Thursday, 25 December 2014

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Bethany Update - Month 11


 This month has been, I think, one of hardest months being a Mum. To me, Beth has made the transition from baby to Toddler. She is now crawling on all fours, and can do it at some speed too. Can now reach things on a higher height, by pulling herself up onto her knees at first and now starting to get on her feet.

Beth is bright and inquisitive, she loves music by wiggling and clapping along. Hubby has an app on his phone of a piano for babies, it is her favourite 'toy' and her face lights up when she has it. Beth also loves my teething necklace from Mama & Belle, I never get to wear it as planned as Beth likes to take it on and off all day and wear it herself.


I love my little shadow, Beth follows me around and says, "Mama" when she's apart from me. I am very proud of her, being able to be at home with her is something I do treasure especially during this phase of growing as she seems to be doing something different.

It has not been a bed of roses, she has been difficult through getting frustration in learning, getting her nights/days mixed up again and being full of the worse cold she had. For myself, I have been getting hand full of hours sleep each day as well as also finally had my conception changed to stop my migraines (this I will write about on it's own as it's an interesting update), after a small blip it's seems to be working.

The month has been hard but the light at the end is Christmas. The past week and half have been brilliant, I've finally made a playgroup for the NCT Christ mas party, all dressed in her Mrs. Claus outfit she looked adorable. We followed this by seeing Santa the next day with Daddy, she was OK for a minute but soon was crying for Daddy but they soon chatting away. She has just had her photo published in the local newspaper with the rest of the local children.



The next update will be her 1st birthday, which I really cannot believe. This time last year I was 38 weeks pregnant and waddling all over the place. Now, I have the most beautiful little girl, who loves Christmas trees and is going to get very spoilt by all our family over the next month.

Bethany keeping warm this time last year!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Why I am Boycotting anyone who uses YODEL



Every Christmas I always buys and makes presents, this year I am planning to do something different from my usual biscuits/truffles and needed a food processor for this. I had some Tesco vouchers left over as well as they are doing their double value if you spend on them on certain things like kitchen appliances.

I ordered it and it had said about 5 days so I waited. I got text message and an email from Tesco apologising that there will be a delay as they were busy, it's Christmas if they weren't busy I would of been more worried. A few days later I got a dispatched email and the following day I had a text from the courier saying that they would be there between 12am and 9pm.

8.50pm and I'm calling Texco customer line (who are open until 11pm), after a 10 minute got an apologies and a £5 credit to my account as an apology. They said it was likely that the driver ran out of time and I was on the delivery list tomorrow. I cancelled my plans for the next day and stayed in with Beth.

8.55pm came and I was on the phone again, this time a little less understanding. They only had an email from the delivery an hour before saying that there was a four day delay on my delivery, that was sitting snugly in a warehouse lock up somewhere. I was off, "So when was I going to be told?" etc. More apologies, then I asked who their courier was - YODEL.

I might as well give up seeing my food processor ever again or delivered in one piece.

I am now waiting for my delivery to finally appear, as yet they cannot give me a day/time as to when I finally get my delivery. I am also waiting for Tesco customer service to contact so I can lodge a formal complaint about using YODEL as the clever people of YODEL do not have a customer service department. I have a theory that there is a very good reason for that.

From now I am not buying for any company that uses YODEL, I have had enough of the lack of communication, the disrespect for the customers their serve, and the disregard for the packages they deliver. I was recommended to look at a Twitter account called YODELHell which then led me to their website (YODELhell.co.uk) a collection of horror stories from users and staff. Those should be enough to stop using them.

I actually ordered clothing from Tesco's a few days afterwards and they arrived earlier than anticipated by Hermes courier. This I was surprised as those who were reading last year would know I had my own issues with them (For those who want to re-visit New Look and the Missing Hermes Delivery)

For now I shall wait and hope.


Friday, 5 December 2014

Weleda White Mallow Range



I have previously shown love for the Weleda range, founded in 1921 it's holds a philosophy of using pure natural substances to maintain, support and restore human health. It also wants to increase it's business in a  sustainable way. The body's oils are my favourites of the range and was deeply interested in the baby range for Bethany.

Beth has recently been suffering with sensitivity with the ranges I had been using and Weleda saw my SOS tweet on Twitter and offered an opportunity to try out the new White Mallow range. The range is developed for babies with over sensitive skin, baby eczema, sensitive skin, rash on baby skin and neurodermatitis.

The body lotion, nappy cream, and face cream has extracts of organic White Mallow and pansy soothe skin prone to irritation. The organic coconut oil and organic sesame oil provide intensive care moisturising, cooling and soothing. They have National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance™ and are 100% certified-natural.

The body lotion is the right consistency of being thick so it feel it would moisturiser but when applied it sunk in without leaving any residue. After a few days use Beth's dry patches felt like they had a springy feel like they had moisture back. The nappy cream also battled teething nappy rash within one use, it left a good barrier between the skin and nappy so no rash has returned.

Personally I loved the products to the point that I have 'borrowed' them as adults can also use the range. The skin on my legs get really dry and itchy, this relives the itch and is neutral enough that I can use fragrance over the top without affecting it. I have also used the nappy cream to relieve an itchy bite I had one day.

I had the body lotion RRP £11.95 and nappy cream £8.95 and both still have a large amount left in the bottles after having for a couple of months. I like the fact that a range is now made with something for people who have over sensitive skin, my skin can flair up with anything and I suspect that I have passed this on to poor Bethany. I now have a weapon to help.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Becoming a Stay at Home Mum (SAHM)

 "So what do you do?"

The questions that strikes fear into anyone, no more than a new stay at home Mum. I foudn this out a few weekends back at a baby shower for my friend who I met through one of my old beauty counter jobs.

I had recently told my work that I wasn't returning after my materniry leave. After calculatung in childcare, travel (esp. as I still do not drive), and other costs, I would of be only brining home a tiny amount and losing precious time with Bethany. I have not ruled our working completely, I do miss bringing my own income but now have the time to find something that not only suits me but also Beth.

My answer that Saturday was, "I am a SAHM for now." This did stop the conversation in its tracks, the person didn't know what to say and to be honest that used to be me. I always saw the SAHM option a blissful idea with dreams of lazy days, lie ins and no stress. The realty is far from it.


Beth still can have me up at night for 1-2 hours at a time, she needs to be fed often and that takes time in itself as she's weaning onto feeding herself. Then there stull is housework, cleaning etc. She is currenlty moving constantly, investigating everything, it's very cute but needs watching all the time not to hutr herself.

I also PA to Hubby, I deal with paperwork, bills, phone calls - anything to do with the household. There's also his part time business, and my volunteer work with the NCT where I look after member emails, social media and their website.

I'm not going to start on the number of playgroups there are...

"So what do you do?"

Anything and everything,

Friday, 21 November 2014

Bethany Update - Month 10


So close and yet so far!
Sounds the trumpets - WE HAVE CRAWLING! Granted, it is commander crawling, which looks more like wriggling in the direct she wants to go. We can go up on our knees but just flops then wriggles. She has learnt that if she can go up on her knees for a small time she can reach things a little higher so things have now been put onto higher shelves.

Month 9-10 has been more learning through problem solving, it's fascinating to watch her look at the situation and work out how to solve it. To me, for 10 months, she is really clever. I was watching her the other night go to her changing bag, open it up, take out my waller, open it and start removing the cards. Beth is also starting to understand that the short time on her knees she can climb over things too, she broke out of her barrier tonight by just climbing slowly over.

We currently love our soft stacking blocks as well as our walker, she can take small steps if you hold her under the armpits.


We are currently in the midst of her top two teeth trying to break through, the past few nights I have had about 4 hours sleep. She wakes crying and wanting comfort, I spend most of my nights watching shopping channels and cuddling her until she doses off. I haven't known what it was until I saw those little tell tale white signs that there are trying to break though. My poor Monkey.

While Beth has been growing steadily, the biggest development has been with myself. The migraines I previously crippled me have *knocks wood* been gone for over a week now. I am still waiting for my appointment with the nurse to review what to do next, due 1st December. Ironically this was on the day I was due to go back to work, this has also changed and it's been decided that I will now be a stay at home Mum for a bit longer. I have an entry about this coming next week, but it's wonderful to think I will get Christmas with my little girl with all the excitement.

I cannot believe that the next update will be days from Christmas, and it's more surreal thinking that it was this time last year that I was dreaming about my first Christmas with my child while being a huge whale with swollen ankles. Would you believe she already has her cheesy Christmas jumper?

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Migraines - Please tell me it gets better from here?

The past two weeks I have been suffering daily with migraines, other sufferes will know that even one attack can knock you out energy wise for days, I have been suffering from them from the late 90's, in my teens I had symtons of a stoke while I was at home. It turns out that the numbness in the side, loss of speech and blurred vision was an aura miraine.

At first I got told painkillers and rest when an attck happens, as the number of attacks increased I was put on preventive medication called Imigran. You would spray this up your nose at the first signs of an attack, for me this failed I ended up feeling so out of it that I was sent home from work after going an a rant about the word 'nice' in my drug soaked state.


I continued to carry on for a few more years until April last year, when I suffered my worst attack. I was rushed to hospital after it was suspected that, yet again, I was having a storke this time I had all the symtoms as well as I lost my memory for four hours. I forgot what day it was, who was the prime minister and even what I just had for tea.

I was recommnded to go to the doctors and get investigated, all they did was put me on beta blockers to prevent attacks long term. He was shocked that I had no been anything long term after looking at my medical history. I was prescribed Propranolol, once a day in a low dose to help curb attacks. In the short term it did, but the side effects were the worst, I would wake up in the night screaming from nightmares. I then found out I was pregant and had to stop taking them anyway.

I took them for a short time after Beth's birth, as well as returned onto my pill, Cerazette, I started to get headaches and migraines. Being a tired new mum, I thought it was down to the odd hours I was having due to a newborn baby. Now Beth is 9 months, I decided taht it can't just be tha and saw the doctor. 

We now have a new theory that this is the tablets I am taking, so now I need to find an alternative, if this doesn't work then we try something else. For now I live everyday with the thinking that I might/might not get an attack and pray it's on the days that I have nothing important I need to do.

What's your migraine story?

Monday, 27 October 2014

Project Brabham

I love Formula One - the speed, the cars, and the history. I also love it when I get emails that get me so excited, I cannot contain myself. I need to give you a little background first.

When I first started following the sport, I supported a British driver by the name of Damon Hill, now his first team was Brabham. The unique thing about Brabham is that it is one of those rare breeds in the sport now dominated by manufacturers, this was a team started by a driver. Sir Jack Brabham started the team in 1961 and went onto win 3 drivers and 2 constructors titles. There is also not a lot teams that can say they've been owned by one, Bernie Ecclestone. Like all independent teams, they struggled and decided to take a step back from the high profile sport.

This is where we come to today, when I initialled got asked if I was interested I wasn't told who the team where, my thinking was that it would be a small unknown team. I was very excited to it to be Brabham, to have someone of that history and prestige to help them back to the grid is astounding. I do support the underdog teams as amongst them you will find the heart and passion of motor sport.

How are they doing it? By thinking out of the box and coming into the modern social media era. They are looking towards the fans. engineers and drivers to help fund the team, in exchange they have open access to everything about Brabham. The easiest thing for me to do is let David Brabham, owner of Branham, explain...


There is different packages for different donations starting from £1, all of the donations are going towards the establishment of this huge project. Their aim is to enter the 2015 FIA WEC championships (think Le Mans racing style cars) with looking into other formulas like Formula E (Formula one style cars exclusively on electric) and eventually inot Formula One once again.

As I write this the total is at £223,000 but this till is not enough towards the 250,000 target with only days to go. To change the sport into something that isn't about money or profits, but inot something that is shared and enjoyed, we need this to work. This is the future of independent motor sport.

Find out more - https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/project-brabham

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Bethany Update - Month 9


This month seems to be the month were she has just grown up, I sit down once a month and back up all my photos of her as well as pick out the ones I'm going to use and this is the first month that she has changed within days rather than weeks. At the moment she changes day to day, that even I, who spends all day with her, cannot keep up with her development.

So this month we:

  • Can work out a route and use numerous rolling methods to get at it.
  • Are starting to string together little words and can be chatty when in the mood.
  • Are happy to play on a own for short periods (hurrah for Mummy!)
  • Eat three good sized meals well as three bottles, I think she's making up for lost time!
  • Stand against the sofa and play (but you need to be close by)
  • Sit up without support (see above)
  • love to play with soft blocks and balls now she's sitting up.
  • love our door bouncer!


The biggest stress I've had this month is that we have cut our first tooth, I had a rotten nights sleep a couple of weeks back and that evening saw the tell tale signs of a white tooth emerging. It's now grown more out and now it's neighbour is joining it (we also think the top two are also not far behind). Teething powder is my saviour on those bad nights, but so far we haven't had to dig out the calpol... yet.


We had our 8 month assessment, this is to make sure that she is developing the way she should. She 'failed' on gross motor skills, which basically means she's not crawling (no still not crawling). She did excel in everything else like problem solving and being able to pick things up, considering I hoover and she still finds the smallest bit of dirt, she excelled in this too.

Regularly readers will know that we have had Beth's weight constantly checked since she was born, she's always been on the smaller side in the .04 centile. Part of the review was to get her weighed, knowing she had been a hungry thing (She'll finish her dinner and then look at everyone else's like a dog) I was hoping for good results. I wasn't disappointed she is/was 13lbs 13ozs and into the 2nd centile. We've now been told that she is no longer being monitored!

I know she's also bulked out as she was soon in 6-9 months just after the last update, it's the first time she has been in the right size clothing for her age in forever. I had to go emergency shopping for stuff as I only had sleepsuits, OK, it gave me a excuse to go clothes shopping!

Waiting for the bus to playgroup
Beth is still a little mischief, but the smile you get afterwards you cannot stay made at her for long. The biggest decision to make over the next week is do I leave her? I am due to go back to work next month and next week will be the last time I can give them notice of my intentions. I know what I would like but it needs to be for the good of everyone, not just me anymore.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Sassy Bloom Unboxing November 2014

Here it is Bethany's First Youtube video, as the Sassy Bloom Box was for her I thought would be only fair that she had a starring role!



Run down of what is in this box:


Bibsilli - Giraffe RRP £6.99

Soft silicone that can easily be rolled up for changing bags, dishwasher safe and secure when on baby. I liked the ease of which it was cleaned and survived being pulled about by Bethany at dinner time. Look at their website for the tuxedo bib, very cute and perfect for those special occasions.

Halilit Rolling Shapes RRP £8.99

Beth LOVES this, if you haven't figured that out by now. It is perfect for her as she loves to rattle things and make noise (or 'Music' if you wish). I was wanting to get something like this for her so it was perfect timing.

Top That Book, Peter's Pebbles RRP £5.99

This is a beautifully illistrated book and the story is wondeful too, lots of opportunites to make the noises and point out animals. It's lovely and big so Beth can point at things too, I'm already added some of the other books to her Christmas list.

Summer Infant Tub Time Teaparty RRP £8.99

I didn't realise until after I filmed that it was for bathtime! Beth does copy me drinking tea with anything she's holding so this is perfect for that. I also don't have many bathtime toys for her, and when I layed everything out she went straight for the sugar bowl that rattled (it's has a sealed top/bottom with holes to let the water through). It's already a winner.

Bibble Bandana Bib RRP £5.50

Lovely and bright, catches her teething dribbles at the moment. Never got one when she start teething, now I wish I brought loads! It's soft and doesn't rub but fits snuggly round the neck. No dribble on clothes here.

Personalised Blanket RRP £10

I do like personalised things and I did like the fact that Sassy Bloom went that little extra bit to make something that was just for Bethany. It's a huge blanket, she currently has it as her cot blanket but a really good size for prams and car seats.

Total: £46.46 (Box costs £29.00 for a one off, discounts if you subcribe. Always will gurantee that it is worth a minimum of £40)

I really like the box, the little personalised touches like the blanket and it was addressed to her were thoughtful. It had items like the rattle that I was playing to buy her as well as the teaset I would of never of been able to find. I do think it reasonably good value and someone has done all the research for you. I've used everything in the box and there would be nothing I would of changed.

Bibsilli -Giraffe – RRP £6.99
 Like what you see? Get £10 off your first box here courtsey of me

*I was sent this in exchange for review, if you do use the link I receive points towards another box, Thank you.

Bibsilli -Giraffe – RRP £6.99
Bibsilli -Giraffe – RRP £6.99
Bibsilli -Giraffe – RRP £6.99

Monday, 13 October 2014

Truffle Shuffle Wishlist

  1. Ladies Grey Marl DC Comics Batman Slogan T-Shirt
  2. Wonderland Bunny Cotton Tail Cotton Wool Dispenser 
  3. Disney Couture Braver Than You Believe Winnie The Pooh Bangle
  4. Ladies Snow White Never Too Old Wide Neck Sweater   
  5. Ladies White Pat Sharp And The Twins Fun House Rolled Sleeve Boyfriend T-Shirt
  6. Ladies Grey Marl Batman Logo Sweater 
  7. Ladies Pinky And The Brain Take Over The World T-Shirt
 I love Truffle Shuffle and by the end of this if you don't realise this then there's something wrong with you. 

I tripped over them in 2009 and fell in admiration of their love of everything geeky, nerdy and the pleasure of being a big kid. My first order with them was to order a Top Gun Viper t-shirt to give my husband on the morning of our wedding (His gamer name is VIP3R). I've lusted over number 7 for as long as I've remembered, they've recently re-designed it and it looks as good as ever!

I've had the honour of winning one of their Friday Facebook competitions and won £25 to spend on the site (as well as my cousin in law). The biggest thrill was recently featuring as one of their Instagrammers for my picture of my bargain (£3.99) Mickey Mouse ears necklace.

 
 The customer service are brilliant, you can tell they love their job, I had a long chat with one when I won their competition and they were over the moon it was a fan who won it. The social media guy(s) are also just as great, which in this day is good, they never step over the mark and are just as big geeks/nerds as their customers.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Teething

We had lots of excitement on Sunday night as Beth had her first tooth emerge, oh how little did I know how quickly that would go!

My poor little girl is suffering because I don't think there is one coming through but two. We have lots of teething gel, powders as well as Sophie the Giraffe who is being chewing within an inch of it's life (Sorry to my friend, Michelle, who leant it to us!). I also have cooled teething rings in the fridge which have been a huge help.

However, she is grumpy and grizzly. Beth constantly wants her Mummy, I put her down to even go to the bathroom she has a meltdown. It is breaking my heart as I hate seeing her suffering, I know it's part of her growing up but I honestly don't know who has cried more over the past few days: Me through lack of sleep and upset or her through the pain.

In short, I am getting nothing done at the moment so please bear with me while I cuddle my upset Beth and try to keep up with life as she finally settles to sleep. On the good side, she now can stand supported (and unsupported hanging onto the sofa for a few minutes) as well as pushing herself along in a walker. We also sat unaided for the first time today too. It seems the first tooth emerging has started something off!

Got any tips for me?

Friday, 3 October 2014

HelpStopMe Online Depression Course



As I started to process the departure of my aunt passing away, I started my online course with HelpStopMe for depression. As a previous sufferer I knew that bereavement can be a trigger and wanted to be one step ahead for a change.
The owner, Mike Nichols used his family experience to see that there was a gap in the market for people who needed affordable help instantly. I, myself have come across this previously, when i was first diagnosed with depression 7 years ago I couldn't get help through the NHS and had to go private. Not only was it expensive (at £30 an hour) but also the waiting list for weeks until gap came free. Things have improved slightly but being able to access the help you need when you need it is vital, leave it for weeks and I find that momentum can disappear. 
Anything that can mean that a person can access affordable treatment is a welcome, this is where HelpStopMe steps in.
I was enrolled onto the Depression course which is split into 21 small segments. Each of these is led by one of the Cogitative Behaviour therapists through video while underneath you can add online notes and track how you are feeling. I am a fan of the online note system, for someone who can easily lose/throw away bits of paper it's perfect to have everything in one spot that is also secure. The site is also clean and simple so this makes it easy to use and work round.
Previously I have used Beating the Blues, this is the NHS online system that they use for referral. In comparison I did find this more easier to to use, I also like that this is more bite sized, you can do as many sections as you want while the NHS is more structured with homework to do away from the computer. I liked the fact that once the programme is shut down you can take time away from it rather than feeling you are at school.
I found the skills learnt in the programme could be easily transferred into everyday life. After a few weeks of doing sessions every couple of days, my mood did improve and I felt that I could cope with each day better and better. The to do list I had didn’t phase me anymore and started to feel more optimistic.
HelpStopMe is available through their website with the course costing £39.99 currently (that works out at £1.90 for each section), I've also noticed there is also support version for people who live with sufferers at £29.99, as well as other mental health sections like anxiety being available soon.
*Access was granted for exchange of review, opinions and experience are my own.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Weight Issue 3 and Aniexty Update


 I decided to put these together as they have recently gone hand in hand during the past few months.

Regular readers would know that I my Aunt passed away at the end of July after her fight with cancer. This was a trigger for the start of the roller coaster of the past few months. I decided to self refer to my local mental health place, You can read the start of that in Hello Anxiety, My Old Friend. In my grief I stopped giving a damn about my eating habits and health, this lead to me eating my feelings rather than dealing with them.

It wasn't until I was half way through my treatment that I decided to weigh myself again. I had put on a stone in two months (13 stone 6lbs), I just wasn't surprised but the key reason I did weight myself is that I was ready to try and get myself back on track. I know my biggest downfall was just eating for the sake of eating and what ever I wanted rather than what I needed. I stopped going out and thus stop exercising, I now have cleaned off our static bike so at least if I'm struggling to get out I can get some exercise at home.

My treatment is progressing, I am happy to say that in the next few weeks my one-to-one time will be coming to a close and I will be on self treatment. I have been using a private self treatment programme, which I will be posting a review of in the next few days. With anxiety I will never be 'cured', it is all a matter of rethinking how I process situations and taking each day as it comes.

Thank you all for the ongoing support.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Colds and The Lego Movie*

Beth then came down with a cold and then, it got Hubby and I with Bethany still full of it, game over.  This is where I dug out a load of DVD's and crashed on the sofa with Beth for the few days I had no energy. I had The Lego Movie recommended to me and got given my own copy to watch by my affliates, Suppose.com.

The Lego Movie follows the life of Emmett, an ordinary construction worker who lives the folows the same routiine everyday, but this is threatened by President Business the head of the Lego world. Only the 'Special One' can stop him and Emmett is about to discover that he is it. With his friends behind him, he tries to stop the Kragle from making the Lego Universe going into statis. Voice talents inclusde Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Glalaxy), Morgan Freeman, and Liam Neeson.

As an animation and Lego fan I was looknig forward to this, I was glad not to be dissappointed. I do need to supply a warning, "Everything is Awesome" is a earworm song, it will invade your brain whether you like the movie or not. You will fight humming it. I found it went a good pace with a good hit rate of jokes, and it can appeal to all ages so covers all the family.

I did find myself get all nostigic about all the old lego, they refer to the part numbers often as well as the old instruction books. I even was telling Hubby about the pieces I had and had wanted. By the end I was tiching to grab some Lego and be a Master Builder myself.

This was supplied by Suppose.com a community of like minded shoppers but also offering a tracker system to find the best prices for anything and everything. Interested in The Lego Movie? Here's the latest tracking details.




Sunday, 21 September 2014

Bethany Update - Month 8


I know I say this every month, but the time has really flown by and she looks less and less like a baby and more like a small child. Photos like this really do make me melt and I cannot believe she's my child. You wouldn' think this time last week she had her first cold and couldn't settle her. I ended up sleeping a few nights on the sofa with her on my chest again so I can keep her upright and ensure that could breath through the cold. This did mean that I also got it too, but it was small price to pay.


At the last weigh in she was at 13lbs 3ozs and starting to up a centile to the 2nd, which made me overjoyed. She now has a healthy appetite and likes 2-3 meals a day (with dessert and a snack). She also still loves her bottles, which are decreasing, however she still wakes the odd night for a bottle. Her favourites are Pork and Apple pouches, apple with vanilla fruit pots, and Granddad's ham sandwiches he feeds her on a Wednesday.

We now move commando style across the floor, rolling, wiggling and swinging herself round on her stomach. It's like watching a spy sneaking across our floor, which is funny until she finds a cable! She likes to kick things and have already broken a bit of Hubby's computer by kicking the back of it. Bethany can sit up for a short amount of time and with something to support her, the biggest thing she started doing today was to start babbling actually recognisable sounds like ba and wah. I really think we are not long from having crawling too so hopefully that will be something to report on for next month.

I know I am bias, to me she just beautiful and to see her starting to understand things to another thing to get excited about. She's starting to try and test her boundaries with us, we are surprised it is so soon but she is a little mischief so we shouldn't be that much. We say no, she stops and looks, sometimes she stops and sometimes she carries on.

Her favourite toys at the moment is leaflets and bits of paper, it's a great use for any junk mail laying around. She loves seeing what she can do with it, as well as trying to eat it! My old neighbour was clearing out his daughters bits so we got lots of books and DVDs so we have lots of cuddle time together. My mum also gave me my old books I used to have read to me or I read from when I was a child. I love the fact that I can share my favourites with my little girl and she gets really excited when I bring a book out so I'm glad my love of books is starting to rub off.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

GIVEAWAY! WAH Nail Art Book, Nail Art Pens and a Bit of Glitter


"Give it away give it away give it away give it away now
Give it away give it away give it away give it away now
Give it away give it away give it away give it away now"
Give it away by Red Hot Chilli Peppers

 It's been a long time coming, but here it is something to get those creative nail juices flowing!

The Rio Nail Art Art Set has all the basic colours to recreate nail art designs. The dual ended nibs means you can have a dotting nib or use the brush function. I have another set of these myself and have found them really easy to use, unfortantly my artist flair has been lost recently but I find they are brilliant for doing neat smile lines for french style manicures. There is some small pots of glitter to add some shimmer your designs.

WAH Nail Book is what you expect from the top of the Nail art tree, trendy and cool designs that can be easily recreated by their step by step instructions. You also get a history on how they've got to this point and are introduced to some of the staff.

The whole set is worth £35 and is open to anyone in the UK from today until 0.00am on 13th October. The giveaway is supplied by myself with my own money and will be sent out as soon as the winner has given me their details (as soon as possible would be appreciated). All run through Rafflecopter, all details collected are only for the giveaway so I can contact the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

NOTD - Vamp by Leighton Denny


Now months ago when I ordered my BBBBeautyBox Number 3 my eagle eyes spotted this mini polish in the luxury sample zone of LatestinBeauty. I have seen this brand at numerous trade shows and have their colour charts but had never came round to owning one. This is also after watching many hours of him painting nails on QVC, I have even resisted temptation.

The polish is what you expect from a pro, easy to paint on, leaving an even and level finish. The brush holds enough of the lacquer so it paints on well without overloading. It took two thin coats to get the correct coating here and dries in a reasonable time. I would be confident to pick Beth up if she was crying after a few minutes of painting.

RRP £11.00 for 12ml of varnish. I have my eye on Hollywood collection's emerald green, Click Click Flash Flash.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Maybelline Baby Lips at Poundworld


I never fell for the hype first time round, to me it just looked like a over hyped chapstick (and chaptick is cheaper). Twitter, my instant fountain of knowledge, has rumours flying round that the Poundland/Worlds have been reciving these as stock, already being in town I decided to hit both stores and see if they were true. As you can see from above, yes it is.

What I can tell from the packaging is that these are from Asia or thereabouts (I'm sorry I am only guessing). They are still sealed up and promise exactly the same as the 'normal' Baby Lips. I got two flavours, a peach and watermelon, they remind me of Jolly Raucher boiled american sweets that were avaiable about 15 odd years ago (Watermelon was my favourite).


There is nothing Wow about them and nothing different from any other lipbalm. If I had paid full price for them I would of been disappointed, but for a £1 you cannot really argue. It does the job, it keeps lips from drying out and the scent is a soft non in your face fruit. I do however now crave some Jolly Rauchers.

What's your flavour?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

When Viruses Attack



The past few days have been long, full of tests and worrying. My poor baby has been sick with a severe infection and at one point I thought i'd lost them. We are now up to the point where it is on the final test to make sure everything is all clear.

My computer is pulling through.

The other night I decided to float around the interner and download a few things for the blog,I went to a few different websites and downloaded a few templates to add to my site. I did try them but didn't like them and have gone back to the previous ones, logged off for the night and all was fine.

Next afternoon I had a list of jobs to do online, got Bethany amused in front of me and settled down with a cuppa. Opened my browser and I know my google homepage was different, no problem ran an antivirus and it found nothing, but still it remains. Anti installed the browsers (because I tried more than one and they were all the same) and texted Hubby to ask for his assistance. He asked for £80, I told him if he ever wants dinner/clean shirts/me to be at home when he got home to stop being cheeky. This at the time was me thinking, a few hours and it'll be dealt with.

3 days later, 7 virus/spywear 4/5 hour scans and 1 google account lock out later we are looking like we are back up and running. I never realised how much of my life rolves around my black box, I had a panic attack the first night when my google account was locked and was in tears, not only is that my blog lost but also all my photos of Bethany, thankfully I had activiated all the security so was able to retrieve everything back.

This is a few morals to this tale:
  1. Back up everything regually
  2. Activiate all the security features
  3. Don't download random things off of sites from Twitter. And 
  4. If you unziip a file rescan it as the virus is hiding in it.


Friday, 29 August 2014

The Streamcream Face Challange (Freebie Alert)

I am a huge fan of Steamcream, you can read my cheerleading blog entry here . I love the simple but effective use of simple ingrediants that are designed for as many skin types as possible. I also like the collectability of the tins as they all limied editions and beautifully designed.

My Current tin as seen in my review
Steamcream want to give an opportunity to 100 poeple to get a free 7 day sample mini tin to ecperiance it for themselves. You will need to register your interest on here and if successful you skin will thank you. Not successful? I heard a little rumour that there will be a discount code just for you guys so you will get an opportunity.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Hello Aniexty, my old friend


 

You will have to bear with me on this post, it's the one I've been putting off for a while but until I started the journey I didn't feel right enough to talk about it.

Last week I had it confirmed that my anxiety was official back with low moods thrown in for good measure. Since, Beth has been born my moods have not been consistent and I put this down to after birth hormones, then going back on to the pill. My life has also not be consistent: with a new baby, Hubby getting/losing/getting work, money not being consistent, my aunt that I was close to passing away and feeling claustrophobic in our flat because I spend a lot of time in it.

This all came to a head about two weeks back the Thursday before my BIL' s wedding, I was washing baby bottles and suddenly felt I was drowning and the walls were caving in. I couldn't breathe and I just thinking that everything was too much, I knew full well I well I was in the midst of a panic attack, my first in several years. Looking back, I had been out of sorts for nearly a week, very spaced out, not able to concentrate and just having no motivation to do more than the bare minimum to ensure that Beth is looked after.

After the wonderful weekend, I decided that I am not as happy or as myself as I am and thought I do a self referral back to where I did my previous treatment. If they think I'm fine then at least I've got myself 'checked' and that is that. The form wants to know my previous mental health history (Briefly - Depression 2005 treated with face-to-face sessions, Depression/Anxiety 2011 treated with computer training), how I am feeling now and what situations am I struggling with. This is then sent off to my referral people (I'm part of Bucks NHS which run Healthy Minds as their mental health treatment system), and a few days later got a phone call from them to speak through the form and see how they can help. They also gave me my results of the tests on the forms.

They concluded that my anxiety was very high and that my moods were low producing a circle that I was finding it hard to get out of. They offered telephone counselling so I did not have to worry about finding someone to babysit Beth and feel comfortable in my own home. They also asked my HV to give me a visit as part of my worrying is how I am looking after Beth as her weight was still an issue which causes me panic of am I feeding her enough? I had this visit on the Monday, she was happy with Beth's development even though her weight has dipped. The Thursday following was my first session with my counsellor.

We did the tests again (they use these to measure progress so I will have these every time), and went over what she is there for as well as my history and just letting me talk on why I asked for help. At the time Beth was in her high chair next to me, gurgling away after lunch, I know without having her then I will be in bed feeling sorry for myself. This, of course, this upset me, not only am I doing this for me but for Beth so her Mummy can be there for her. At the moment I have a scheduled appointment with her once a week as well working through workbooks during the week.

I did see my doctor, through Healthy Minds they got me an appointment the same day and discussed treatment going forward. I have turned down medication, I am very mixed on using medication after having some migraine beta blockers that were also anti-anxiety pills. I took these for two months and I woke up screaming in sweats, thinking that Bethany was not breathing. I know that they are there if I need them, I also have a note on my file to say that if I request an appointment to have one as soon as possible (which is my doctors is a blessing!).

The moment I emailed the referral over I felt a weight has lifted, I'm saying that things are back to normal, we have a long way before I can say that, but they starting to feel on the right path.

Monday, 25 August 2014

NOTD - Rouge Louboutin by Chirstian Louboutin Nail Colour #BeauteLouboutin



Sales assistants, this is what happens when you leave a sample bottle unattended with a few beauty bloggers around. It the #SummerLondonMeet where the group of us was perusing Selfridges that the preview display was spotted. As the sales assistant went on her sales objective, I snuck to one side and painted my blank nails in Rouge Louboutin rather than the assistants paint them. I need to feel how it works for me as I'm not going to have someone around to paint them for me.

The bottle is inspired by his Ballerina Shoe from his collection and is visually stunning, would look perfect on a pinterest designed dressing table, but not for my nail varnish tray in my make up tool kit. I actually like the long handle and didn't have too many problems using it. The brush however is a different story, it has a small brush that doesn't fan out, this makes it harder to distribute the polish evenly over the nail. It does even out when it dries when you do finally get the whole nail covered.

I did paint this on a blank nail with no base/top coat so this will affect the result of wear which was half a day. I will say the formulation is thick (which is useful trying to apply with a small brush), I smudge it about 5 minutes after application thinking it would be dry by then, my mobile still have nail varnish marks from where I was wrong.


 Is it worth the £36 price tag? No, not at all, there are other ranges that do perfectly brilliant matt pillowbox red varnishes, with a quick dry time and have far better brushes. This is for the ladies who lunch that can afford the shoes and would probably like the idea of having the polish to match, but then isn't these the people who have the time/money to have a manicure/pedicure as often as I have cups of tea? I'm scratching my head for who is this really for - the nail lovers will love the packaging but hate the polish and the people who admire the brand from afar but can't afford the shoes, will also think a few times about the price tag.

At the moment there is only the Rouge in range but there will be other colours being added, but seeing the range there is nothing that really, "Wows" me. This is one range I'm very happy to leave on the shelf and put the money towards owning a pair of the shoes, so that's 12 bottles of Louboutin Varnish for So Kate Suede heels I need to save.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Bethany Update - Month 7

The Many Happy Faces of Bethany
We are now much more active, she is a little mischief now. She seems to roll over to all sorts of places where I have not Beth proofed yet. Her favourite is cables which are everywhere when you live with someone who works in IT! I now need to have keys everywhere as one minute she's smiling away and the next having a good chew on a (unplugged) cable while giggling away when I tell her off.

Where did you get that from young lady!?
There no signs of crawling yet, she does kicks her legs like she wants to. I love the way she now loves being on tummy and looks up at me with her big blue eyes with the biggest grin while flicking her legs away. Beth honestly doesn't keep still anymore, if she spots something she will figure a way to get there!
Her weight is still a slight issue at the moment, she's only put on a few oz's in the past weeks. We know two 3 monthish babies that are about the same weight as her now. She is still a very happy child (see above) and her appetite is getting bigger so I'm hoping that this is more with her moving more now.

Beth is also starting to pull her self up in sitting and with support likes to sit up. One of her favourite things to do is to sit with Hubby in her Tripp Trapp and watch what he is doing on the computer. She also likes to sit her mini sofa and watch Bake off with me on a Wednesday, before going to bed. It was strange to think that the last time it was on she was jumping around in my tummy all the way through the series.

First time on swings
A few weeks ago Beth was also the flower/ring girl at my Brother in Laws wedding, when the time came she decided that she wanted to put the rings in her mouth rather than hand them over. She was the most well behaved I could wish for, she let everyone hold her, was quiet during both ceremonies and was general heart melting in her little dress.


On to the good news, with Hubby back at work and our house sale nearly completed, I've decided to extend my maternity leave to the full year and enjoy every moment with Beth. Things are going to be a little tight, but I will never get this time back with her and I don't want to look back and regret. I'm loving every moment with her and she amazes me more and more each day (especially what she can find around the flat!)

Monday, 18 August 2014

#SummerLondonMeet

Saturday just gone by, I left Bethany with Hubby and got on a train to London (and finally started A Storm of Swords from where I left it when I gave birth!). It was strange to leave the house with no buggy and changing bag and only have a few items with me rather than half our flat.

The meet up was organised by, who I like to call friend, Clare from theloveofallthingsbeauty.co.uk at Dirty Martini in Covent Garden. It was good to have a small mix of bloggers and vloggers so everyone got to talk to everyone at some point. Martinis were enjoyed.


I had tripped over the #MJDaidyChain Tweet Pop up shop on my way there. Simply works that you give the hashtag a tweet go into the store and flash them your tweet to get some goodies. It was only up for the weekend but it was an ingenious use of PR, not only get a mini Daisy perfume and Daisy keyring but I timed it perfectly that one of my Blogging heroes, ZOE LDN who I've been tweeting for a while was in store. I nervously introduced myself, exchanged hugs and had a chat that it great to finally put a face to the tweets. Photo was compulsory.


We all grabbed lunch on the run and started to shop, MAC, Burberry, Space NK, Cath Kidson, to name a few and ending at Selfridges. I did protest I had no money that I would not buying anything, so of course it meant I brought something. We did drop in the Kiko Cosmetics store and I ended up raiding the sale trays and getting some of their amazing eye cream shadows from the latest limited edition range. Once my Hubby is out of the way and I can photo them, I'll stick them up here.

Clare also asked us all to bring our own goodie bags to put into a raffle, I cheated and brought a Selfridges gift card with a note saying that the only requirement is to put it towards something they've longed for ages. I drew Clare's bag, full of bits for a mini pampering sessions including Montange Jeunesse faces masks I haven't tried yet, Soap and Glory's Hand Food which I've been dying to try, and Natural Collection's Blusher in Pink Cloud.

Had a really good day, and after all the stresses of the past few weeks was the tonic I needed to feel a lot more Helen and less like Mummy/Wife. Thank you to Clare to organising everything and hope to make the next one!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Entry 300


Blog entry 300 is dedicated to my little family, the long suffering Hubby and Bethany aka Minilemming, the only things that are keeping me going at the moment.

Over the weekend we added another member to the Gray family as my Brother in Law married his long term girlfriend after the civil ceremony on Friday. As you can tell by the quietness it's been madness, but worth every minute.

I wrote in Entry 200 how I and the blog was going through changes, the time it was going from being just a beauty blog to more of a everything blog. I wanted to be able to talk about more things that matter to me, and I knew this more when Bethany came along. I always said that when she was born I knew there was more to life than lipstick.

I am currently going through a tough time, Hubby has finally gone back to work after a year of being out of it, leaving me without the support net I've grown used to.The passing of my aunt has hit me enormously, it's the first close relative I have lost as an adult and mixed with other anxieties I've made the decision to ask for help rather than work through things on my own. When I feel ready I will write about this more but for now I'm only at the start of another journey.

Monday, 4 August 2014

The Elevease Shower Step*


After I wrote about injuring my back post pregnancy, I was asked by the Elevease Shower Step to see if their product could be any use to me while I recover.


The step is an invention of college student Aoife O’Driscoll as a solution to the problem she had of shaving her legs in the shower. ElevEase not only solves the problem of shaving your legs in the shower, it is also great for exfoliating, tanning, moisturising and leg and foot care in general. It adheres to the side of the shower/bath at knee height.

Model not me, sorry
The problem I had when I injured my back is that I could not bend fully over and found it huge trouble to do any 'mainence' on myself. I did have a willing Husband to help but I would rather do these things myself and truth be told I went into labour with hairier legs than I wanted. I did find this really useful, It gave the much needed support so I could bring the lower leg/feet to me, rather than bend for them. 

 I have the white version which is £16.99 or there is the rather snazzy Chrome finish for £23.99, both available from http://elevease.com/ I find this really useful and now with a nearly healed back, I still use it to prevent anymore injuries coming. I even now have one for my Mum who had a major back operation many years ago and is now disabled, she still gets help but she likes that fact that she has that option available if she feel she can use it.

 *Product was provided for my review, views are my own