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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Anita Care at Eloise Lingerie & a giveaway

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. 

For those of you who don't know, it's an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.  Sadly many people are all too aware of the disease and have experienced its devastating effects. The campaign is there to encourage people to take steps to identify any signs or symptoms as early as possible and seek advice which could potentially save their life.  

My husband’s grandmother died earlier in the year after a long battle with cancer, so it's a campaign we strongly believe in.

Breast cancer is not always a terminal illness but it can be a life changing one  It's likely that a woman may feel insecure about their new body shape after treatment, so it’s great to find brands out there that cater for people who have been affected in such ways, and I think it's important that we know about them.
Anita Care are a post-surgery lingerie and swimwear brand who create lingerie and swimwear products for women who have undergone breast surgery. Dr Christine Weber-Unger (the creator of the brand) learnt about the individual needs of women with special figure situations and researched and developed products to help with their individual needs. 

In the 1960's Dr Weber-Unger created a special care bra range, where she initially began by sewing fabric breast forms using simple materials which were filled with rice. The first bras containing pockets to hold breast forms were also designed at the same time. The first liquid-filled breast forms were then developed and sold at the end of the 1960's, with the more natural looking silicon being used in the 1970's. 

Anita Care products can be bought online at 
Eloise Lingerie, which is a website dedicated to mastectomy lingerie. They stock a good range of quality items aimed at those who need a little something extra to make them feel as fantastic as always. Eloise has a catalogue which also includes post-surgical swimwear, you can order a copy to look at by calling 0845 22 55 080.


I've very kindly been offered a prize for one of my blog readers. You can win an Anita Beach Sarong. It's a ‘one size’ sarong, so will fit all sizes.  To enter, please fill in the rafflecopter form below. The more fields you complete, the more entries you will gain. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions 
One winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter. 
Entries will be checked - if one of your entries is found to be fake or you haven't liked what you say you have, all entries will be disqualified.
The winner will be notified via email and Twitter (if you leave your handle)
You will have 14 days to acknowledge that you're a winner otherwise a new winner will be drawn.
The prize will be sent from the PR company.
The competition ends on 31st October 2014

Saturday, 27 September 2014

8 months old - baby update

This is late. As always. I think subconsciously I don't write them so I can forget that another month has passed and time is ticking away right in front of my eyes.

The last month has been so busy. I literally feel like we've never stopped and have hardly been in the house.

Personality

He's as cheeky as ever. He's always vocal and loves to hear his own voice, he clearly gets this from his Daddy! His first word snuck out this month too - Dada. I just knew he'd say that before Mammy! Though, to be fair, he doesn't tend to direct it to his Daddy, he just says it, repeatedly throughout the day at pretty much anyone or anything. No 'Mammy' yet.


He's a happy baby, and loves being around people. He thrives on attention. Give him a little old lady and he's full of smiles, especially when they give him a pound. I've trained him well! It's so nice when people remark that he seems like a happy, contented baby, it makes you forget the harder days and it reminds me of what hubby and I created. This amazing little human being!


Health


I mentioned in my last update that we were waiting for a hospital referral for his leg. Yes, well we're still waiting! It turns out our GP didn't actually send the referral though. I'm much calmer now, but I was to put it politely ... a little bit annoyed when I found out.


He had a little stomach bug for a couple days his month. So did hubby, so I had to run round after two poorly men. I had such a fun time ... not!


He's got a cold at the moment, so he's a little snotty monster. It's making him sleep a little more than usual but he still seems happy enough.

Feeding

He's been a little more picky with food recently. He's still eating three meals a day but hasn't eaten as much at meal times as normal, eating a little and then wanting to finish off with his bottle. He still has porridge and toast on a morning and loves it, or loves hiding it in his highchair!


He's an avid fan of cucumber too. I'd say it was probably his favourite thing. 
Sleeping

He's sneaked into our bed recently.  He was stirring and waking himself up hourly during the night, partly I think because of his tooth, so we brought him in with us and he sleeps right through again. It's not a permenant thing and I know it's probably not the wisest move in the world but we're all happy and we're all sleeping and waking up refreshed. 

What we've done this month

We had our trip to the Lake District which the little man seemed to enjoy. He loved picnicking by the lake, going for walks and watching the ducks. We've been to a Christening where he was good as gold and got to spend time with lots of other babies. We've been on lots of walks, and had a chance to see the changing Autumn leaves at Jesmond Dene. We've been shopping with Daddy in Newcastle but we're still totally stuck on what the little man will be getting from Santa. His favourite toys at the moment are an empty cardboard box and a tambourine. 

His swimming lessons started again last week too which he absolutely loves going too. Even when I go back to work hubby will be able to take him as he gets Mondays off work. 

We're hoping for a little overnight stay somewhere this month as it's my 30th birthday and rather than a drink fuelled night out (I'm way past that now!) I'd rather a trip somewhere with my little family. 

I'm going to try and a make a conscious effort this month to tale the little man to some baby groups. I often feel he may have a little too much adult company and not enough time with other babies. 



Friday, 26 September 2014

Sheepskin and Lambskin for children

When I was young I had some beautiful lambskin gloves. My Mam recently found them in her huge stash of things she's kept from my childhood. They're so soft and warm and seeing them made me start looking for some mittens for the little man. I thought they'd be perfect for when we're out and about in his pushchair and weather is crisp and cold or if we are lucky enough to get any snow this year. 

Lambskin and sheepskin can help soothe and calm a baby, helping them stay calm and feel secure. It can also  keep them warm and snuggly in the cold weather whilst absorbing moisture in the warmer weather as the wool helps to regulate temperature. The texture is also ideal as a sensory tool for a baby to touch and feel. 

There are a variety of different products available that are made from lambskin. I found so many nice things online. I've created a little wish list of things I would like for the little man, some of which are sadly out of our budget at the moment but are gorgeous nevertheless. 
I adore this cute trapper Trento hat. It looks cosy and comfortable and perfect for keeping little ears toasty warm during the winter months. If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I'm a fan of these type of hats already. I love the shape and little ears are tucked up safe and warm inside. It is a little expensive at £30 but it looks well made and so sweet. 

I've been after a warm buggy liner literally since the little man was born. I asked for one as a gift but instead people bought us so many clothes that were never worn (don't get me started!) A sheepskin buggy liner would have been ideal in February when he was born as the weather was still quite nippy. I'm definitely going to try and pick one up before the cold weather starts again. This one is really well priced at £39.99 so it's not too much of a stretch to our meagre 'unpaid maternity' budget.

These furry little booties are lovely. They're made from 100% sheepskin and are adorable. They'd make a lovely new baby gift.

I've seen these types of teddy bear all over the place. They feel so soft and cuddly but really do look like something I'd give the dog. I know that they're built to last but at £50 they're WAY out of our league at the moment.

These are the mittens that I'm going to buy for the little man. I love them, especially the fact they have the string connecting them to reduce the chances of loosing them. You can buy them in pale blue, pale pink and brown for a very reasonable £9. I'm going to order the brown ones, I think they'll look fab with both his Autumn and Winter wardrobes.

I've always wanted a lambskin rug. I imagine cold evenings in front of the fire cuddled up with the little man on a lambskin rug. Sadly, we don't have a fire or a rug come to that! I've always wanted to let the little man lie on a lambskin rug and take some photo's. Maybe I'll add this one to our family Christmas list.

Have you bought sheepskin or lambskin for your children?






Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Recent baby bargain buys

I've been really bad.

I've bought so many things for the little man lately and I feel a little guilty. Actually a lot guilty! I'm now on unpaid maternity leave and the little man doesn't NEED any new clothes but I just keep coming across lovely little outfits which he'd look adorable in. So, what else can I do but ram them in my basket and run for the till?!
I thought I'd share some of the bits I've picked up recently for the little man. Some of them were absolute bargains.
I blame Autumn. The time of year when snuggly clothes come out in the shops. It's actually my favorite time of the year for fashion for both me and baby. I think this kind of weather is so much easier to both shop and dress for.
We recently went to a carboot sale to sell some items and I had a little look round while we were there, I got some fab bargains. There was a man selling brand new baby clothes a few stalls down from us so I picked a few items up and I found a lady selling some other baby bits, I got some practically new Next t shirts and baby grows for pennies. 
I adore this little coat. It's very Cath Kidston-esque and a complete bargain at £7 in the sale. It's fleece lined and has a hood, it's such a lovely little Autumn coat.
These jumpers are great. They'll be perfect for the run up to Christmas (I'm saving his PROPER Christmas jumpers for another post - they're amazing). These little jumpers were £6 each from Primark and they're lovely quality with a good amount of stretch let the little man move around easily.
How lovely is this chunky knit cardigan? It's so warm and snuggly, I wish I could get a big persons version! It was a complete bargain at £1.50 and is in immaculate condition.

As the weather is starting to get colder I've been on the look out for some nice long sleeved vest for under the little mans jumpers. This three pack from Primark is great. I love the designs and 3 for £4 is a great price!
The little man actually had this hat and glove set when he was a tiny little baby. I loved him in it in February when it was still a bit nippy and I was really sad when he outgrew it. I saw that Asda were selling them again last week, I had to pick up a bigger set, it was too sweet not too. I love the pastel blue colour and they're such a snuggly little set.

Have you picked up any baby bargains recently?

Office Make-over Action Plan

Our third bedroom has sat empty since we bought our house. It's slowly become a  rubbish tip/Aladdin's cave with little bits of everything piled up. It's currently one of those places you don't go into unless absolutely necessary.A 'close the door and forget about it' kind of room.
We've been deliberating recently as what to do with it. Initially it was going to be a toy room for my son. but seriously, he and his toys have already taken over the entire house so attempting to banish him to one room would be a fruitless task. Instead, hubby suggested making it into more of an office space or craft room (somewhere to banish me too so he can watch football in peace I suspect)! 

Result! I want somewhere I can quietly sit alone and be inspired. Somewhere that's calming and peaceful, somewhere that looks great and has everything I need. 
Before he changes his mind and comes up with another idea I want to get organised and starting decorating the room. It's not the biggest room in the world so it will be a case of trying to make the most of what we have and using the space wisely to create a room that's a pleasant place to spend time. 

I've been scouring the internet for ideas and inspiration for my office make over. I've found some beautiful things and I can't wait to get started on my little project.

I intend to keep the walls of the room quite light and bright. They're currently a biscuit shade so that would have to go. I like off white or very pale cream shades which I think create a calming atmosphere. 


I love the minimalist look but my aversion to throwing things away often hinders this, so a good storage system is a must. I like to be able to keep things but hide them away from other people, making them think I'm clutter free. This pretty blue one has deep drawers which aren't transparent so I can collect and keep all my essential bits and pieces whilst pretending I'm really tidy and a minimalist

Every office needs a good quality desk and this solid Oak Artisan desk I discovered at Cookes Furniture is beautiful. Its a very classic design and would look elegant in any room. It looks solid and built to last, a piece of furniture that would probably out live me! It reminds me of a school desk, I love it's simple look but that it also has enough storage to keep your important things safe and close by. It'd be great to use both as a writing desk or somewhere to plonk your laptop. For me it'd be the later, though it does make me quite sad when I think about how little I actually write now.

I also need a desk I can use for my Project Life albums. I'm recording my sons first year, in what I can only described as 'Scrapbooking for lazy people or the creatively challenged'. I have so many bits and pieces which currently live on the dining room table as it's the only place big enough to cater for the spread I have when I'm working. Hubby would be really pleased if I had a work station big enough to keep me away from the dining room table or living room floor. 

I love this blue table lamp. It's bright and funky without being over the top. I prefer quite simple walls and decor but I do like unique and eye catching accessories. As I'm only ever likely to spend time in my little office on an evening  any extra lighting would come in handy to help my poor tired eyes out. 

I really love the big black leather office chairs you can get but something of that size in my little room would be impractical and take up too much valuable space, so I found this simple grey patterned chair. It'd tuck neatly under the desk when it's not in use and still looks padded enough to prevent an aching bottom.

No office is complete without a token desk tidy. I love these things. I actually have two on my dressing table with make up brushes in them. They're perfect for keeping all your smaller office bits safely in one place.

I have no idea why I'd added a plant to my inspiration board, other than it looks nice. If I bought a plant, under no circumstances would it live beyond a week. I'm a serial killer of the plant world. 
What do you think of my ideas?

Do you have a home office? 


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Our trip to the Lake District in pictures

We recently had a little family trip to the Lake District. We stayed in a little apartment in the centre of Windermere.

We were so lucky with the weather and had a lovely lazy time, going for walks and picnicking by the lake. The little man also had his first boat ride and first paddle.
 First view of Lake Windermere
 Trip on the ferry to Sawrey
Waking up to find a massive Indian procession gathered in the carpark at the rear of our apartment
 A beautiful display from the dancers in the procession
The boats on the waters edge at Ambleside
Bright blue skies and sunny days
Lake Windermere from above
 The valley looking down to the lake
Yeah, I'm very impressed with the scenery ... not
Sleepy seagull
The sun setting at Lake Windermere
Enjoying the grass and his plastic ground sheet! Strange child!
First time paddling at Lake Coniston
Throwing stones 
Across Lake Coniston
Cheeky chops covered in toast
First time on a boat ...
... the sun on his face, the wind through his hair ....
Watching a robin at the park in Grasmere
 Picknicking at Coniston
Coniston as the sun starts to set
Swans and babies on Coniston
Enjoying his picnic
In front of a rather misty Lake Ullswater on our way home


Haberman Dinosaur sippy cup review

Haberman are a brand I have only recently discovered though they've been around for over 30 years and whilst working with paediatricians and dental experts have created a variety of innovative and original feeding solutions for children. 
The brand is stocked across the high street in shops such as Boots, Morrisons and Sainsbury's.The available products range from breast pumps to sippy cups and beakers.   
Harberman have recently brought out a trio of Dinosaur sippy cups aimed at babies 6 months and above. Each cup comes in a bright colour with a dinosaur motif on the front. They have snap-on lids and a long spout which allows a baby to drink independently without getting soaked from any spilled liquid. Each cup has a leak proof valve which prevents water leaking regardless of which way up the cup is held.
I've mentioned previously that we've been using the Doidy cup which I still really like but it's not the most practical when we're out and about as it takes seconds for the little man to completely soak himself and everything round him. We need a cup that's not going to drip or leak as he insists on holding on to it, shaking it and banging it off anything close by. 
We were kindly sent the blue sippy cup to try out after it's recent launch.
The cup is extremely light weight, with wide handles which make it easy for little hands to grasp and hold. 
It's suitable for use from 6 months and costs a rather reasonable £2.95. The cup can hold up to 250mls of liquid and is dishwasher friendly and can also be used in the microwave if you remove the lid. 

This has quickly become the little mans favourite cup. He can easily and effectively drink from the cup and the bonus for me is the anti spill invention!

The cup is great and does what it's supposed too, the only issue I have with it, is the fact it's quite difficult to get the lid on and take off. I usually end up using my teeth. I know it's a good thing as it means it's less likely of coming off during use but it's a bit of a nightmare for an impatient Mammy!

*We were sent the cup for review purposes. Opinions are my own*

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Little Tikes exclusively at Asda

We're huge Little Tikes fans in our house, and the little man has a large collection already, but when we found out that Asda had introduced a new and exclusive range of bright, colourful and engaging toys we couldn't wait to try some out.

Little Tikes Hippo Piano Mate*
The brightly coloured hippo sits sturdily on the floor and is suitable from 6 months. It can be used in two different ways - simply as a piano or as a popping piano where the balls are spat out of the hippos mouth after popping round inside it's tummy. 

It has three chunky keys which light up and play music when they're pressed by little fingers. There's a wide hole on the top which the two accompanying balls can be fed back into.
The little man seems to really enjoy the Hippo Piano Mate, he prefers playing with the balls, throwing round the room and attempting to put them back into the hippo. He's mighty impressed by the fact they come out of it's mouth and hits the hippos head in anticipation.
I like the Hippo Piano Mate as despite it being a musical toy it doesn't have an annoying tune or a really loud sound so it's not too annoying for Mammy either.  It's a sturdy little toy which has already taken a battering from my over enthusiastic child and lived to tell the tale. It comes already pre loaded with AA batteries which gets another thumbs up from me, so no taking apart remotes and clocks to find batteries that might fit. 

After the success of the Hippo Piano Mate I picked up Little Tikes Al the Musicalligator on a recent trip to Asda while we were doing our food shopping. I love his name, I'm a total sucker for a pun! He is usually £14 but was on offer for £10. 

He's a brightly coloured alligator which dissembles into separate musical instruments (though I hadn't realised this until I brought him home). I did initially think he was just an alligator shaped musical keyboard.


His bits include a light up xylophone, castanets as his head, shaker feet and a tail that makes a noise when you rub a stick up and down it.

Someone seems to like Al! The little man is obsessed with the alligators tail and loves waving it round while hitting it with the stick.


Asda currently have a range of Little Tikes toys on offer, where you can pick up 2 toys for a rather reasonable £14. It's ideal for those huge Christmas shopping lists or simply to spoil your little person. 


*We were gifted the Hippo Piano Mate. Opinions are my own*

Sunday, 14 September 2014

An afternoon at Old Hall Farm, Bouth, Lake District

While we were in the Lakes another place we visited was Old Hall Farm - a traditional working farm set in a very scenic location. 

It cost £15 for entry for the three of us. Hubby and I were each £7.50 and the little man was free as he is under 5. Children aged between 5 and 15 cost £5. 

We weren't too sure what to expect as while we were in the Lakes we really struggled to get both internet on our phones or wifi, so we couldn't check reviews or details online. We only knew about the farm as we picked up a leaflet while we were out and about. 
The farm is located in Bouth, south of Lake Windermere, it's well sign posted but you do need to go up some narrow lanes to get there. There's a good sized car park and everything is suitable for pushchair access. 
It's a historic working farm with a variety of animals, including horses, cows and pigs. There's also a children's play area, and cute little tea room which you can visit without paying to get into the farm itself. 
The farm was pleasant enough but to be honest we found there was very little to do, despite the fact their website (which I managed to eventually have a read of when we got home) advertises various activities being available, including Jersey cow milking, ice cream making and animal feeding. We saw none of this taking place during out visit, or any option to as to do it.

As our son is very young that didn't bother us too much but if you visit with older children I think you may be a little disappointed and I think they'd get bored very quickly. 
There are cows, pigs, dogs, horses and ponies, a donkey and some pigs as well as chickens running round everywhere. You can also wander round the barns looking at the old machinery and farm equipment.
There's a barn filled with bales of straw and a tractor for children to explore and play on. The little man loved playing with the straw but was determined to eat it. 
The little man and his Dad were lucky enough to have a short ride on a small pony and trap. He couldn't have looked less impressed if he tried!
There's a little area for small children to play in opposite the tea room. It's really sweet with little diggers and tractors and there are picnic benches so parents can sit and watch.
We paid a visit to the Chicken Shed tea room which is lovely. You can have a quick cuppa or try some of their delicious home made scones with jam and cream. The prices weren't too bad, they were about average for The Lakes. I think it cost us around £10 for two cuppas and two scones. We sat outside and enjoyed the sun while we ate our scones and were pestered incessantly by a black Labrador who ended up getting half of our scones. I can imagine some wouldn't be quite so keen with a dogs head on their lap while the ate their dinner.

Overall I thought the farm was quite nice, small but a pleasant place to visit. The little man doesn't need to much entertaining so it was nice to walk round and look at the animals and let him touch things but I think older children would find it difficult to stay entertained. It kept us occupied for a couple of hours but with refreshments and entry it was quite expensive considering what we say.