28 September 2017

PINK PARCEL SEPTEMBER 2017


Another month another Pink Parcel. This month I must say, I was pretty underwhelmed at first. Not to say I don't like anything in this months because I do but it just didn't "wow" me as much as normal and I felt like there was a lot less in it compared to the other boxes I'd received. One thing I will give them that I think is fantastic, sort of, is that I haven't had to buy pads in forever and my bathroom cupboard is bloody packed with the buggers. I never get through them all and that's with me changing it every time I go to the toilet so either I have a bladder of steel or they really do make sure you have more than enough. Even with this months period from hell I still had a few left over.


SKIMONO FOOT MASK FULL SIZE

I have a cheapy coconut foot mask that I haven't used yet because that would mean I wouldn't have a foot mask, stupid right? I ignored my flawed logic and used it anyway. It's infused with olive oil, shea butter, tea tree and chamomile although they didn't really have a scent to them (I am getting over a cold though). It was a really strange feeling, much like having two gigantic spunky condoms on your feet but they left my feet so soft it was unreal.

SEBAMED FEMININE INTIMATE WASH SAMPLE

Always up for having a clean and non irritated vagina. I normally use Femfresh which does the job but it's nice to have options in the fanny cleaning department. This smells a bit more "natural" than Femfresh and the bottle is about the size of my fingernail so you will probably only get one or two washws out of this sample size but it looks good!


CATE NAIL POLISH FULL SIZE

I love this brand of nail polishes. I have a grey toned one from earlier in the year which is amazing to apply. I love the colour of this red one too although I feel the shade is more Christmassy. The bottle is the best though.

STYLONDON OVAL FACE BRUSH FULL SIZE

I have wanted one of these types of brushes forever. I bought one for my sister last Christmas and just never got round to getting myself one. This brush is SO soft, the handle is a bit plasticky and flimsy feeling but the actual bristles are super soft. It can be used for powder, blush, contour, pretty much anything face wise! I'm recruiting it as my new contour brush!


BAKED IN CHOCOLATE BROWNIE MUG MIX SAMPLE

Holy shit this was amazing! Choclatey, gooey, basically everything you want in a brownie and the best part? It took 60 seconds. I want 1000 more please.

LARITZY COSMETICS LIP PENCIL FULL SIZE

The pencil looks a bit scratched under the lid but the product itself glides on nicely. It's also cruelty and chemical free!

THE LONDON TEA COMPANY PEACH & RHUBARB TEA SAMPLE

Tiny teas are always a winner. I feel like this would be nicer as an iced tea than a warm tea though. I used to love peach iced tea as a kid.


26 September 2017

WHAT MY TODDLER ATE TUESDAY [26/09/2017]

BREAKFAST


// Organix Raspberry & Banana Muesli 
// Blueberries

This muesli from Organix looks so nice! It has little pieces of freeze dried fruit in along with crispy bits making it a bit more interesting. I made it quite a bit thicker than recommended because Lily is a lot older and prefers to be able to pick bits up. She's kind of getting bored of blueberries lately and they are beginning to get left or just squished about the place. She is preferring things like raspberries and strawberries which is typical really as they're just going out of season. 



LUNCH


// Spinach & Chickpea Falafel and Avocado Wrap
// Asda Sweet Potato & Herb Turtle Puffs
// Raisins


Lily loves tortilla wraps, I think she finds them easier to eat because she seems to like ripping bits off food and eating it that way. The falafels and avocado part she wasn't so sure on, most was left and/or shoved into the seat of the highchair. Avocado is very hit and miss with Lily as I've said before and I think I'm just going to have to accept that I'm the only one in the house who actually likes it.

The little turtle crisps are a hit though of course, Lily is a crisp fiend. I stole a packet and ate them with a Babybel and therefore can confirm that they are good.



DINNER


// 1/2 Quorn Cheese & Broccoli Escalope 
// Cheese & Onion Smash
// Peas
// 1 Slice of Swiss Roll


These Quorn escalopes have been one of my favourites for years now and even Eloise loves them. Lily particularly enjoys picking the crumbs off and then eating all the bits. They take less than 20 minutes in the oven and are great for nights where I can't be arsed. 

Mash I find she leaves unless she has a spoon to eat it with. I do normally make my own mash but this was a mixture of regular Smash and some of the awesome cheese and onion flavour I found, I mix it with butter and grated cheese. Smash is amazing. I have been known to eat bowls of it as a lunch replacer with no shame. 

The swiss roll was obviously demolished without a second thought. 


Catch up with last weeks What My Toddler Ate Tuesday here.

24 September 2017

TROPICAL OVERNIGHT OATS


Overnight oats are perfect lazy breakfasts, they are prepared the night before so you are essentially waking up to a ready made, healthy breakfast. They're super easy to make and you can feel like you have your shit together with minimal effort. Win.

The back to school bugs have hit our house and we all have colds so I have been trying to pile as many fruits and vegetables into the kids as possible, mostly Lily because Eloise is the fussy as hell and will turn her nose up at most things that aren't cheese, pasta or a combination of both (although even she tried this).

It's nearly the end of the week which means it's the starvation period before the weekly shop is delivered so most of the fresh fruit has already been eaten or is starting to grow fur. Only the bananas and blueberries seem to survive until the weekend so I always like to have tinned or packaged fruit in the pantry (or food hole as we so lovingly refer to it).

The pineapple I have used here is by Nature's Finest and is just over a quid from supermarkets, you can stick it in the fridge for up to 2 days after opening it. Snack on it, put it in some jelly or chuck it on some pizza (we all know pineapple belongs on pizza, am I right or am I right?).








// 1 Large Tub of Coconut Yoghurt
// 2 Bananas
// 2 Cups of Oats
// Natures Finest Pineapple
// Desiccated Coconut
// Vanilla (optional)








  1. Peel the bananas and chop half of one into very thin slices
  2. Place the slices decoratively around the bottom of the jar
  3. Mash the rest of the banana in a bowl
  4. Add some pineapple chunks (although not too many as they are very wet) and mash in with the bananas
  5. Mix in the yoghurt and the oats to the fruit mix
  6. Spoon the mixture into the jar, fasten the lid and leave in the fridge overnight
  7. In the morning, top with pineapple chunks and desiccated coconut 

This recipe makes quite a lot but it's easy to adjust the amount to suit you, just don't skimp on the yoghurt or it can end up tasting floury!





*This post contains PR samples. All opinions are as always, my own.

23 September 2017

100 BLOGMAS IDEAS!


I have been feeling pretty uninspired when it comes to Blogtober and Blogmas so I got my creative juices flowing (ooh err) and compiled this list to help you guys with inspiration for blog post or video ideas for the up and coming Blogmas! 

I've also colour coded them, you're welcome. 

#bbloggers  -       #mbloggers/#pbloggers -      Everyone - 


01 - Top 5 Children's Books 
02 - Favourite Christmas Candle Scents 
03 - Favourite Christmas Memories 
04 - Under 1's Gift Guide  
05 - Festive Make Up Look 
06 - Top 10 Christmas Snacks 
07 - Christmas Tree Decorating 
08 - Christmas Themed Hot Chocolate 
09 - Reviews Of Christmas Themed Menu/Drinks (Costa, Starbucks, etc) 
10 - Christmas Eve Box Ideas 
11 - Christmas Baking (Pinterest is your friend, there are LOADS of amazing recipes on there!) 
12 - Favourite Christmassy Nail Colours 
13 - Christmas Arts & Crafts  
14 - Top 5 Christmas Films 
15 - Christmas Favourites 
16 - Christmas Photos From Your Childhood 
17 - Winter Warmer Must Haves For Baby 
18 - Festive Breakfast Ideas For Babies & Toddlers 
19 - Baby's Winter Wardrobe 
20 - Christmas Food Shop Haul 
21 - Christmas Wishlist 
22 - Favourite Christmas Themed Lush Product 
23 - Christmas Favourites - Food, Make Up Item, Candle Scent, Song, Film, Tree Decoration, Children's Book, Drink, Nail Colour, etc  
24 - Christmas Themed Kids Lunches 
25 - Christmas Gift Guide For Toddlers 
26 - Cosy Night In Essentials 
27 - Best Shows For Netflix & Chill 
28 - Christmas Present Haul 
29 - Top 5 Festive Lip Colours 
30 - Baby's First Christmas 
31 - Christmas 2017 Bucket List 
32 - Winter Wardrobe Essentials 
33 - Best Festive Themed Cleaning Products 
34 - Festive Snacks For Kids 
35 - Christmas Traditions 
36 - Festive Photo shoot Guide 
37 - Winter Beauty Essentials 
38 - Must Have Festive Items For The Home 
39 - Best Festive Yankee Candle Scents 
40 - Top 10 Christmas Songs 
41 - Elf On The Shelf Ideas 
42 - Winter Skincare Regime  
43 - Festive Sensory Play 
44 - Favourite Independent Shops (big up your favourite Instagram shops and WHAMS) 
45 - Festive Things To Do With Toddlers 
46 - First Christmas Bucket List 
47 - Christmas Shopping Tips 
48 - Festive Photography Props Ideas 
49 - What Makes a Perfect Christmas Dinner? 
50 - Weaning Christmas Dinner Ideas 
51 - Christmas Memories (favourite Christmas, funniest Christmas, Worst Christmas, that kinda thing) 
52 - Christmas Party Make Up Guide 
53 - Gift Guide For New Parents 
54 - Gift Guide For Mums To Be 
55 - Share Your Christmas Day (photos, stories, food, present. A chance to show off those cute photos of your baby or pet in adorable outfits) 
56 - Christmas Cake Recipe/Kid Friendly Christmas Cake Recipe 
57 - Christmas Traditions Everyone Needs To Do
58 - Gift Guide For Newborns 
59 - How To Approach *That* Santa Chat 
60 -  How To Survive Winter Bugs 
61 - Favourite Winter Family Meals 
62 - Best Christmas Presents You Received as a Child 
63- Homemade Candy Cane Hot Chocolate 
64 - Winter Skincare Saviours 
65 - Festive Mulled Wine/Cider Recipe 
66 - Online vs High Street Christmas Shopping  
67 - Favourite Online Shops 
68 - Handmade Christmas Present Ideas (Pinterest is your friend) 
69 - 10 Random Acts of Kindness (do 10, or more, random acts of kindness and blog about it)
70 - Under £20 Festive Make Up Look  
71 - Best Alcohol Free Tipples for Mums To Be 
72 - Coping With Eczema/Dry Skin in Winter  
73 - How to Cope With Baby's First Cold 
74 - Festive Maternity Photo Shoot Ideas 
75 - Chocolate Free Advent Calendars 
76 - First Christmas Present Guide 
77 - Favourite Festive Hashtags 
78 - Top 3 Books For Those Chilly Evenings 
79 - Baby Sleeping Bag & Clothing Guide (a lot of people get confused about what tog sleeping bag and what they should dress their baby in. Check the Grobag website for recommendations) 
80 - Must Have Baby Winter Items 
81 - Vegetarian Christmas Ideas 
82 - Vegan Christmas Ideas 
83 - Mummy & Baby Winter OOTD 
84 - Festive Photo Prop Inspiration 
85 - DIY Festive Homemade Playdoh 
86 - Stocking Stuffer Guide 
87 - Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe 
88 - 10 Things That Made Christmas (10 things that made Christmas, well...Christmas, when you were little. For me some examples would be those pretzel/cracker mixes, Vienetta and Trifle) 
89 - Turkey Alternatives For Christmas Dinner 
90 - Tips For Keeping The House Warm & The Heating Bill Down 
91 - Christmas Decoration Haul 
92 - Microwave Mug Cake (that actually works...Then send me the recipe!) 
93 - Pregnancy Guide - Foods To Avoid This Christmas 
94 - Alcohol Free Cocktails Using Baby Pouches 
95 - How To Get Through Christmas Dinner With Morning Sickness 
96 - Favourite Independent Candle/Wax Melt Shops 
97 - Gift Guides  
98 - How To Utilised Christmas Dinner Leftovers 
99 - Catering For Allergies At Christmas 
100 - How To Not End Up Killing Your Relatives At Christmas (we've all been there with the judgy comments) 

If you use any I'd love it if you drop me a me a link or a tag/mention. I'd love to see your posts and sharing is caring and all that. Happy Blogmassing guys!




21 September 2017

LILY'S 20 MONTH UPDATE



20 months ago I was having a hormone soaked tampon thing (technical term, totally) shoved up my vagina, so that can only mean that my little Lily bean is 20 months old today! How?! She is currently suffering with back to school germs, has had a fever for the past day and a half and has been miserable in general. She went to sleep at 10:30pm last night which is early for her especially considering she slept most of yesterday too. She is still quite warm this morning but she seems a little bit perkier than she has been so fingers crossed she shifts this soon.

Weight 

She was 21lbs last weigh in which was about a month ago.
Clothes size 

Still around the 9-12 mark although 6-9 are getting a little on the short side now. 

Milk 

She's still having boob but we are much more spaced out these days. She will occasionally have a feed before a nap in the afternoon but that's hit and miss and she can go the entire day without asking for milk quite easily now. Night time she still feeds to sleep and whenever she wakes during the night and then if she wakes before we have taken Eloise to school or she will lose her shit.
Food

I'm really pleased with how she's progressing food wise, I'm cutting things up less and less and she can eat things like mini waffles and toast cut into halves or quarters no problem. She is getting really good at using spoons and can self feed yogurt/smoothie bowls/soup  pretty well, it's still a messy affair but most of it goes in her mouth these days!

Her favourites are still baby crisps and Wotsits haha. They are always what gets eaten first unless there are berries. A new favourite of hers is Lasagne and marmite.


Teeth 

We have 12 teeth now, she has cut 4 molars over the past couple of months and my goodness have we known about it.   



Sleep 
Sleep is still very hit and miss but for the past few nights she has slept through really although she's still not going to bed until late and then not wanting to wake up until about 10am. She will then have a nap around school run time which works out well really but I'd like it if she went to bed at a semi reasonable time. She is also now in a cot, it's still sideless and shoved up against our bed but she finally out grew her side on crib thing.
Milestones 

Last time I spoke about my concerns with her speech and we still don't have any new words. She's had another hearing test which came back absolutely fine so at least I don't need to worry about that but she's still not attempting words at all. The only word she really uses is "kitty" (see here) and the occasional "iya". Everything is a kitty and she will point out anything that loosely resembles a cat and will "kitty" at it, which is so cute. She shouts in her own little language all the time but nothing that resembles anything else word wise though yet.




Likes 

Cat, ducks, Baby Shark, bubbles, crayons, playdoh and kinetic sand are among her current favourite things. She also loves drawing in books...and on walls. And my MacBook. Basically everything. 


Dislikes

Having her nappy changed, being hangry and not being allowed to stand on the coffee table. 
How am I feeling?

I'm feeling a lot better about the breastfeeding since she cut down massively and feel able to cope a bit better. She still has her off days where she wants to feed ALL THE TIME, and the aversion makes me feel terrible, but for the most part it's been alright. We did try her on a bottle of formula and cows milk but she didn't really take to it so we have left it and will come back to it again in the future when we wean her off breastfeeding completely which I'm hoping to do when she's 2. Whether she will be happy with this is a completely different story but I'm hoping that she will steadily decrease her feeds sometime soon. 


Read Lily's other updates here. 


20 September 2017

HIDDEN VEGGIE MAC & CHEESE WITH BABEASE


Ever wondered what can be done with pouches of baby food other than the obvious? For some reason it took me over a year to finally have a light bulb moment and combat fussy eaters whilst packing as much veg into my girls' food as I can.

Pasta sauce particularly is a hard one, I don't know about you but 90% of the time I cannot be bothered to make a sauce from scratch that only Lily will be eating and the it occurred to me - I can use baby pouches!

This is a little Mac & Cheese type concoction I whipped up for Lily's lunch. Normally I make my own cheese sauce but as Lily is the only one eating this as the fussy one was at school, I decided to wing it and give this a go.







// Pasta (I'm using Tesco Soup Pasta here)
// 1 Pouch of Babease Butternut Squash, Carrot and Broccoli
// A Handful of Cheddar Cheese









  1. Cook the pasta as you would normally and drain
  2. Squeeze the pouch of Babease Butternut Squash, Carrot and Broccoli into a pan and heat it up
  3. Mix in the cheese and take off the heat
  4. Pour in the pasta and mix it all up
  5. Leave to cool slightly before giving it to baby

It took literally 10 minutes to make and bumped up the veg count of Lily's lunch and she loved it! 


19 September 2017

WHAT MY TODDLER ATE TUESDAY [19/09/17]

BREAKFAST 


// Lemon & Raisin Pancakes
// Fresh Orange Juice

Lily loves these pancakes, I normally get them from Aldi which are nicer than these ones which are from Tesco. I had to put butter on them or they were too dry for Lily. The Aldi ones also have far more fruit in too which makes them softer and easier for her to eat. The orange juice we get delivered by the milkman and it's basically the best thing ever.


LUNCH


// Roasted Vegetable Cous Cous w/ Falafels
// Soreen Malt Loaf


Lily has always loved cous cous, one of her first foods was cheesy garlic and herb cous cous which was one of her favourites when she was weaning. She liked the roasted vegetable flavour but wasn't too sure on the falafels.


DINNER


// Quorn Spaghetti & Meatballs
// Garlic Bread

This dinner was requested by Eloise who loved the meatballs as did Lily. I cut them up into quarters before giving them to Lily though and I tend to cut the spaghetti a bit too so it's easier for her to pick up. Both kids only eat the middle out of garlic bread though haha.


Catch up with last weeks W.M.T.A.T here.


18 September 2017

10 TIPS FOR MANAGING ANXIETY AND PANIC ATTACKS


1. If you feel you need to, leave the situation that is making you panic. Be unapologetic about this, if people don't understand then that's their problem, not yours. Concentrate on what YOU need to do to help yourself.

2. Ground yourself. If you are in a situation where you cannot leave grounding works better.

To ground yourself -

- Look around you, pick out things you can see and say them out loud (or in your head if you feel unable to speak out loud). Describe little details you notice, for example "I can see a man sitting in a chair outside a coffee shop. He is quite old looking with creases around his eyes, grey hair and thin rimmed glasses. He is drinking a cappuccino". Repeat this 5 times with different things.

- Listen, what noises can you hear around your right now? How loud or soft are they? List 5 things you can hear, for example "I can hear a dog barking, it's quite soft but rough sounding".

 - Can you smell anything? Do the same as above and list 5 things you can smell.

Doing this will help your brain concentrate on something else other than panicking and the more you describe each thing the more you are engaging your brain and the less it can panic. I find that I can at least postpone a panic attack by doing this.


3. BREATHE. There is an app I use called SAM that was recommended to me by a perinatal mental health nurse who supported me during my pregnancy and the first few months of Lily's life. This app helps you track your anxiety levels and also lets you create a toolkit to help manage your anxiety levels as well as keep tabs on what triggers your anxiety.

The main thing I use this app for is the breathing exercise. On the home page you have a button for "Help With Anxiety NOW" which takes you to a new page with a "Calm Breathing" exercise that last 5 minutes. It has many other useful features but this is just the one I use the most.

4. When we panic our bodies tense up completely and it's difficult to notice when this happens until parts of you start hurting because of it. When you're feeling anxious take note of your jaw in particular as this is where tension headaches start. I always notice that I get these kinds of headaches if I've been particularly anxious about something so I try and really take notice of my muscles during an attack.

An exercise I was taught by a psychologist I was seeing in my teens:

This works better if you are lay down but I have done it many times sat up and even standing so it's totally possible to do anywhere. What you are going to do is tense each of your muscles in a certain order, one at a time and then release the tension again, one at a time.

Start with your feet, breathe in with through your nose and try and only tense the muscles within your feet, don't worry if you're calves automatically tense a bit too just try and make it as much foot as you can. Hold this for 10 seconds and then release, breathing out through your mouth as you do so.

Next tense your calves as you're breathing in, hold and breathe out through your mouth and you relax the muscles.

Repeat this for your thighs, bum, stomach, shoulders and head/facial muscles.

Once you've relaxed your head muscles, tense your entire body as you breathe in through your nose, hold for 10 seconds like before then release while breathing out through your mouth.

Some of my healing crystal collection. I have loads of those pendants but appear to have misplaced them.

5. This may feel like a silly one and I don't know if it's a placebo effect or if it really works but when I went through a particular bad patch with my anxiety at about 12, my Mum bought me a bracelet made out of Haematite which is meant to be good for anxiety relief. Ever since then I have had a massive interest in crystal healing and I own bloody hundreds of different thumb stones, bracelets, tumble stones, pendants etc and whether they work or not, having something with me that is supposed to help does make me feel a little more able to cope.

6. Distract distract distract. If I can feel a panic attack brewing I try my best to engage my brain in something to distract it from panicking. This feels quite a bit like tipping water down a blocked sink; the water is draining away, although slower than normal; you have to take it slowly and be careful not to pour too much in at once or you will flood the sink. I find this tactic is good for keeping a panic attack at bay until you can get to your safe place/ have someone come over.

7. When you aren't panicking, write a panic list. Write a collection of things to do when you're feeling anxious, this can be things like listen to a certain song, watch YouTube videos, have a bath. Mine includes things like watch Doctor Who or get my watercolours out and paint or put together a panic playlist to listen to. Anything that relaxes you. Here are some that are on mine-

Saturn - Sleeping At Last
Emergency Friend - Ghost in the Photographs 
Holocene - Bon Iver
The Sound Of Silence - Disturbed
Together Alone - Hammock
Weightless Part 1- Marconi Union
Murcury - Sleeping At Last
Along The Road - Radical Face

8. Do something active. When you are panicking your body is releasing adrenaline into your blood stream, ready for you to fight the threat or run away from the danger as fast as you can. Obviously we know that a telephone call poses no real danger and so this hormone just sits there riling your body up. Doing something physical whether that be go for a run or just punching a pillow or running on the spot will help disperse of of this pent up adrenaline and help your body calm down.


9. Another important tip and perhaps the most important actually is to recognise when you are having a panic attack. It's easy to think that you are dying or something serious is wrong with you when an attack hits and floods your body with all the terrible symptoms but learning to recognise that this is a panic attack and you are NOT going to die is a huge step and often the one that takes the most practise. Also remember that panic attacks are much like contractions. They will only last a certain amount of time before they pass, you may get another one after but there will be a brief moment where your mind will calm. One single panic attack cannot last longer than about 5-10 minutes before reaching it's peak so whatever you are feeling during an attack; it will stop soon. If like me, you have panic disorder the chance of having them on loop is pretty high but know that you will get at least a few seconds of brief calm before another starts up.


10. Rest. Panic attacks uses up A LOT of your energy so after an attack you will more than likely feel completely exhausted so it is important to let your body recuperate. Lie down, have a bubble bath, sleep, switch on Netflix and have a movie marathon. Aromatherapy is great for de stressing, I wouldn't say it helps with actual anxiety or panic but lavender is very soothing and helpful for stress so get the old lavender scented beauty products, light a candle or burner and fill your air space with relaxing scents and let your body rest.



16 September 2017

REVIEW // LUSH INTERGALACTIC


During the Summer holidays we took Eloise to our local Lush and let her choose a few bits, the first one that caught her eye was the Intergalactic bath bomb. She's has loved the bath bombs since she was a baby, her first ever one being Ickle Baby Bot when she was about 1 year old.



On first sniff it smells quite minty, not overpoweringly so, just a hint. I'm not overly fond on peppermint in general and tend to avoid things with much of a minty scent because it makes me feel sick but I have used this bath bomb before and found the scent quite pleasant. Not my favourite but nice in it's own way. 


I feel it's quite a fresh, masculine scent. The Lush website likens it to a "hint of 80s aftershave" and although I was merely a separate sperm and egg in the 80s the scent is what I imagine Mr Motivator to have smelled like back then. 


It is PACKED with the most beautiful gold glitter which leaves the bathwater a deep, sparkling midnight blue just like a real galaxy so it definitely lives up to it's name. The colour it leaves has absolutely got to be one of my favourites, the shimmer is just amazing! Eloise's hair was covered in golden sparkles afterwards and she was so chuffed!


The fizz is pretty powerful compared to other bath bombs and it doesn't take long to disappear with a soft crackle of popping candy.

All in all, I'm not a huge fan on the scent (although Eloise loved it) but the colours and glitter are what makes it for me with this one! It's a beauty!



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