Monday, 23 June 2014

Feeling like a Mum who has conquered the world, all because I stuck to a new bedtime routine for Thing 4! I have my evenings back!

Ok, so first of all I should probably say that I shouldn't speak too soon. It's Day One in the 'regain control at bedtime' house! Over the past few months, or even longer than that, we have lost our evenings because it is spent sorting out various children who refuse to go to sleep and keep getting up out of bed. Thing 4, aged 4, is the worst.

Recently the earliest has been around 11 o'clock that he falls asleep. Some mornings we have found him asleep in his big brothers bedroom and most other mornings if he is in his bed he then sleeps in until 10.30 because he is so tired from the night before.

As a Mum I know this is unacceptable for a 4 year old. Some evenings we would give him his iPod to play on in bed in the hope it might just keep him in his bed, but then he's not going to sleep even though he is tired. Recently though he is just constantly up and down over anything. I want a drink, I need the toilet, I don't like the dark, someone left the light on. The list goes on! He insists he needs the toilet only 2 seconds after he has just been or after you have just put him bed for what feels like the millionth time of the evening.

So, the late nights were really getting to me. We lost our evening of peace, that we really needed!

Tonight I sat Thing 4 down and showed him a star chart I had made him. He gets a star for each night that he stays in bed nicely. I went through his bedtime routine with him and laid down the rules of no iPods etc... Bedtime went well, I read him a story and made sure he used the toilet. I stood outside his door as I knew he would start getting up straight away. I fell back on the well used method of putting him back in bed without talking to him and walking straight back out again. To my amazement this only lasted about half an hour before I felt I could retreat further than the hallway. I was sure he was still awake and I imagined any minute that I would see Thing 4 stood at the front room door. He didn't surface! I had to go and check that all was ok and he was asleep, yay!

I can imagine that we will have the same routine tomorrow and it may be worse than it was today and I am sure it will take a good few weeks or more too. Until then I am happy to take my seat at the top of the stairs whilst he decides whether to get up or not.

I am feeling really positive today. This is one thing I really needed to get on top of as the late nights and messing about were really getting to us. I have enjoyed my quiet evening with children in bed when they should be and I look forward to many more evenings like this. It won't all be plain sailing but a good first night has put me in a very positive way.

However, the OH is on his own tomorrow evening. If I don't crack sleep time before I go out I would like to think that he will carry on with putting him back in his bed and not talking to him otherwise he will blow the whole operation!!

I will hopefully report back on a successful week.


Tonights mission complete. 7pm bedtime, asleep by 7.30. Happy Mummy!

House of Beauty beauty salon, nestled in the grounds of Warbrook House hotel. Treatment list includes massages, facials, waxing & much more.



Introducing the wonderful House of Beauty beauty salon. Nestled in the gorgeous surroundings of Warbrook House hotel in Eversley if you are in the area you need to pop in. Also if you are staying at the hotel or attending an event there make sure you book in for some pampering whilst you are there.

With a full treatment list as follows below there is something for everyone and they also carry a range of Dermologica products to buy.


House of Beauty launched on April 5th 2014 and has already received lots of compliments and feedback on their Facebook Page including 5 stars for the full body massage and facial. Another happy customer had a manicure and commented on the treatment she received as well as the relaxing surroundings in which the salon is set.

Other treatments include; Manicures, Pedicures, Waxing, Tanning, Swedish massage and hot stone massage, Facials, Tinting, Hopi Ear Candles and also Make-up for weddings, proms, special occasions.

Swedish massage and the Hot Stones massage can be full body or just back and neck and they also offer an Indian head massage.

House of Beauty also offer Bespoke packages to suit your individual needs whether it's a bridal, holiday or a pamper yourself package.

I have yet to try out a treatment but am looking forward to booking in a facial very soon. One review focussed on the facial and how it was tailored to her specific skin type and requirements.

Lots of praise too for the lady who launched House of Beauty back in April. Visitors receiving treatments were impressed by her knowledge and passion for her products, plus a warm welcome in relaxing surroundings on every visit.

I attended a wedding at Warbrook House back in February but unfortunately House of Beauty wasn't open. Had it been I would have taken full advantage of my stay in the hotel and booked in a treatment whilst I was there. As previously stated, whether you are just passing by the area or staying at the hotel for a function, a beauty treatment from House of Beauty is a must whilst you are at Warbrook House or in the area.


There have been offers advertised on their Facebook page since opening so do keep an eye out on their Facebook page for more offers in the future too.

Coming Soon! 



Find the website here at House of Beauty, Email; vanessa@myhouseofbeauty.co.uk or call on 0118 402 5938 for bookings or enquiries. 









Thursday, 5 June 2014

NEW PRODUCT; The Food Snood. Breastfeeding scarf, stylish yet effective breastfeeding cover designed by a WAHM.

Introducing The Food Snood! A fantastic new baby product created by a work at home Mum. It is a fantastic scarf for Mum which turns into a breastfeeding cover when needed for when you are feeding baby.

I know a lot of ladies are quite happy to feed their baby out and about wherever they are but some Mummies feel the need to cover up or just because they prefer to. Either way is fine in my eyes, feeding a baby is the most natural thing in the world but if covering up is what you do then The Food Snood is for you. Even if you don't usually cover up The Food Snood is ideal for the coming summer months when a bit if shade is needed too.

A very stylish yet effective breastfeeding cover and scarf it is ideal as a gift for a new Mummy or Mum-to-be.


Worn as an infinity scarf but when unlooped once and transferred to one shoulder and opened out into an amazing breastfeeding cover for times when you wish to be discreet in nursing your baby. The circular design means your cover goes around your body, it can't be lifted up, pulled off or blown up like other available covers.

Worn as a stylish scarf means it is always at hand for when feeding on demand.

Made from top quality knit fabric which allows them to be cool in Summer and warm in Winter. They drape beautifully and allow stretch but keep their shape and wash really well at low temperatures.

The Food Snood will also be available in Food Snood XL which is double the width. ideal for new Mums who may not be so confident in getting an easy latch or those who wish to have full torso coverage.



Many patterns will be available shortly if you have any requests or questions please follow The Food Snood on Twitter for upcoming events and news.

The big Launch Party takes place on their Facebook page on Friday 13th June from 7.30pm. Prices are £15 for a Food Snood and £25 for an XL Food Snood. Launch Party special prices of £9.99 and £19.99 are available on the first 20 Food Snoods which are exclusives and the prints will not be repeated. See the Facebook page for full Launch Party details and T's and C's.

Following the Launch Party The Food Snood will have a stock album on their Facebook page which will hold 10 ready made items which will be available to post the next working day. Custom orders will be made via a waiting list system for specific requests. Some fabrics will be limited edition and will only be available once or twice so if you like a snood be sure to buy before you are disappointed and it's snapped up!

The Food Snood will also be focusing on prints and fashion trends and will soon be creating a range of hand dyed Snoods both tie dye and ice dye. Just watch their Facebook page or Twitter for updates on this.

You could also pick out a pattern to match a particular outfit or to wear out for a special occasion, why stop at one Food Snood!


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Me, Myself and my (lazy) Eye. Why I don't do pictures of myself and why my one wish is to post a selfie pic without having to hide from the camera all of the time!

This is a BIG post for me to be writing. People who see me every day know about it but people who I chat to online don't know. Why? It's because I never post pictures of myself, if I have to be in a picture (dread the thought) then I try to look at a certain angle, never at the camera. Or more recently with my weight loss pics I get my whole body in and chop off my head!


A rare picture of me, just doing my gazing into the distance look! 

Having just read a blog post from another Mummy where she was saying about feeling conscious of how she looked when meeting up with other people, I feel the same but for different reasons.

Recently whilst out with friends celebrating my birthday my bestie wanted a photo with me. Oh how I wanted it to be a nice photo. Sit together, take a photo, post online, job done. However, I didn't want that photo to be taken. I didn't want everyone looking at me whilst they tried to take a snap that actually looked half decent, they aren't going to get one.

Anyone would think that now I've lost some weight and am feeling good about myself I would want photo's taken. I do, as long as my head isn't in the shot! I've become quite vain when it comes to walking past the bathroom mirror and looking at the new skinnier me. I focus on my flatter tummy (certainly not flat and still very wobbly!) but nicer to look at than the previous me.

So, what's the problem you may ask. Well, when I was around 3/4 years old I was treated for a 'lazy' eye. I'm unsure of the technical terms but let's be honest it is being bloody lazy recently too! Anyway, after the operation and patching it all went well. I wore glasses right up until my late teens and from then onwards I was told my eyesight had got better and there was no need for glasses. So roll on to age 25 ish I would say. I've tried looking back through old photo's to pin point where it all started going downhill! Everything was ok up until then I would say. However, now it's got really bad and really noticeable and I hate it.


Not an amazingly close up picture but this was in 2010 and it doesn't actually look too bad. Also pre weight loss, eurgh! 

Very rarely do people mention it but it's there, right on my face. I can't hide it, when you are talking to someone you have to make eye contact. I was out a few weeks ago and a little girl said to me 'Why aren't you looking at me', I changed the subject but children say it how it is don't they!

So, I want it fixed. It's been on my mind for a year or more now but it's getting round to doing something. What do I do? Who do I ask? I've been told patching at such a late age (kidding myself that I'm still 21!) won't work but I bought some anyway but then I don't wear them. I won't go out wearing one so even if it was going to work it wouldn't be effective unless I wore it 24/7 for a certain amount of time. Although patching to me seems a lot easier than going through surgery. I was also told by my optician that if I did have an operation, even though it would work to fix the lazy eye, it may give me double vision so that threw a spanner in the works, would I really want to see 2 of everything all of the time?!

So there it is, I've put it out there and I've even added the dreaded picture that I didn't want anyone to see. I know it's there, it annoys me every single day but I don't go around shouting it from the rooftops, well until now.


Eurgh, it's hideously horrible and I hate it. I don't believe I have even put the pictures up! Second picture is to show that when I cover my good eye the other one decides it's going to wake up! 


The killer statement for me was soon after I had reached my goal on my weight loss journey recently, whilst the OH is quick to comment on my flatter tummy and tell me 'Hasn't she done well' he was also just as quick to announce 'Maybe you could get your eye sorted'. WTF, needless to say that he was so close to needing more than a surgeon to sort his face out after I had finished with him! :-(




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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Yelling down the street like a wailing banshee in a Primark nightie. My manic morning with 5 children and my day pretending to be a mum of one!

So I awoke this morning with a whoop and a quick Twitter update to say that I was looking forward to my day. It's one of my two days a week that I can pretend to be a mum of one as all the other children are at school/college/nursery and Thing 5 should get some quality time with Mummy. However, this is now not the case. Here is how my morning goes;

Bearing in mind the OH had an early start so he was gone by the time we all woke up, I was on my own. It was me against them and I was up for the challenge today. Thing 5 woke up at 7am, great except I needed the other four children up, he could have slept in a bit longer.

So I run like a loony between four bedrooms to wake everyone up. I spend most of my time at Thing 1's bedroom door, in fact probably 10-15 times I end up shouting at his door to get him up and motivated. By now Thing 5 has joined in with the shouting, bearing in mind he is only 22 months old his cry of  'CAAAALLLLUUUUUMMMM' has been learnt well!


Thing 1 and Thing 4, butter wouldn't melt?! 

Thing 2 woke up straight away and amazingly for once I was able to leave her to it, she got dressed and even made her own lunch, usually they would wait for me to lay out an outfit and to make their lunches. Thing 3 woke up with a groan, I announced that her clothes were laid out and waiting, if I don't do it she will shout for me to get her clothes yet she then walks down in a completely different outfit, what the heck is that all about?!

I let Thing 4 lie in for a bit longer whilst I sorted the other three. By now Thing 1 has risen from his pit and got dressed. I stupidly think I can go upstairs and get dressed. It happens every time, as soon as I hit the top of the stairs World War 3 breaks out. Thing 2 shouts upstairs that Thing 1 did something, Thing 1 is riled and hunts out Thing 2, I run back downstairs to separate the two. Then Thing 2 is moaning at Thing 3 to hurry up as they are going to be late for school. Thing 3 runs on her own time schedule which includes taking 10 minutes to put each sock on.

Finally I get Thing 2 and Thing 3 out of the door. Thing 1 looks out the door sees the rain and refuses to go out and make his way to college. I rant and rave as I run upstairs to try and get dressed and ready. As I get to the top of the stairs I hear Thing 3 screaming from down the road, I look out of the upstairs window and see Thing 2 dragging her up the road by her backpack.


Thing 3 and Thing 2, they sat together nicely for 2 minutes in this picture?!


This is where the wailing banshee comes into play aka crazed mother who at 8.30am has already had enough. I called them both back and gave Thing 2 a stern talking to and they start their journey again. God knows what the neighbours thought, or the workmen who are currently working right outside the house!!

So in conclusion, my children take the pee and don't do enough for themselves in order to be ready for the day ahead, they are too quick to argue and fight with each other rather than help each other to make a situation easier and I am one frazzled Mum.

Oh and Thing 4 who was having a lie in did get up, dressed and off to school with no problems whatsoever, Thing 1 never went to college and I despair I really do. Thing 5 is still in his jammies, and keeping out of Mummy's way!!

Alcohol at 9am, I'm so close!!!!

Monday, 2 June 2014

REVIEW; LEGO Duplo Creative Picnic Set 10566, 52 piece set including burger making and ketchup plus others

As Thing 5 gets older and is no longer into playing with the baby toys, we are trying to find him more things to play with as he grows up and starts exploring the world through his more grown up toddler eyes. He is 22 months old now and I keep forgetting that he no longer wants the annoying musical repetitive toys but wants to be so more hands on with his toys as he gets older.

Whilst on a trip to a local toy shop recently we were summoned straight to the Lego aisle by Thing 4, aged 4.5 years. Whilst he stared open mouthed at how much Lego was on offer I glided down the aisle towards the Duplo sets leaving Thing 4 and Daddy wondering how they could smuggle a Lego Simpsons house set out of the store! Myself and Thing 5 stumbled upon the Lego Duplo Picnic set amongst all the other Duplo sets available.


The Lego Duplo picnic set just as it had arrived. :-)


With 52 pieces in the set all contained in a lovely colourful box, we had to have it. The pictures on the front were vibrant and showed us exactly what we could expect from the contents inside. Although we do already have a Duplo brick box set 5506, the picnic set was ideal for a toddler who could see a more defined end product with minimal brick usage to make each model. Our older children are quite happy with a box of bricks and can use their imagination to make whatever they want to but Thing 5 isn't quite there yet.

The Duplo Picnic set is aimed at the age range of 1.5 yrs to 5 yrs and was priced at £19.99 from the store we purchased it from, although is available from many store and online retailers.

As soon as we got home from the toy shop we opened up the Duplo picnic box and set to work making different things. The first thing had to be a burger with a bottle of ketchup on the side! Thing 5 loved it, he loved the end product and could easily see what was made. With a handy booklet inside that shows you what can be made with the contents inside we were able to make burgers, a carton of milk, some grape jam, a tomato, some grapes, an orange plus other things too. You can even use the lid as a serving tray when your food is ready for a pretend picnic!


Some food made from the pieces in the set. 

Needless to say the set appealed to the older children too and I have eaten many a Duplo burger since our purchase with ample amounts of Duplo ketchup too!

This is a fab little set and keeps the children entertained as it opens up a whole new play experience with the role play of picnics and eating with friends too.

We now have our eye on the Lego Duplo Creative Cakes set 6785 and the Lego Duplo Creative ice cream set 10574 as our next purchases so we can really enjoy a feast at our next picnic!

Reconnecting with our gNappies journey. New prints available. Plus updating some old gNappies photographs.



Last year I used gNappies cloth nappies for Thing 5. They were the first cloth nappy that I had tried that I really got on well with. No leaks!

The gNappies system is really easy to use and they come in four sizes. Small (8-14 lbs), Medium (13-28 lbs), Large 22-36 lbs) and a few select colours in Extra Large (34 lbs plus). Each nappy comes with a pouch and the outer fabric nappy cover. You then put your inserts in the pouch. GNappies sell both reuseable and disposable inserts. The wet disposable inserts are also compostable.

Just grab your fabric outer cover, snap in a pouch, pop in your inserts and you're away.

So last year we were 100% cloth and then, I must admit, I just got lazy. I reverted to disposables. The OH was never really the supportive one when it came to the cloth nappies. Sometimes a little grumble was heard when he had to change a nappy and then take it to the bathroom to sort rather than just throw it away. So with that and the fact that I had seven peoples washing to do as well as the nappies I kind of slipped into using disposables again.

So here we are again back to the cloth nappies. I chose to stick with gNappies as they worked well for us and I am loving the new styles that have recently been added to their collection. I have purchased Larges for my 21 month old son and we are almost ready to go. I have just searched out and bought some inserts which are suitable for a heavy wetter!

gNappies new colours and patterns that have recently been released are Go Big, Gamma, Gauze White, Great White shark, Gulfstream green, Groundhog, Good Natured and Gingham Girl. These styles are sold alongside their range of block colours that are also available. Gamma and Go Big also have matching baby legs, Gingham Girl has a matching dress and Great White has a matching t-shirt.


My most recent gNappies purchases. Top row (l-r) Great White shark, Go Big, Good Natured.
Bottom row (l-r) Gauze White, Gamma stripe and Gulfstream Green. 
All currently available from the gNappies website.


They also have a fab and vast range of various styles and colours from previous collections which, if you can search them out preloved, are well worth a look at as they are gorgeous too.

We are ready and perfect timing too. Summer (ish) is almost here in the UK which means we can see a washing line full of drying nappies, baby gets to flash his fluff because it's warm enough to and no stinky nappies filling up the bin outside. Win, Win, Win!!


 


Two photo's from last years gNappies collection that I had. First is Aloha and the second is the gorgeous gRegal that was made to celebrate the birth of Prince George. (Modelled by Thing 5!)