to take the advise of your Gran, your Mum, your Mother in Law, random internet stranger or the miserable health visitor lady. Do your own research, figure out what's best for your baby; You gotta do what you gotta do.

So, if your baby has you up 60 times or sleeps the whole night through; you are doing fab and you are a badass motherfucker and your baby loves you, the end.




















*Disclaimer - if you have used sleep training and it's worked/ you're happy with that then awesome sauce. No judgement here. It's just not for me <3


Social Media:

5 June 2017

REVIEW // GRAZE BOX



I've been getting the Variety Box from Graze for the most part of 5 years now and in those whole 5 years I don't think I've had one box where someone hasn't stolen one of my snacks. That's how good they are, or how greedy my family are...

The website gives you an option to select the different snacks as "bin, like, love, try or send soon". 

Bin - pretty self explanatory, anything you don't like or have an allergy to you can select 'bin' and they won't send it to you ever ever ever. 

Like - again, pretty self explanatory, this one is basically "hey lovely people at Graze, I quite like this one, feel free to send it to me". 

Love - they will try and send this one to you more often because they're just that nice.

Try - Ones you're not really decided on or haven't tried yet. This is what all the snacks are set as default. Leave them like this and Graze will send you lovely surprise snacks. 

Send Soon - for snacks you love and want right now. If you check send soon in time they will send them in your next box. 

The snacks are all super healthy, yes, even the brownies. This is my favourite thing about them, the snacks are all packed full of protein, vitamins and all the good things. Each individually named snack lets you know what sort of goodness you're getting which makes me feel like I'm winning at the healthy eating game every time I eat one (four).
















They have a good variety of both sweet and savoury options, my favourites being the Original Fruity Flapjack, Strawberries & Cream Protein Topper, Soy Roasted Seeds, Bonnie Wee Oatbakes, Summer Berry Compote, basically everything.

The Variety Boxes I get cost £3.99 including delivery and you can manage your subscription and frequency of your boxes whenever you like. Going on holiday? No problem, you can push the delivery date back to suit you. Find yourself eating all of the snacks in one go and wanting another box? Cool, you can have as many as you like delivered to you each week. You can even choose what day you want them to come on.

They also do Tea Boxes, Protein Top-Ups along with big bags of healthiness such as Chia Seeds, various nuts,  seeds, Acai Powder, dried fruit and lots of other super healthy bits and bobs.




















My boxes did start to get a little "samey", I have more popcorn than I know what to do with but a few minutes updating my likes and send soons I'm getting lots of variety again so it's really worth keeping your thoughts on your snacks updated.

If you use this link, you get your 1st, 5th and 10th boxes free and I get £1 off my next box :).

Social Media:

3 June 2017

REVIEW // JACKSON REECE KINDER BY NATURE BABY WIPES



Whenever it comes to baby products I always seem to be drawn towards the more natural options available, whether that be food or toiletries. Lily has quite sensitive skin and suffers from eczema so I am always quite hesitant to use anything particularly "chemically" and will normally choose a natural option if possible. Now don't get me wrong, I use a lot of cheap wipes, especially when it's 9pm and we run out and the other half has to leg it down to the shop to grab a pack just before they close which is rather often, but I always feel happier knowing I'm not adding any more unnecessary crap onto my baby's skin when possible.

Jackson Reece has been a brand I've loved since I had my first, 7 years ago. I've used their wipes before and they're a firm favourite of mine. They're biodegradable, vegan, alcohol free, cruelty free, chlorine free, (perfect for those wanting to be more green), and they're hypoallergenic. Everything that could upset sore, eczema prone skin they're free from basically. The ones I reviewed are the unscented version which smell likes bubbles to me which is a huge step up from normal unscented scents. I have used the scented version before and they smell amazing, not like your usual baby wipe with their fake, heavily scented mess that is on par with a poonami nose wise, they have a very delicate, floral scent. More like a perfume than a poofume.

Lily has very sensitive skin, when at it's worst, is cracked and bleeding, especially on her hands and arms where she can scratch. Even bathing in plain water can aggravate her eczema so we have to be rather careful about what we put on her skin. She had slight nappy rash at the time and she stopped fussing after I had wiped her with one as the Aloe must have soothed the rash. Post wipe I could feel the softness left behind on my hands so top marks there. I think a cream of some sort would be a brilliant addition to the collection, whether it be for nappy changes or just a regular moisturising cream (hint hint ;)).

I love the ethics behind the brand and how gentle they are, even on eczema prone skin. I really want to try their Nose Nuzzles wipes for wiping Lily's hands and face after dinner as she has quite a bit of eczema under her chin and I'm curious to see if they would help soothe her face because regular baby wipes just seem to do nothing at best. Worth a shot I reckon.

You can buy both the scented and unscented wipes in Boots for £1.60.



Social Media:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...