Countdown

Less than a week to Christmas!

I’ve still got a couple of gifts to wrap. Loads of Christmas films to watch. Three more days of work. One more visit to Santa.

Tomorrow we are off to visit Santa in his Victorian themed grotto near Canary Wharf. 

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I’m back to work. Then Thursday morning I have to go back to the GP for blood tests and then last minute prep before heading over to my mother-in-laws fo Christmas festivities. 

Christmas Day after stockings and presents, it’s off to brother-in-laws for more festivities and then it’s time to rest and digest on Boxing Day.

Then it’s off to my mums on the 27th, and back to mother-in-laws on the 28th. 

Then 6 days of rest before back to work.

Must remind myself once I’m back to work to book some annual leave for the new year! 

Hep Hep Hooray…

We moved in July, and have been pretty lax about sorting out a new GP service closer to home. 

Finally sorted it out this week, took all the forms in, ID, Proof of Address and Emma’s Red Book. Last step was for a Health Check. A human MOT if you like. Go through medical history, weight, height, blood pressure, etc. 

Got told things I already knew. Yep, I’m fat, so fat that my BMI (stupid system) reckons I should have died a week ago. I need to exercise more, eat less, and become skinny with a tiny BMI number. Yup. Well the health care guy didn’t say those exact words, but that was the gist. Apparently we should be going to the gym 4 times a week. Hmmmmmm. As if. 

He told me I should check my breasts daily. To be fair if notice if they were gone. HA! Sorry. Yep. I check them often. I know that if I find a lump then I need to get an exam done. 

Then came my urine sample. Thanks to my lovely pot of pee, I’m now having a series of tests for diabetes. Apparently my sample contained high traces of glucose. And showed I may have a UTI brewing.

So far, I’ve gone in relatively healthy (barring tonsillitis) and I’ve potentially got diabetes and a UTI.

Next thing I know, Daniel tells me Emma’s picked something up. I turn to see, and she sticks me in the side with a needle. I pull it out and take it off her. It’s a hypodermic needle, used. Emma gets checked over, is fine, gets a biscuit. Health care guy doesn’t seem concerned at all, that my kid has picked up a needle from the floor under my chair and stuck it in me. He puts it in the bin, the NORMAL waste bin.

Husband has his health check and I go to sit in the waiting room, with my various sample pots and paperwork for my diabetes lab work, and a HIV screening paperwork.

It’s bothering me now, so I tell the receptionist what happened, and a few moments later I’m in a room with the practice manager. 

Now I’m having to add a load of other tests to my blood draw appointment (for the HIV screening) as well as having a Hep A/ Hep B combined vaccination. 

It begs belief that someone can complete their GP registration and then come out with paperwork for god knows how many lab works to be done, and vaccinations. To be done on Christmas Eve no less. *sigh*

I also still have bloody tonsillitis. 

But at least my BP is good! 108/71.

Here’s to a Healthy 2016!

All She Wants For Christmas

Today we took our annual trip to Winter Wonderland. We’ve been every year for the last 5-6 years.

Since Emma arrived, every year we now visit Father Christmas. It’s definitely a tradition, and one I hope will carry on for a few years more.

 
This year Father Christmas asked Emma what she would like for Christmas. Last year she didn’t know many words. This year, she’s a gold medal conversationist.

She told him that she wanted Sandwiches (and daddy wanted sausages) and apparently she was the second child to ask for sandwiches for Christmas today. Kids are weird.

Inexpensive Christmas, a ham and cheese sandwich! Or maybe we will make it a festive one, with Turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Boxing Day sandwiches are the best. 

Christmas Movies

Christmas Movies. You cannot have Christmas without these films, in my opinion. These also don’t include kids films! I’ll do that separate.

  

Die Hard.

The ULTIMATE christmas movie. “Now I have a machine gun. Ho Ho Ho.”
Die Hard 2

You can’t watch the first one, and then not the second one. “Ah, what the hell; its Christmas!”
Home Alone

It’s Home Alone, do I really need to say anymore? “You better come out and stop me!”
Home Alone 2

Its the second one, its the rule that you have to watch it! “Credit Card? You got it.”

 

Jingle All The Way

Its cheesy, therefore it’s great. “Its Turbo Time!”

 

The Santa Clause

Tim Curry, as Santa. “You’re fatter this year.”

 

The Santa Clause 2

Just watch it. “it’s the Mrs Clause”

 

Love Actually

Christmas Rom-Com, everyone needs one (or 4) of these at Christmas. “Yep, Solid gold shite, maestro”

 

The Nutcracker

Its a christmas classic with a beautiful soundtrack.

 

Meet Me In St Louis

Any Judy Garland fan knows that this is a great Christmas film. Watch It. “and I’m taking all my dolls, even the dead ones.”

 

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  

Hilarity at the Griswalds. “shitter was full”

 

Miracle on 34th Street

A classic! “we have a Santa!” *not an actual quote….
There are a lot more, plus probably some I’ve never even seen; but these ones are my go to films. 

 Let me know what your favourite christmas films are!

 

November

Once again I’ve fallen behind on the blog. Life gets in the way. Also, gearing up for Christmas as well as potty training. Which is currently having it’s ups and downs. More downs than ups to be honest!
I’ve done a few reviews lately, and I’ve got 1 more to do, for Herpatch and then I’m review free until the new year. I need to concentrate on christmas, I need to finish making the last of my gifts, as well as sourcing a couple of others, and then wrapping it all. I have a lot of organising to do to.

I attempted to do NaNoWriMo this year, and well, that didn’t go down so well. Life got in the way, however I managed to get 11,000 words down, which is more than I have ever managed to do. I’ve also managed to produce a solid plot too, plus a few sub-plots. It was nice for my muse to visit me, and I think that having a deadline by the folks over at NaNoWriMo really helped spur me on and motivate me. I need to carry on I think. If I can do 11,000 in a month, then I should be able to hit 60,000 by April; if not sooner. Heres hoping!

Life tends to get in the way of everything however. There isn’t really escaping it, although that would be awesome for a short while. Life comes with responsibility, and I can’t actually escape responsibility.
What I need to do

Ø Crack on with my novel

Ø Organise craft stuff

Ø Finish christmas presents

Ø Wrap everything and sort cards out

Ø Potty train the kiddo (completely)

Ø Finish this years reviews

Ø Maintain sanity
What I really want to do

Ø Lay on the sofa, watching TV

Ø Drink coffee and read

Ø Sip cocktails in a hammock whilst on a tropical island

Ø Not housework
 

Silly Panda

As I’ve gotten older, I seem to have developed new allergies. It’s gotten worse since I’ve become a mother. Most likely down to change of hormones or some other scientific medical explanation.

It is frustrating when I develop a new allergy. Thankfully I haven’t developed anything in the last 18 months. 

My last allergy? Sanitary products. Yep. Unbelievable. Disposable sanitary products bring me out in horrible hives. Ever had a hives on your lady garden? Take it from me, it’s not pleasant. At all. AT ALL.

The idea of spending almost £5 a month, on torture items, is not appealing. Luxuries? Are you freaking kidding me Mr Osbourne? There’s nothing bloody luxurious about sanitary products, but, that’s another matter altogether.

Discovering cloth sanitary products was a life saver, both physically, mentally and in the long run, financially. CSP, are basically reusable sanitary products. Fairy Hammocks, cloth pads, vagina blankets, muff rugs, call them what you want, they’re pretty cool.

Disposable sanitary products are full of chemicals (don’t believe me? Sniff one! An unused one!) Some of them are scented…. Which baffles me. Your lady garden has a delicate Eco system, and destroying that Eco system leads to problems. Why would you want that? There’s lots of information on why disposable sanitary products aren’t good for you or the environment, and it’s well worth a read. 

Anyway, back to the point. CSP.

They’re natural, Eco-friendly, and cost effective. What’s not to like?

At first, I was concerned with the “yuckiness” of them. The idea of holding on to them, then washing them, was a bit repulsive. Also, when out and about, what do you do with them?! So many questions. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained! Besides, it’s only body fluid, yours to be precise, not that big of a deal really. It gets easier once you have a kid. Snot, wee, poo, vomit. What’s a bit of blood in the end? 

It was easy to move to CSP, especially after becoming a mother. Every other day I have to put a wash on, because kids are messy. So chucking any CSP in the wash isn’t a big deal. They’re not sitting around for a week before washing is done. They don’t smell. At all. If your vagina is emitting a bad smell or your discharge/menstrual blood is offensive smelling, then you should probably schedule a visit with your doctor. 

Out and about, you have a little wet bag. Store in the wet bag, till you get home. Before washing you can keep them in a separate bin, with cold water (never use hot water when dealing with blood), then wash, dry, reuse as required. 

I was asked to review some CSP from Silly Panda, a small business that makes and sells eco friendly products. Their main product is CSP. All stock on their website is ready to ship, and what you see is what you get.  

CSP, sit in your underpants and fasten with poppers. They’re fleece backed which stops them from slip sliding about, and causing leaks. They’re comfy, they’re natural, and they’re good for the environment.  They come in lots of different designs, sizes and absorbencies; from a light flow, to post-partum bleeding. 

This particular design is one of my favourites, from the moment I saw the fabric. Look at it. Stormy rainbows. Perfectly sums up a woman’s period!

The website is easy to use and Beckie is friendly and informative. The CSP arrived quickly too!

It is pretty, and comfy, and it washed really well. And at £7, it’s well worth the money in my opinion.

It can cost a small fortune upfront, depending on your needs, but in the long run its very cost effective. It’s also a pretty addictive habit. There’s so many different fabrics to choose from!

For more information, or to start your CSP journey, or to increase your stash, visit Silly Panda!

Thanks Silly Panda! 

*I was provided with the product to do an honest review. All words are my own.

Sure ✔️ Maximum!

After working with Sure on their Motionsense Compact Deodorant campaign, they sent me a new product to try. Sure contacted me about two new deodorants they have introduced to the market, the Maximum Protection Sport Strength and the Maximum Protection Stress Control. 

(Had to wrestle it off of Emma!) 

They sent me the Sport Strength deodorant to try at the end of August, and I’ve been using it since, and only finished it last week. Its a cream deodorant and you turn the bottom to push the cream up, to apply it to your underarms after your bath or shower and boom, up to 48hrs protection. 

I really liked it. It smelt nice, it felt nice, and it does indeed keep you feeling fresh for a long while. Well, with a claim of up to 48 hours protection, I had to try it out. You know, to cover all bases for an accurate review. Don’t judge me, I’m a parent to a demanding kid and I work full time, some days I don’t even get out of my pyjamas. Also gives me peace of mind, that I won’t be so much of a stinking slob when I’m sick and spend a week in bed.

Now, I’m not one for sports. At most, my “sports” consist of walking the mile to the station every morning, and the mile home in the evening (when I’m not being lazy and getting the bus) and running after Emma and shopping and then if I happen to be on my feet at work (which lately hasn’t been much!) 

“The NEW Sure Maximum Protection Sport Strength has a vibrant citrusy fragrance, and is specially formulated as the ultimate preparation tool to protect against sweat and odour during exercise.” So says Sure. They weren’t wrong either. I REALLY liked this deodorant.

The full range includes Stress Control, Sport Strength, Clean Scent, Confidence, Sensitive Dry and Everyday Fresh which Sure claim are:

🔹2x stronger than the leading antiperspirant

🔹Strong enough to protect you but still mild enough to use everyday

🔹Give you confidence to enjoy those moments that matte

Sure also say that their Maximum Protection is formulated with innovative TRIsolid™ technology that boasts:

🔹 Extra Strength dryness protection. Applied at night, it works as you sleep to form a level of protection, giving you unbeatable wetness protection for the day ahead. Equally, you can apply it as part of your morning routine

🔹Patented fragrance technology containing odour-fighting microcapsules. The microcapsules dissolve when you sweat, keeping you fresh throughout the day

🔹Skin moisturising ingredients to help protect the skin from irritation – the whole range has been endorsed by expert dermatologists

Would I buy this product? Yup!

Would I recommend this product? Yup!

There was only 1 thing that I didn’t really like, and that was that some of the product gets stuck in the top once it’s done. I thought I still had some left, but it turns out I didn’t; So I ran out and didn’t have to put on after my shower on Sunday morning! I’d clicked it as far as it could go, but a good 2-3 applications were wasted, as it was stuck; and nothing I could do could get it out. Perhaps a design flaw? Probably just Physics though. That said, that’s to 48hr protection, I was covered until I got to the shops to restock!

This time I purchased the Stress Control one, and I like it as much as the Sport Control. The entire range retails at £4.90 rrp and can be purchased at leading chemists and supermarkets.

(The product was given to me to review by Sure. All words unless otherwise indicated are my own and solely my own opinion)

My pits and I thank you Sure!

Go Down to Kew in Lilac-time

Despite having lived in London for 18 years now (!!!!) there are still a lot of things that I have yet to do.There is SO much to see and do in London. SO. MUCH. A lot of it is free too, or you can find great offers, like the 2for1 if you travel by train.

I’ve done a lot of the major tourist attractions, such as the London Eye, Tower of London, London Zoo, The London Aquarium, London Dungeons, The Natural History Museum, Science Museum, British Museum, and I’ll be here all day if I list them all.

But, despite living in South West London for the last 6 years, I have never ever visited Kew Gardens. It is right on my door step. I’ve been to Kew of course, we went there one year to go ice skating, but it was pitch black and you couldn’t see anything at all, so I don’t count that time. Also, it wasn’t great fun for me, because I’m no good at ice skating. Some days its a challenge to stay upright, much less stay upright on slippery ice wearing boots with blades on the bottom.

After 18 years of living in London, I have finally paid a visit to Kew Gardens. It. Was. MAGNIFICENT. It is one of my new favourite places.

  
My grandmother, Emma and I picked a brilliant sunny day to visit, the weather was glorious. We used a 2for1 travel by rail voucher, so we only paid £16.50 to visit, instead of £33 and children 3 and under go free. (more money for cake and coffee)

Kew Gardens is HUGE. We got there at 10am and left at 4 pm and we hadn’t done everything there was to do. Which of course means that we need to go back.

Seriously contemplating looking at an annual family pass which is £109 (its almost Christmas to be fair, so maybe Santa will leave an annual Kew pass under the tree)

Might have to plan a few autumn days at Kew, for Emma to run through the leaves, and pick conkers and leave with pink flushed cheeks, whilst I drink copious amounts of coffee!

ParentOn

Parenting is hard.

Parenting is complicated.

Parenting is challenging.

Parenting is exhausting.

Parenting is rewarding.

Parenting is fun.

Parenting is exciting.

Parenting is never ending.

There are hundreds and hundreds of different ways to define being a parent. Being a parent is conditional and relative to circumstance**.

 At some point, every parent has a wobble. You consider whether or not you need to start saving up to pay for therapy for your kid when they become an adult. You worry about whether or not you’re doing the right thing. You worry whether or not they eat enough fruit and vegetables, or if they’re eating too much (yeah, some kids eat their fruit and vegetables and ask for more! GASP!)

Parent Guilt is a real thing; mom feels guilty because she didn’t breastfeed for long enough, or she didn’t use cloth diapers, or one day she lost her cool and shouted. Dad feels guilty because he doesn’t spend enough time at home and is always at work, or doesn’t do enough night feeds or bum changes, or one day dad loses his cool and shouts. 

Do I read enough to my kids, do we do enough imaginative play, do I allow too much screen time, and so on. Parenting is hard. There is no right or wrong way (within reason) and at some point every parent thinks they aren’t doing a good job, or needs to improve in some way or another; and then there are days when parents think “YES! I got this. I am a parenting wonder today!” Its all relative.

As a parent, you go through a range of emotions. You’re proud, and you’re happy, and you’re worried. You get angry, and stressed. You give praise but you also feel awful for telling off. You laugh, you cry, you hide in the garden shed for 5 minutes at a time, despite the spiders, simply so you don’t have to share your bar of dairy milk. Going to the bathroom is a grand affair, its like an audience with a miniature royal, who watches you poop and then demands to see your poop and congratulates you on said poop and the fact that you flushed the toilet. God forbid you ever crap in private again. Then there’s sleep, or rather, lack of it.

As a parent you ask a lot of advice from your peers. There are conversations and debates (HA) and everyone has an opinion. You second guess yourself, you trust your gut instinct; and everything in between.

So when I got a surprise package from Tommee Tippee, I didn’t quite know what to expect. A blue box containing the “Complete Parenting Survival Kit”; containing everything I need for bringing up babies. What? What was in this little box? I was completely and utterly perplexed; especially as I wasn’t expecting anything in the mail. 

 

 When I opened it, I was blown away.

It was a mirror.

Tommee Tippee, reminding parents that all you need to survive as a parent, is YOU.

There was also a small USB key, a handheld mirror, a little flag and a leaflet.

There is no instruction manual for raising children. You don’t need to be a genius. Trust yourself; trust yourself that you’re doing a good job. Parents, You GOT THIS.

I was pleased as punch with my surprise, especially as it was PERSONALISED.

 
Tommee Tippee is one of the UKs leading baby brands, and has been going for 50 years now. Loved by babies and recommended by parents, and a household name in the UK; we’ve been a proud user (and blogger) of Tommee Tippee products. My parents used Tommee Tippee products too; and no doubt, when the time comes, generations after us, will continue to use Tommee Tippee as well. 

 So Parents, continue what you’re doing, follow your instincts, trust yourselves. You’ve got this. You know you have. Parent On.

 

** it took me a LONG time to compose this sentence, because my brain went dead (probably on account of lack of sleep) so massive, MASSIVE props to some of the lovely members of the SANP group who helped me out when I thought I was going mad trying to find a word that I have probably made up.