31 May 2015

The Parent Tag...another vlog

I love a little list or two and I enjoy reading (& now watching) other peoples take on parenting and as I nod along it makes me feel like I'm part of a group. All families are different and what one person can't stand, another person absolutely loves and it's what makes us all a great big mixing pot of personalities and experiences.

So when I watched a parent tag video over on youtube, I knew I had to post my own five hates and loves of parenting. I've been doing a little series of 'Nobody Told Me' vlogs of all the things that people don't tell you about before or during having children and this little video goes alongside that.

Sorry to bombard you with another video so quickly but I'm aiming to upload one a week over on my channel so if you are interested please do go over and subscribe and/or comment as I'd love all the help I can get.

Here it is...My loves and hates of parenting


27 May 2015

Wicked Wednesday - Dinner be Gone

That moment you decide you don't want your dinner anymore...

Linking up to #Wicked Wednesday


26 May 2015

Our Essential Lifesavers for the Baby Years

First time around when you have a baby it all gets a bit confusing, there are magazine articles, lots of google searches and helpful friends forwarding on emails. All telling you what is absolutely essential for when your baby arrives and it's easy to get sucked into all the things you don't need to.

Second time around it is all a bit more of a bodge job with bits you used before, lots of make shift solutions because you know the early stages don't last long, you know your child won't break if you don't have a little top and tail bowl...cos you can, you know, just use a normal bowl (huge gasp and then the realization that yeah it's all going to be ok).

However the things we found really useful both first and second time around, things that really stood the test of time and even with cub I was thinking 'I'm so glad I have this, I seriously couldn't live with out it' are listed on the video.

It seems my love of things of the plastic variety are normally made by Munchkin but this is in no way a sponsored post...I just think they do it right. I also loved our microwave steamer and although I loathed the whole bottle and steaming process, this made it so much easier.

As always, I'm still learning as I go along with Youtube so please do let me know if you liked it, subscribe if you did and comment here (or on youtube) if you want something different / the same / or just to chat.

24 May 2015

Our Weekend - Another bank holiday

I think there is something very special about the promise of a long weekend and it makes us as a family seize the day but equally be as lazy as possible. I especially love that giddy Friday night feeling where you relax, sit back and know that for the next few days it's all about the family.

We started early on Saturday, as usual, around 5.45am but at least the small people both slept up until that point. It's fairly rare still for us. Bubba spent some time practising her writing and numbers and she is very diligent in her approach, it's so cute to watch her working out how to write and sounding out letters all the time. I do hope she loves to write and read as she gets older.

By 8am I was in the garden painting our little shed green. Hubby and his friends built the shed soon after we moved in just under two years ago and I've wanted to change its colour since then. But with Cubs arrival and updating our house inside, there was always something more important to do. I've still got the back and one side to go but hopefully that's going to be done by the time you read this.
As is my usual quest at the weekend, in the afternoon we set off to find coffee (& cake) and to buy more wood stain...the reason I hadn't managed to finish the shed earlier. Bubba tried her very first babyccino and I'm not sure why I've never got one before now. She loved it and it made her feel like a big girl, she sat and kept asking if she had grown.

Saturday night was a fake away curry as we didn't want to cook but didn't want to spend out on a proper curry (& I thought it might be better on syns for me). We pigged out a bit but it was nice.

I had told Bubba that on Sunday we would go swimming as a family but what I didn't factor in was her 4am start to the day and although she was coaxed into going back to sleep, she was still up at 6am again. She told us all about 7am that we needed to go to the pool early to beat the rush. We didn't go that early!!

It was really nice although cub wasn't very happy about being there to start with and cried if I tried to put his legs into the water, he did get the idea of it in the end and we all had a great time. However for the rest of the day I felt shattered but not sure why seeing as I didn't do any real swimming, just a bit of bobbing around in the water with the boy! Cub fell asleep on the way home so we did what any self respecting family do...we stopped for a cheat meal for us all.

Sunday afternoon we did the middle clash dash to B&Q for paint (with the rest of the world it seemed) and hopefully on Monday hubby will be painting our old tired garage doors jet black. It'll make a huge difference to our curb appeal and I'm rather excited about it. Can't believe I get excited about stuff like that now!

Whilst hubby spent the rest of the afternoon prepping the doors by sanding and filling, I created a play area for the kiddies. I always remember Sunday den building with my brother being great fun when we were little and I did want to do the same with a sheet and chairs but knew cub would pull it all down by trying to constantly pull himself up so instead I got out the tent and tunnels and they played nicely for a while.

Here is our Sunday night dinner which was pizza topped chicken and SW chips...It was awesome and a great end to a fab weekend. Monday is a bit of the same for us and there will be some painting and playing and resting and laughter...it can't get better than that really.

This post is linking up to the Weekend Linky  - A rush of love & Write like no one's watching

20 May 2015

Why voting in the MADS 2015 is a Good Idea

Tots100 MAD Blog Awards 

 If you are a blogger then you know all about the Tots100 list and how blogs rank (mum if you are reading this, I am defo not in the top 100...try the top 1000 *cough, looks slightly shifty). Hey at least I'm in the top 1000, I'll take that seeing as there are literally hundreds and hundreds of brilliant parent blogs out there.

If you are a blog lover then it's also a great way to find even more brilliant reads and you never know what you might learn along the way.

It's also now the time of year that the blogging community goes a little stir crazy over all the awards ceremony's around. I love nothing better than seeing that a blog I follow has got the recognition it deserves and has been nominated for an award. I make a special effort to vote each year and make sure all the categories are filled in as I think it's important to be heard and show those whom I vote for that I appreciate all your hard work (and it is hard work this blogging lark, it takes hours out of a week, your children get used for all sorts of experiments and testing of products, there is always one eye on your stats and what could potentially make a good photo).

So if you do follow someone and you love their style and their blog keeps grabbing your attention, why not think about voting for them, It'd make their day (I hope, but if not then there is always Karma!!).

So the nifty link above takes you to the MADS which stands for the 'Mum and Dad' Blog Awards which five lucky individuals will win. It's a huge thing and I do hope you take the time to vote...

To get you started here are a few of my fave blogs at the moment and the reasons why you should take a look.

The lovely Charlotte, where do I begin, she creates wonderful meals, takes awesome photographs and really really really writes from the heart. A true inspiration

The place to be for a laugh and to know you are definitely not alone, the wonderful 'don't beat yourself up' guides are a good read and the Wicked Wednesday photo linky will get you nodding along.

A very stylish mumma and a very stylish blog, I love the Friday linky of Little Loves which gives you a glimpse of everyone else's week. When I visit this blog it makes me feel calm and glossy...I know, a blog that makes you feel like that is always a winner

This is just a treasure trove of ideas and advice (& codes for cheap tickets etc). He introduced me to the idea of not comparing my beginning to someone else's middle which is so simple yet so powerful for every area of your life.

Please do take the time to look at new blogs and if you have a few minutes then have a go at voting for a few of your faves. Every little helps, just click on the linked logo at the top of the page.


19 May 2015

The Parenting Bits n Bobs of Instagram

I love a bit of social media surfing and by far the one I keep going back to on a daily (or hourly) rate is Instagram. I try with twitter, I really do but I get lost in a flutter of tweets and it seems like everyone is in a little gang and I don't like butting in. Facebook feels like part of the furniture now and I'll log on to find out what people are upto but I don't spend hours on there.

Instagram is a lovely community and there is always a helpful tip or comment on a picture that's been posted, I've learnt so much and I'm always telling hubby about something or other (he isn't on IG...freak!). So here are some of the things IG has taught me about parenting and life in general

1) Ailments can be diagnosed....by everyone!

I love the photo's where a mum has put up a rash on her child's back or shows a picture of a deep cut on a child's head and we all become experts and assess what is happening.

2) You are luckier than you think

It's the dreaded photo of a child (or worse just the corridor shot) in hospital waiting with a massive cut on their head or a picture of the cast they now have to wear. Instantly it makes you sigh heavily, wish the child better and thank your lucky stars it isn't your child...then you go find your child to reassure yourself that they are ok.

3) Some mothers have more time than you

I'm not sure if they have cloned themselves or just better at managing the load but some women seem to have all the time in the world...and no little snotty kid dragging at their trousers. And they do things like wear white trousers - only a woman with lots of time and is relaxed enough can pull off the white trouser look (I wouldn't dare for the snot and dribble that would get down them).

4) There are some very creative and talented people out there

Honestly, I am amazed sometimes that such things of beauty can be created by women who haven't had a full nights sleep. I can sew, knit and crochet but I'm not very consistent at the moment because I can't do it during the day because of the kids and by evening I'm so ragged out that I just want to sit slumped in a corner watching trash tv.

5) Somebody, somwhere is Eating Clean & their kids are happily munching on a whole brocolli!!!

Like all the time! I see meals created that have the hashtag #cleaneating #bodysculpting etc and I do follow several Slimming World accounts but some people have so much willpower and to top it off they also get their kids to eat wholesome, veggie stuffed meals. They are usually called Alice, Ella or the like and look impossibly healthy and full of vitality...unlike myself. I might start a hashtag #almostateveg or #nearlysneakedgoodfoodinhergob because try as I do, my kids refuse to eat anything resembling healthy and I'm prone to raiding the cupboards once they are in bed!

6) Beautiful people don't always have beautiful kids

I know, I know, I'm bad! But it gives me great pleasure when you see a 'all got it going on' woman without a hair out of place and then the next picture is her less than attractive kid. I also know that old saying 'ugly duckling turns into a swan' and yes karma will get me.

7) Your child isn't the only misbehaved one out there

I do like posting pictures of my children doing silly things or naughty things because it makes me smile and I also like the outpouring of support you get. It's also nice to see other peoples children are exactly the same and I'm not the only one who reaches for my phone first.

8) There are tidy houses out there

Or at least a corner of a house that has been staged for the camera and the piles of cr*p are behind you! At least it's a corner to look at...that's good enough.

9) I am a total sheep!

I see something someone has got for their children, home or themselves and I am straight on that bandwagon and it's on its way to me via Amazon. I can't believe how incredibly weak I am, I'm sure I only learnt how to crochet because I saw so many lovely creations on IG. As for the waist trainer, lets not even go there!!! (ps. I'm not sure if its working yet and I need to remember to wear it more).

10) A well timed quote can get you through the day

We all love a bit of inspiration and motivation and you need to look no further than IG, there will be a quote popping up on your timeline that someone has posted that relates to you. My favourite today is

"Listen, Before I had my coffee, I didn't know how awesome I was going to be today, either."


18 May 2015

Motherhood is lonely but life is good (& other ramblings)

Sometimes we have great days filled with friends and family. Other days, once Bubba is at school, the four walls can close in around me and I feel like an imposter in my own life. Especially when I'm tired and emotional after another night of broken sleep.

When my boy is asleep I can feel alone, I crave conversation or just a smile from a stranger to acknowledge that I'm not invisible. Even sometimes when he is awake, there isn't always a connection and it can get boring as he plays with his toys or crawls around taking in the world. Walking down the road, he'll fall asleep in the buggy and I feel cheated and like a spare part, only there to be the hired help. I question myself and my life all the time, wishing the time away, hoping for a change where I don't feel so lonely and useful as only a mother and not as me.

Time seems to be on fast forward and I'm panicked that I'll miss a moment of time and not be able to remember in a few years. I had a health scare a few weeks back and thankfully all is ok but as I sat in a stark hospital corridor in my open at the front (glamorous) gown waiting for tests, I wished for more of the boring, lonely days. It made me realise that my life and those of my loved ones are all very precious and to not miss a minute of them or wish them away, it also gave me the excuse to eat my way through the next week or so with a 'sod it, I'm celebrating' attitude and I'm now paying for that in pounds of weight!

I've decided to document more of our time together by making Youtube videos (you lucky lucky lot!!...ps. I'm still truly awful at it but at least I'm trying hey) and writing down what's going on because if anything happens to me then I want/need my babies to know that I was there for them and we had fun....or not but that we live a rich life punctuated by brilliance amongst the mundane.

So this is a sort of rambling post to let you know that there will be videos up here more and please don't cringe too much at my oversharing.

It's also to remind me that although I get lonely and feel like I have no real purpose, on that day when I thought I might have cancer, I would have given the world for more lonely and drifting days, anything to keep me with my children and living the life I really do want to live.

So seize the day and all that, live a life that is inspiring (to yourself and your loved ones). And just to prove how rubbish I am...here is a lovely video. Who knew I talked like that and do I really look like that?!?


16 May 2015

Dear new mum of two

Dear New Mum of Two,

I know when considering having your second child, your first was at that adorable age and your hormones ruled the world.

You through rose tinted, child finger print smeared goggles thought it was going to be a breeze (you know...cos you've done it all before) but now realise it's not!

Never fear, you will get through this 'phase' of sheer hell that's presented itself.

Your toddler may hate you right now and be throwing some award winning tantrums (mine lovingly told me she hated me at every opportunity whilst trying to trash the house...her favourite thing to do was kick the front door or car door yelling "let me out, I hate you mummy" the last few syllables would go up an octave or two).

Your first born will quickly learn to embrace the new arrival - sometimes quite literally and your favourite phrase may be "don't squeeze your brother/sister too hard" or "no, no...let him go now, he's going a bit red" as her hands clamp shut around his head/neck/leg* *insert relevant body part.

But this is a good sign, honest it is. It's all part of the bonding process.

Your body may resemble a pile of spuds in a sack and you can't remember (or care) when you last shaved anything!!! But this will change so stop worrying that even six months in, your clothes don't fit. Maternity chic can last well into your first year (or second or third...). Stretch waist is one of life's pleasures. You will get some motivation back and chasing after two little terrors can do wonders for your waist line.

Be gentle with yourself when all you want to do of an evening is sink into a bottle of wine or you are asleep by 8pm. This is normal and part of the healing process. You, like your newborn will be able to stay awake longer the older the baby gets. Your ability to play rubbish games with your toddler whilst the baby is napping will get better without you screaming in your head over and over again "I should be asleep now, I should be asleep!"

The desire to have another baby, yes I know you've only just had one but those pesky hormones get in the way, will ease off once your baby becomes mobile and sleeps less and your toddler learns more complex ways to get an emotional response from you. Please don't jump head long into that 'god I love kids and want loads' mentality too soon, enjoy your littles as they are and then once you are getting more sleep think about getting less again!

Above all, drink wine, eat pizza and enjoy your children, hopefully they will develop a very strong bond (of course they will) and remind yourself that they can, in the future, entertain each other and look after you in your old age.

Mostly just remember, this is all just a phase!

A Mum who has been there and getting through it


14 May 2015

Awkward Children's Party Invites - An ode to my girl

Whenever we get a party invite for bubba I get excited and then my gut kicks in and I'm nervous. I'm an introvert and sometimes find certain social situations worrying. I can put on a good show but I get very anxious and find it all very stressful.

Let's face it, not many parents enjoy the thought of a noisy kids party on the weekend.

Last weekend we attended a Frozen party and my girl (dressed as Elsa) walked into a community hall filled with a sea of blue and sparkle and organza...a room full of elsa's

She only knew three other preschoolers and I only knew a few of the mothers from school by sight (no one acknowledged me). For a while the little people stood in a little gaggle together looking a bit uncertain (it was a joint party with a seven year old so lots of older girls running about). But rather than be daunted, my girl joined in once she got the hang of it and at times looked a little anxious and rather than in enjoying it she was concentrating so hard on getting all the games right.

I wasn't one of those mums chatting loudly or worse one of the drop and run posse. I watched my beautiful girl in a situation I don't often see her in. She forgot I was there (on the most part, she still occasionally looked over for reassurance).

It was magical to sit on a plastic chair in a hall and feel like I was bursting with pride at 3pm on a random Saturday. At times she looked a bit like a lost sheep (a look and feeling I know well) and I just wanted to cuddle her and tell her she's a brave girl. To those who are naturally bold or unconcerned its easy and you may scoff that it's not brave. When it doesn't come so easily it can be the hardest thing in the world to join in (& a few little ones were sitting with their mums) but my girl battled through. I felt amazed and inspired by her and so lucky that I got to spend my days (& sleepless nights) being this child's mother.  

Then queen Elsa captured her heart and all she wanted to do was hold her hand. Again I felt emotional and proud and fell a bit more in love with my little girl. I'm sure that as she gets older we will face lots of trials and tribulations but for now, she is all I could ever wish for as a daughter and I'm a very lucky mummy.

12 May 2015

A book review - Survival of the Ginnest

I love what blogging can do and where social media can take you, I was a lucky blogger to get the chance to review 'Survival of the Ginnest' by Aimee Horton, I already read the original book on my Kindle and loved it (and my claim to fame is that Aimee had my review quote on her business card, I even hunted her out at Britmums to tell her who I was...stalker? me? never!!!).

Now the book is out in paperback...go find Amazon right now and order it...go on...I'm waiting! I got mine delivered on a Sunday no less - good work Amazon even if you did deliver to someone down the other end of our road. It's so lovely to actually hold the book in my hand as I've watched on various social networks Aimee's book journey...please Aimee if you are reading this, I really am NOT a stalker.

Anyway back to Dottie - the brilliant and normal main character, her story is told by a series of Facebook status updates which follow her as she turns from a 20 something into a fully fledged mother. It follows her changing and learning about being a mother, it's fast paced and witty and the situations she faces are very realistic.

"Dottie Harris is having to hide her McFlurry down the side of her seat while she sneaks spoons as there is NO WAY she's sharing it."

I find this book so easy to read and I've been catching up on it as I sit on the stairs waiting for my daughter to go to sleep as she shouts at me to make sure I'm still there. I am a real social media junkie so this immediately appealed to me and I can dip in and out as my bum goes numb on the stairs. 

"Dottie Harris thinks tonight is going to have to include alcohol and naughty food of some variety. If they all make it through bath time alive, that is."

Dottie is such a likeable character and I often think she would be a brilliant friend to have and why can't she be my friend? I must admit sometimes I can't read this book because it feels too real, like when Dottie's little monster isn't sleeping or is ill...I have had to skip bits because we too are suffering similar at the time and it feels so close to what I'm going through. Other times I like to revel in Dottie's gin drinking and the fun times. I'm an incredibly hard critic when it comes to books, if I don't like it then I can't read it and once I've read a book I can't go back to it but Dottie is so easy going that I've now read it three times.

"Dottie Harris is reminding herself that her children are lovely, and she can't leave them outside, free to a good home."

I cannot wait to read more from Aimee and if you need a fun holiday book to read then this is a good one to go for, I'm going to recommend it to all the women I know.

10 May 2015

Our Indoor Beach #MagicSquaresPlayDates

When I found out the challenge from Petits Filous was to Mix up the magic on playdates I thought I knew exactly what we would do.
Since the weather has been awful around these parts recently and my girl is constantly asking to go to the beach, I thought we'd mix it up and bring the beach indoors for a change.

We made a list of all the things we'd need for the beach and top of her list (surprise surprise) was ice cream. We set about making our own with the Petits Filous Magic Squares desserts. We opted for the Strawberry and vanilla flavour but they also do raspberry and vanilla. They come in jazzy little pots that we are saving to make some other craft projects (but not entirely sure what yet).

When we first opened them, Bubba was fairly mystified by the cute little squares of choice and dived right into the strawberry flavour, being careful not to disrupt the rest. Then we made some flowers to freeze and she didn't care that she was mixing the flavours and (much to my horror) filled them with wild abandonment...I tried hard to contain myself as it all slopped over the sides! We then frozen them overnight ready for our beach scene.

We had to stop for a break and to lick the lid...it has to be done

But as you can see, they turned out lovely and are a bit easy to eat - I too was scoffing these whilst the kids played. I can happily know that they (& I) are getting a fix of vitamin D and Calcium to support their bones and my healthy appetite! Note the little hand trying to drag the pot of frozen flowers away as I was taking the photo.

So back to our beach, I put the paddling pool that Bubba got for Christmas and is yet to use in the garden, in the living room. We filled it with balls and I put sheets out for the sea and sand, added a deckchair and towel to lay on and it was as if Bubba was at the beach. Cub unfortunately took it upon himself to rampage about and try and mess it up (hence why the beach and sea look a bit crumpled).

They both loved it and played happily for ages, there were squeals of delight and it was great just watching them play together and Bubba using her imagination to make the scene come to life, it really was magic.

Today we managed to get outside after partaking in another Magic Square (can you see the little person trying to take his sisters one...she actually fed him which was lovely to see them sharing).

We spent some time in the sandpit so it was our beach weekend completed and she has already asked if we can make another beach this week.


We have a few more play dates this week and I will be sure to take some with me because as well as being nice, these manage to keep the children transfixed for five minutes and hey five minutes in my world is rest enough for all of us.

This post is an entry for BritMums #MagicSquaresPlaydates Linky Challenge, sponsored by Petits Filous

8 May 2015

If only...

We live in a society where we are fed through a variety of media channels the idea of perfection. Things are just not enough being 'ok' these day's and I must admit I'm a bad offender in the 'if only' category.  I always assume every one else is having more fun, getting more done and giving back more that I do. I see a photograph of a family on a day out at the weekend whilst we are pottering around the house and feel guilty that we aren't doing more.

My internal voice is always saying "well if only you lost weight, earned more money, looked prettier, had a bigger audience for your blog..." Insert all manor of if only a here because I could go on and on and on.

But you know what, even if I had all those things it still wouldn't be enough. I lost 2 1/2 stone and reached a weight goal a few weeks ago that I thought would make me feel like I'd made it. I'm really happy but now my if only has shifted to "if only I could tone up" because the mile stone I thought was where I wanted to be just didn't seem enough and my clever body has left me with a mummy tummy as a reminder of what it managed to do.

'If only' is such a damaging saying and my love of Instagram doesn't help, a glossy view of life is shown (by all of us both consciously and unconsciously) as you don't tend to take pictures of the messy room but rather the piece of cake arranged nicely and photographed from above on the lovely tablecloth. It's easy not to see the background of a scene, a person and a family.

I often feel ashamed that I feel lacking in some areas and can't just enjoy what I have, when I have it. I'm beyond lucky and blessed and there is always someone else who has less but is enjoying life more. My little family is incredible in every way and one day I will look back and think 'wow I had it all back then'.

But look at these faces - no one is looking in the right direction, all I can see are my faults and my babies are moments away from trying to wriggle off my lap. Despite all the imperfections, this is one of my favourite photo's as it's what my little family is all about.

So I for one am going to try and upload a few more photographs that aren't showing the best of the best but just the normal, every day life. I'm going to also try and keep it real on here too and be as honest as I can about motherhood and being a woman. Cos this is the only life I have and I'm very lucky to have all that I do....what if I just try and enjoy it more without looking over my shoulder to see what I'm missing. What if...that makes my life richer than I realise


6 May 2015

Wicked Wednesday - When the cupboards are emptied...

When you remember why you should use child locks on kitchen cupboards

I'm linking up with Brummy Mummy of 2 and #wickedwednesday


5 May 2015

Sudocrem care and protect - Our Review

I thought I knew all about Sudocrem because I've been using it for over four years now and nothing beats it for my babies nappy rash (& the odd spot for me). So when we got to try the Sudocrem care & protect I was expecting much of the same.

The difference in this is that it's a liquid in a squeezy bottle and right there and then I was sold. It's light and slides on the skin so easily and smells really good too. It had always been my bugbear with a pot, I hated double dipping if I'd already touched the pot, his bum and then the pot again. Now that's not even an issue. Phew (sorry for too much information there).

Also this is a little different in that the ointment is designed to provide triple protection: so it is a protective barrier to nappy rash, it also contains vitamin E and B5 to keep the skin in tip top condition. You can really feel the difference and it soaks into the skin straight away and leaves it smooth. The other big difference is that this isn't a reactionary ointment but something to use at every nappy change to provide a protective barrier. I love that it's not messy and I'm not getting cream everywhere and it's not being used only when there is already a problem.

My poor boy has suffered a lot lately with his teeth and the ongoing (it seems) teething, on bad days he has an acid bot (I know, TMI again!!!) and can have about five soiled nappies a day - so his poor little bottom can be left all red and his rash is fairly bad. We've used the ointment for over a week now and it's definitely soothing and kept his nappy area looking more normal than it has in a while.

The boy doesn't seem to mind it either and it's keeping the nappy rash at bay as well. The little tube keeps him busy and from wriggling away whilst having his nappy changed. Another bonus.

We were kindly send a sample of cream to try and we love it

4 May 2015

Our Weekend - Cinema trips, cake and the park

Since I began blogging I've never really done a post about our weekends. When I found out about this linky from Write Like No one's Watching and A Rush of Love, I thought I'd give it a go. I love reading other people's weekend posts.

Bank holidays are always quite magical, from when we were young and free and a long weekend was all about dancing, pubs and long days in bed. To now, up early and still lazy days but so much potential for fun with the kiddies and an extra day of having daddy around.

This was a very special weekend as it was the first that my girl experienced the magic of the cinema. It was also a treat as it was a girls trip out. We don't often do things just the two of us and I'm in awe at how grown up and nice she has become. I watched her go through a whole host of emotions from pure excitement to nervous as we got in the cinema and she wasn't sure what to expect.
There were a few minor hiccups of not being able to sit in the chair because it kept tipping up with her in it, to almost emptying the contents of the popcorn over the floor. But on the whole she loved it.

Back home with McDonald's for all (proper treat day) we then spent the afternoon doing our shopping (& drinking coffe in Costa) where my girl managed to fall asleep on the table and the boy who should have been asleep was wide awake.

Our new ritual that I so love because it reminds me of when I was young is watching You've Been Framed, bubba loves it and it's funny watching her watching it and giggling. I managed a quick bit of crochet. Bliss.

Sunday was another slow start and a morning at home as it was raining. It's so lovely to recharge your batteries sometimes and we are all homebody's at heart. So pj's stayed on, the kids played happily together and we generally just loafed around. The boy is teething and wasn't having a lot of fun all day so there was lots of moaning and not much sleeping from him.

I needed a cake break so we headed out after lunch. I have a favourite little cafe that we head to as their homemade cakes are the best.

After a dreary rain filled morning the sun arrived so filled with cake and coffee, we hit the nearest playground. The cub went on his first swing and loved it whilst Bubba went off and explored the slides and climbing frames which is so nice to see (& lets us have a break and watch her playing).

All in all a perfectly slow and relaxed weekend, I put together a little vlog (I'm still a bit rubbish at them but I'm trying...)

Today was all about more coffee (can you tell I'm addicted!) and family, saw my brother and his family round at my mum and dads house. A great start to a new week.

1 May 2015

Bad skin, motherhood and hormones

I'm no beauty blogger, I'd even say I got to the party a bit late on the whole make up and skincare vibe. In my twenties I wore make up every day and lots of it when I went out clubbing or to the pub, it has only been in the last year that I fell off the band wagon and stopped using makeup. Not having time was a big factor once I'd had cub but it was also because my skin just erupted into a hormone induced spot frenzy, so I just sort of gave up on it.

My skin has never been brilliant, I've always had spot prone skin but now I have adult acne and it can be very debilitating sometimes. I can't cover it up with make up all the time and so I try and shy away from public situations and keep my head down.

I have been using Liz Earle for over 15 years and I love the Cleanse and Polish hot cloth system but I'm not sure if my skin just got used to it or needed something more so I decided in January to try and sort my skin out this year.

I saw the La Roche-Posay starter kit in Boots and decided to invest in it, and with high hopes I started using it in early January. Being used to the creamy texture that Liz offers you (it feels like being licked by fluffy little kittens...see told you I wasn't a beauty blogger!) this felt harsh and drying on my skin. So in true Karen fashion, I tried this for about four days before I resigned it to the cupboard and went back to Liz again.

By late February, my skin was the worst its ever been and I had acne scaring and active acne on my cheeks (right one being the worst), around my chin and jaw line (hormones I hate you sometimes) and on my forehead. It was really really starting to get me down and I glanced into my cupboard and spied the 3 step system again and dug it out.

There is a Purifying foaming gel cleanser that lathers up into a frothy foam and I use my Liz hot cloth to wipe it off, my skin is left feeling a little tight. Next is the clarifying toner (which I don't use every day), last and the best in my book is the Anti-blemish cream. This is the part I never skip on and I think is my real saviour and it feels nice on my skin

I now have been using it every day for the last four weeks and my skin has got so much better, I still get spots (I hate that at almost forty I have the skin of a teenager) but my skin isn't as angry as it was and I can cover with make up more now.

I put some pictures up, they are purposely fuzzy and small and really don't show the extent of my acne but I couldn't bring myself to expose my skin for the world to see here. Top left is my skin now and I can see such a real improvement (you'll just have to take my word for it) I just can't show you close up. It's getting better and I'm going to keep using this system in the hope it helps.

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