Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Being brave and attending toddler groups

For the past couple of months i feel like i have been becoming increasingly trapped at home. I've always been really keen to go to toddler groups, we have tried several over the past few months but weren't right for Joey. Yesterday we went to a new toddler group, and it was absolutely amazing as i was able to speak to mums who have the same issues with their toddlers.

Not taking Joey to a baby/toddler group regularly over the past 2 years has been a big mistake. I feel if he had been part of a baby group from a young age maybe his speech and behaviour issues wouldn't have been much of an issue. The groups that we have attended over the last year have not been what I thought Joey needed, there was no interaction with the other kids and i never really made meaningful conversation with a parent. So going to new groups has always been a bit difficult because each one hasn't been a success for us.

A few weeks ago i came across a new toddler group at a youth club next to the park we go to just up the road from us. I'd been putting off going for ages but yesterday plucked up the courage for us to go and i really enjoyed it. Walking into a group you've never been to before is daunting, you don't know what to expect and initial conversation can feel awkward and forced. I walked in and there were only two mums inside with their kids but then 3 other mums turned up. I felt really comfortable and it was great to speak to two mums who's toddlers also had speech delay problems like Joey. It was amazing to speak to people in the same situation.

While i was talking away, Joey was happily playing and running round with the other toddlers. We helped the kids make Christmas handprint decorations from handmade playdough which Joey will get to paint next week. I'm confident that we've finally come across a group we're going to stick at. I feel like attending a regular and small group every week will help improve things for Joey and also make some friends in the process.

Attending groups can be nerve-wracking but i feel like this is the step i needed to make to better both myself and Joey. Do you go to regular toddler groups? I'd love to know how you get on.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 28 November 2016

Christmas Gift guide for Her

We're now 4 week's away from Christmas so what better way than to start the countdown but to share with you some gifts for the special girl in your life.
Oral B Genius 9000* - Boots
Personal health products such as toothbrushes are popular gifts to receive at Christmas. I don't think I've ever seen such a good looking toothbrush like the Limited Edition Rose Gold Oral B Genius 9000, perfect gift for anyone with a love for rose gold goodies. Review to follow soon. 
SM x Tiba + Marl MOTHER Sweatshirt - The FMLY Store
As a fan of mummy merch i always seem to have a Selfish Mother item on my wishlists but they do family merchandise too for mums, dads, sisters and kids. 
Grey Mermaid Tail Blanket - New Look
 A genius upgrade to the standard blanket has seen the creation of the mermaid tail blankets, cosy yet so amazing. When i was a kid i remember pretending I had a mermaid tail. 
Mug cakes - Oliver Bonas
 As a beginner baker i like to use recipes that are easy, this Mug cakes book is the perfect recipe book for anyone with a love of cakes and baking. 

Jord Zebrawood & Turquoise watch - Wood Watches
I don't tend to wear a lot of jewellery apart from my wedding/enagagement ring but I do love watches, these handmade wooden watches are gorgeous for both men and women.
HP Sprocket Photo Printer - HP, Currys
A gadget i came across while watching a Zoella vlog is the HP Sprocket, a digital printer that can fit in your handbag. I really love to print out snaps from my phone, this is genius for anyone who likes taking special memories with friends and family. 
Alphabet makeup bag - Matalan
There is a lot of alphabet products on the market at the moment, I love anything personalised with an initial and I'm also in need of a new makeup bag. 
Ugg chestnut scufette II slippers - Hurleys
In our house we call slipper "beddies" and i have ALWAYS wanted a pair of Ugg beddies. They look so snug and warm. 

What do you think about any of my gift ideas? Stay tuned for my Christmas gift guide for Him and Kids soon. 



*Oral B Genius 9000 was sent to me to review for the purpose of this gift guide. All thoughts & opinions 100% my own. 


Friday, 25 November 2016

What Joey Wore #38

Welcome back to another week of What Joey Wore. This week we've only got one outfit to show you.

Cardigan: Matalan | Top: Cribstar | Leggings: Fred & Noah | Trainers: Nike 
My favourite part of this outfit are the mustard racoon leggings, i love the colour and are a really good colour for this time of year aswell. After having a Not Your Basic Kid top a few months back i thought it was time to get a new one for him now that he's 2. I think the black top with the mustard leggings and knitted cardigan go so well together.

As always we're linking up with This Mama Life and The Diary of an Ordinary Mum for Weekend Tot Style. Also linking up with Make Do and Push for Funky Kid Friday.
This Mama Life
FKF

Until next week


Thursday, 24 November 2016

My first smear test

At the beginning of the week i went and had my first cerival screening. Like most women, i was slightly nervous prior to my appointment but it really isn't something to fear.

In the Uk, the NHS offers cervical screening to women aged between 25-64, it is a method used in order to prevent cancer by detecting and treating any abnormalities to the cervix. About 2 weeks ago i recieved a letter inviting me to make an appointment at my doctors to have the test done. As soon as i got the letter i rung and made the appointment for after the weekend. As much as i was keen to get it done I needed to have time to prepare myself.

The day of the appointment came and it wasn't a good day, Joey had had me up most of the night so i was shattered. I headed into the nurses room and i was seen by the nurse who usually does all of the vaccinations so not a completely unfamiliar face. Firstly, we sat at the desk and she asked me general questions and then some questions about our choice of contraception. I also had to try and remember the first day of my last period which was a bit tricky to remember.
It was then time to go behind the curtain and get undressed from the waist down and jumped on the bed. If you want to know the exact way they do the test then look here but it isn't anything to worry about. It doesn't hurt and it's not uncomfortable, i think what makes the situation worse is not being relaxed. If you're tensing so much then it will just make it a really bad experience.

I now have to wait 2 weeks for the results which i should receive through the post. If abnormal cells have been found then another smear would be needed which i feel ok about as i now know how easy it was. I can see why so many women put off going for their smear test, i think for women who haven't given birth it can be a bit more scarier. When i was heavily pregnant with Joey i had 2 sweeps to bring on labour (that didn't work) and then a team of people had the pleasure of observing my bits while giving birth. So for me, having already shown my vagina to a lot of midwives/doctors didn't worry me.

If you need to go and book your smear test then PLEASE do it. If you've turned 24 recently then you will be receiving a letter soon. Remember that it isn't scary and once you've had it done go and treat yourself to scrummy hot chocolate like i did.

Thanks for reading


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Why are aspects of parenting always subject to debate

Recently I've been finding that whenever i turn the tv on, or scroll through social media I find an item prompting debate about aspects of parenting. Whether its about breastfed or bottlefed, dummy or no dummy, co-sleeping or not it seems like every aspect of parenthood is being scrutinised.

Breastfeeding Vs Bottlefed
Before i even gave birth to Joey, at my very first antenatal appointment it seemed to me as if i didn't have a choice with regards to breastfeeding. It was something Chris and I hadn't got round to discussing and i was made to feel from the miswife as if i was stupid for not breastfeeding. We managed to breastfeed for around 10 weeks and when that came to an end i felt both relieved that i could have my boobs back but also sad that  that special bond was over. But its also fine if you choose not to breastfeed, as long as you're baby is getting fed that is the most important thing. But the subject is very heavily debated, and while most debates are raising awareness of normalising breastfeeding we also need to remember that for some mums they are unable to breastfed.


Dummy Vs No Dummy
Some parents are either for or against giving their babies dummies/soothers for a variety of different reasons, which is fine. At nearly 2.5 years old Joey still heavily relies on a dummy, without it i dread to think how much worse Joey's tantrums would be. In my opinion more emphasis is put on the negatives of using a dummy than the actual positives. Sometimes i feel bad or embarassed because he still has one but he's relatively happy and it's the only thing that gets us out of a mega meltdown. 


Co-sleeping Vs independent sleep
As someone who LOVES their sleep i couldn't imagine ANYTHING worse (prebaby) than having to share my bed with a small child. But during the 28 months of my sons life we have at times co-slept because it has been the only way that any of us will get any sleep. Their will be parents who have co-slept everyday of their childs life and for them it works. People should not be made to feel embarassed if they share their bed with a child.


Boys Vs Girls stuff
One of the most recent debates that has angered me was the outrage at Strictly Come Dancings, Greg Rutherfords son appearing to wear "Girly" clothes. So that's what it's come to now is it? People criticising parents for how they dress their children. I have bought quite a lot of things for Joey that are labelled as "Girls" and while i have received much praise from people at how well dressed Joey is, i have also been told at how ridiculous he looks. Why should any of us be made to feel embarrassed with what we choose for our children, whether its been labelled for the opposite sex.


Surely as long as we're managing to keep our small humans alive it shouldn't matter which route has been taken. Im sure they're many parents who are aware of such debates and feel like failures because they're child has a dummy and yes they are still sleeping in mummy's bed at 2 years old. Their is no right or wrong way of bringing up your children as long as they are happy and healthy.

What do you think about some of these topics?

Thanks for reading

Friday, 18 November 2016

What Joey Wore #37

Welcome back to another week of What Joey Wore. I feel like the countdown to Christmas is in full swing now with preparing for the big day. We have two outfits for you this week.

Outfit 1
Shirt: Zara | Top: H&M | Leggings: Turtledove London | Trainers: Nike 
This is one of my favourite outfits of Joeys, everything can be worn with different things. The panda leggings are my favourite part of the outfit.


Outfit 2
Top: Zara | Bottoms: Zara | Shoes: Clarks
This outfit sums up today...We woke up to some snow. I don't usually buy a lot of light coloured tops but i thought this was lovely and just so simple. The Eskimo leggings go perfectly with the top too.

As always we're linking up with This Mama Life and The Diary of an Ordinary Mum for Weekend Tot Style. Also linking up with Make Do and Push for Funky Kid Friday.
This Mama Life
FKF

Until next week


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Mummy & Little Me: Is my son too old to need a changing bag?

If your child is a toddler and you still use changing bags, have you ever thought to yourself maybe it's time to get rid and go back to your prebaby handbags? Well i have and it's the topic for this week's post for the Mummy & Little Me blog, is my son too old to need a changing bag?

I don't think I'm quite ready to hang up my baby change bag for good just yet. There are so many amazingly gorgeous luxury changing bags on the market that just look like a normal handbag.

Is there any harm in still using a changing bag once your child has passed the baby stage?

Don't forget to check out our previous posts on the Mummy & Little Me blog...
Week 1: My fussy toddler with veg
Week 2: Fussy Toddler Mealtime Tips
Week 3: Fussy Toddler Meal Ideas
Week 4: Eating out with a toddler
Week 5: Weaning Tips
Week 6: My top changing bags
Week 7: Toddler Cutlery Tips
Week 8: Cookbooks for Fussy Eaters
Week 9: Getting your child to sleep in their own room
Week 10: Keeping the kids cool
Week 11: How to save money on your food shopping
Week 12: Baby & Toddler Events
Week 13: When is the right time to potty train your child.
Week 14: Travelling with a toddler
Week 15: 5 things nobody told me about toddlers
Week 16: Development support for my toddler
Week 17: Christmas Wishlist for Mummy's
Week 18: Celebrating Halloween with a toddler
Week 19: Why  is my toddler so fussy
Week 20: Doing the food shop with your toddler

Thanks for reading


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

My top 10 Blogging Tips

I've had my blog for over 2 years now and I'm still learning new things about blogging all the time. I still consider myself to be a beginner blogger but i thought i would share some advice and tips for any newbie bloggers out their.

1) Find your niche- If you're thinking of starting a blog then it is so important that you know what you're going to be writing about first. Lifestyle, beauty, parenting, technology, cooking etc. My blog from the get go was always about parenting and lifestyle.

2) Blog platform - research how you want to host your site. Blogger or Wordpress? Their are other options but probably too complicated for me so I went with blogger.

3) Topics - personally i always try to makesure that during the week i post about different topics. You don't want to have each and every post to be a product review or a style post. I like to makesure that when you scroll through my blog that you have gaps between review posts and Joey's weekly style posts.

4) Reasons for blogging - We all have our own reasons for starting a blog whether we have a passion for writing, making a difference etc but their will be some people who blog for all the WRONG reasons and think blogging is a good way to get freebies, which is definitely NOT the case. For those of us who get to do reviews, their is A LOT of work we have to put into our review pieces.

5) Product Reviews/Collaborations - brands from time to time like to reach out to bloggers in order for them to review products. I have had some great products to review over the past 2 years which have either been approached by myself or have been contacted by the brands. You don't have to so product reviews to be successful but it does give you a chance to work with brands and give your personal opinion on products. I don't ever collaborate with a brand if it doesn't fit my lifestyle. Their are blogs out their that solely post about product reviews but if you're a parent blogger, then having lots of reviews instead of other content it may put people off following you.

6) Don't sweat the stats - for many bloggers we started our blog because we have a love for writing and giving advice but we can sometimes become too obsessed over the numbers we're bringing in. As long as you're writing about what you love and believe in then you shouldn't need to worry.

7) Write about what you love - this tip ties into finding your niche i suppose but it's pretty obvious that you should be writing about topics you enjoy and believe in. If you don't enjoy what your writing about then how is anybody else?

8) Plan ahead - being organised is really important and can make life easier if you have a schedule of posts to go live snd what promotion you need to do.

9) Post regularly - Most successful bloggers will have posts scheduled to go live everyday so that they have regular traffic to their site. If you can't post everyday then aim for atleast once a week so that your readers know you still exist.

10) Spread the love - my last tip is to show other bloggers some love. Don't be afraid to comment on their posts and also get involved in some linkys.

I hope atleast one person can find some of my tips useful. They aren't the holy grail of blogging tips but just my own personal ones to anybody starting out.

Feel free to post any questions below or even share the best blogging tip you have.

Thanks for reading


Monday, 14 November 2016

VLOG | Pink Linking MINI Yummy Mummy Bag Vs Yummy Mummy changing bag

Before becoming a mummy and having to cart baby change bags every where I was addicted to designer bags (replica ones). So when Joey arrived the only good baby change bag brand i was aware of were Pink Lining. I own two completely different Pink Lining bags so i thought i would compare them both for you.


A lot of mummy's love the Pink Lining bags, the most popular is the Yummy Mummy changing bag which is a tote. It comes in several different designs and one of the most popular out of all of their bags. 

The Mini Yummy Mummy is more of an on-the-go bag for mum's who want a small changing bag but don't want to compromise on style and prettiness. 

Both bags have been wonderful to use and i would highly recommend the brand to anyone looking for a new changing bag. 

Do you have a favourite Pink Lining changing bag? 


Check out my YouTube channel here. More vlogs coming soon..

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Asda Little Angels Christmas nappies*

We all have our own idea of when the Christmas season starts whether it be John Lewis advert, Starbucks Christmas cups or Coca Cola Christmas truck. But for some of us who are parents being able to get our children Christmas themed nappies surely means that it's start of Christmas! Well Asda have released their very own Christmas nappies and Joey has  been lucky enough to try them out.
The past two Christmases Joey has had I've always bought him the festive nappies at Christmas. He's only 2 years old so i doubt he understands about Christmas at the moment but for a toddler who has communication issues, this years "Santas little helper" design may encourage his understanding.

The Christmas nappies are only available in the supreme Protection range which is what Joey currently wears at the moment. So even though they have a different design than usual they still have the same great quality and dryness as the usual supreme Protection range. At night, they provide superior comfort with up to 12 hours of dryness, so there’s less chance your little ones will wake up when Santa arrives.

Out of all the different nappy brands and ranges Joey has tried, Asda Little Angels are by far the best we have used. Currently Joey wears the 6+ size, when buying Asda nappies I have always gone for the + option as they are extra absorbent and have had no leaks with them. Another great thing about these nappies is that the front band design features a handy colour coded waistband to help us parents recognise when it's time to buy the next size up. I can't wait for Joey to wear them throughout the festive season, especially with a christmassy outfit. 
Asda Little Angels Christmas nappies are priced at £3.50 per pack and available in sizes 4+, 5+ and 6+ in-store and online from 31st October.



*Disclaimer: We have been sent this product in order to review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, 11 November 2016

What Joey Wore #36

Welcome to another week of What Joey Wore and another week closer to Christmas, i think it's now acceptable to wear Christmassy clothes.

Outfit 1
Cardigan: Matalan | Top & leggings: Harlam Dreams | Shoes: Clarks 
I couldn't pick a favourite image of his wesring this outfit as he pulled a load of amazing poses. I was so excited for Joey to wear this outfit, it is gorgeous. I came across Harlam Dreams about a month ago and ordered this Christmas set. The cable knit cardigan just looks lovely and his leather clarks shoes just finish the outfit perfectly.


Outfit 2
Jumper & Bottoms: H&M|Trainers: Nike
This set from H&M just looks so cosy but stylish at the same time. Joey doesn't have a lot of green clothes but i think he suits this colour quite well.

As always we're linking up with This Mama Life and The Diary of an Ordinary Mum for Weekend Tot Style. Also linking up with Make Do and Push for Funky Kid Friday.
This Mama Life
FKF

Until next week 


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Is the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck promoting childhood obesity?

For many people the Coca-Cola Christmas truck adverts on the television, print and nationwide truck visits marks the start of Christmas for them. This evening on my way home from picking my hubby up from work, their was a segment on the radio about how the Coca-Cola truck tour encourages children to want to drink the fizzy drink and contributing to childhood obesity rates.

For many years I've been one of those people that as soon as the Coca-Cola Christmas adverts hit TV it's officially the start of Christmas. In the UK the Coca-Cola truck visits a number of towns and cities just before Christmas and people are encouraged to go along and have their picture taken with the festive truck. I've always wanted to see the Coca-Cola truck for myself but have never had the chance.  I also have a slight addiction to drinking Diet Coke (Who doesn't) and I've drunk it for years, i can't remember a specific time when i started drinking it but I'm pretty sure I wasn't coerced into drinking it after coming across Coca-Cola promotion.
The gist of the conversation on the radio called for the ban of the Coca-Cola truck doing it's usual promotional tour at Christmas. The man who was being interviewed who i think was an MP argued  that it was shameful at promoting sugary drinks to younger people and it puts some parents and grandparents in a position when the child is nagging for it. In my eyes the Coca-Cola truck is a festive event to mark the start of Christmas, yes of course they are promoting the global brand but they're not forcing anybody to drink the product.

What i found interesting is that this man said that by promoting this brand parents are "killing their children with kindness" as he believes that obesity is a killer. I don't doubt that obesity is a big issue in our country and puts pressure on the NHS but we're talking about the tradition of the Coca-Cola truck being banned. Some people may argue that actually maybe the Olympics should be boycotted as that is sponsored by McDonald's, a fast food chain sponsoring a sports event.

I think that the Coca-Cola Christmas truck is a great tradition to kick off the festive period. I don't believe that their is any malice intended but for the brand to want to celebrate Christmas with many of it's consumers and maybe create a few more consumers. For anybody who wanta to have the events banned are just scrooges in my opinion, if you don't like drinking Coca-Cola then you don't have to drink it.

As a parent it is my responsibility to educate my son on healthy choices as he grows up, yes i may drink an obscene amount of Diet Coke but I'm not planning on trying to convert him. I was brought up to only have fizzy drinks as a treat on maybe the weekend when i was a teen, i know many people who don't even like Coca-Cola, Pepsi or fizzy drinks and a big truck shelling out free samples won't change people's personal preferences.

So should the Coca-Cola Christmas truck be banned? Let me know what you think!


Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Speech Therapy: Session 2

Last week, Joey had his second Speech Therapy session. It had been a month since his previous session and we have found that he has become more vocal. While it may not be a major improvement in his communication, it is an improvement of some sort.

When Joey had his session last month it was a home visit and they introduced Makaton to Joey. After that initial session we had no idea when to expect another session and how often they would be. About 2 weeks ago i received a letter for Joey to go to a speech and therapy review at our medical centre. Because the appointment letter stated "Review" I didn't know what that would mean exactly.

The appointment was with the speech therapist who conducted the home visit last month. She had printed out some info   for us regarding makaton signs. I told her about how he'd been a lot more.vocal and attempting to say "Bee-Bee" which we think is Baby. She then got him to do an activity with her using problem solving skills and makaton to blow bubbles. His problem solving skills are quite good and he understands direction.

The advice from this session is to encourage more makaton communication using both the action and the sound. The more Joey hears the sound hopefully he'll learn to say it. In regards to our next sessions they will aim to see Joey once a month. If we see major improvement then they will leave more time between sessions.

Has your toddler started speech therapy? How are you getting on?

Thanks for reading


Monday, 7 November 2016

Books I want to read

Last month we were without wifi at home for 3 days and because i couldn't repeatedly check social media or stuff for the blog i found myself picking up a book and actually reading! The book in question was The Unmumsy Mum that i got for Mother's Day, got halfway through it and then haven't picked it up in months. 

Whilst i was reading i realised how much i missed reading so here are a few books I'd love to start reading...

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
I'd heard about this book ages ago being talked about on shows like Loose Women but i didn't think it was the type of book I'd usually read. Since seeing the trailer for the film however, i am pretty intrigued to read it now.

We were on a break - Lindsey Kelk
One of my favourite authors, i absolutely loved the "I heart.." series.

It seems so long ago since a Harry Potter novel came out and so long since i last read a HP book.

The Christmasauras - Tom Fletcher
Joey has two of the Tom Fletcher books "The Dinosaur that pooped a..." and I've been hearing some great things about this book aswell. A fab Christmassy book to read at bedtime.


The Unmumsy Mum Diary -  Sarah Turner
Do i really need to explain why i want this book? Well i thoroughly enjoyed her first book so I'm excited to see what the second one holds.  

A Life in Parts - Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston is probably best known for playing Walter White in Breaking Bad, I've only recently finished the entire series and I think he's a great actor and also very funny when he's not in character. 

The Life of Rylan - Rylan Clark-Neal
Rylan is one of my favourite TV personalities, I love watching him on the telly whether its on CBBBOTS or This Morning etc. I started reading a sample of his book and really enjoyed it so would love to finish reading it.

Reborn - Katie Price
I've been a fan of Katie since she was on I'm a Celeb but i always enjoy reading her books whether its her autobiography or her novels. Katie has had a rather difficult year or so which is documented in the book.


That is quite a list! I don't expect to read every single one, i mean it's taken me 6 months to read ONE book since Joey was born. Maybe the hubby might even buy me one for christmas.

What books are you reading at the moment? 


Sunday, 6 November 2016

Mummy & Little Me Week 20: Doing the food shop with a toddler

If you are the proud owner of a terrible toddler and doing the weekly foodshop is a nightmare with them in tow, then this week's post for the Mummy & Little Me blog is for you.

Before Joey transformed into the terrible toddler he is now, he used to be an angel whenever we went out shopping. He found sitting in the trolley very exciting and was always so well behaved. Now fast forward a year or so and trying to do our weekly shop is like a secret mission.

I share with you some tips on how to make the foodshop as pain free as possible for both you and your toddler.

Don't forget to check out our previous posts on the Mummy & Little Me blog...
Week 1: My fussy toddler with veg
Week 2: Fussy Toddler Mealtime Tips
Week 3: Fussy Toddler Meal Ideas
Week 4: Eating out with a toddler
Week 5: Weaning Tips
Week 6: My top changing bags
Week 7: Toddler Cutlery Tips
Week 8: Cookbooks for Fussy Eaters
Week 9: Getting your child to sleep in their own room
Week 10: Keeping the kids cool
Week 11: How to save money on your food shopping
Week 12: Baby & Toddler Events
Week 13: When is the right time to potty train your child.
Week 14: Travelling with a toddler
Week 15: 5 things nobody told me about toddlers
Week 16: Development support for my toddler
Week 17: Christmas Wishlist for Mummy's
Week 18: Celebrating Halloween with a toddler
Week 19: Why  is my toddler so fussy
Week 20: Doing the food shop with your toddler

Thanks for reading