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The Wonder Years..how much of this life can we do?

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Take a look at my face...

After a wonderful weekend with some of my oldest friends, I was struck with how well we all scrubbed up. We've always been a pretty lot, I remember an old boyfriend commenting years ago about how all my pals were attractive, and we all talked about how we felt we looked better with age. We're all 38 ish.. and to be honest we do. As my group of girlfriends enter their fourth decade and between us there's been babies, serious operations, sadness and heartache and lots of happy times. There's a lot to be said about how we look...

Because that's the world we live... people comment on how other people look. We can't avoid it, it's everywhere. Yesterday I saw a headline  in The Sun about Lauren Goodger (from Towie) and how she was looking her 'best ever'. Lauren who you may or may not know, has been documented for her yo-yoing figure has not got herself into great shape and is now proudly sharing pics on her social media. She apparently said she was fed up with being a 'fat failure'.

 Her words struck me, to be honest they saddened me. Lauren, who I have never met, has annoyed me with her 'media presence' as she always manages to get herself a load of unnecessary grief from evil tongues due to bad choices in outfits and the photos she's shared Here I am judging!! However it looks like she's been working really hard and I really do hope she's happy as she is now (I'm sure they're be a DVD just in time for Chrimbo - but that's the cynic in me.)

I digress... on my way to meet my girlfriends whilst on the train I caught my reflection and the way the light fell as I went through a tunnel and could see all my wrinkles on my forehead and the pores on my face and I thought.. oh no, my skin! As Isaid earlier, I'm 38 and even if I feel 28, there's lines showing many a good time!

You see, whilst we can all train and eat right and get our bodies looking good, can we halt the lines on our face (yes I know about botox etc) that's not what I mean..Can we use skincare to do it. For years, I've tried to be good at taking my make up off, and cleansing and using moisturiser. Now I am using a night cream when I can afford it, or a serum. and in the words of Ms Bradshaw... it got me to wondering, is it gonna help me?

It scares me to be honest. I don't want to be wrinkly and old looking  - is that awful. Am I so shallow?. I guess becoming a mother seriously makes you realise that you are getting older. Running my own business has probably contributed to an extent, but then my job is good fun so even that doesn't make me feel old.

The lines on my forehead are my biggest concern. I wrinkle my head a lot, what can I say, I have active eyebrows!

With my other half being Mr Herbalife, I was keen to know more about their SKIN range which launched last year. One thing I try to do is use paraben free products and was pleased to hear that Herbalife had launched its line that was just this. Hubby got me a 7 day trial pack and here's the before and after pics.

At the start of the 7 days
After 7 days

Now I don't know about you, but I think I can see a bit of a change. Considering it was only 7 days. I've now added a night cream to my collection of Herbalife Skin products. So I'm using their Aloe Vera soothing face cleanser, good old Nivea moisturiser (had a giant pot to finish)  and the replenishing  night cream. My skin feels good. I like the smell and the feel of the product and I'm going to see if I can stick to a new regime.

Of course, it's also important to keep hydrated and I've been making a real effort to drink more water. Not in a ridiculous way - as a facebook post I made earlier in the month incited all sorts of unexpected comments about the dangers of drinking too much water.. Come on..I'm not talking about bathing in it, and yes whilst focusing on drinking more H20 does inevitably mean more trips to the loo it's much more satisfying to have pee that is almost clear rather than that rancid dark colour - sorry too much!
Anyway, i took a picture last night of my face and I'm going to do the same in a month and if I can see a difference then I will be posting a lot more about these products as I want to see whether they hold their claims.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Breastfeeding in the Library

I have a new date, Rhyme Time, every Tuesday at 11am my little man and I go to the library and sing along with Bookstart Bear.. 

I didn't predict this would be such a entertaining 30 mins of my parenting experience but then neither did I know that I'd get SO good as using my left hand and my feet for things I'd normally use my right hand for!!

My rekindled love affair with the library was prompted by a talk given at one of the post natal classes I'd attended where a lovely lady from St Albans Library made a point of telling us that they encourage noise .Gone of the days of the stereotypical 'sshhhhing' from the angry librarian peering over his / her specs. 

I know it's an obvious thing to highlight the perks of a Library, but did you know you can borrow magazines! Yep no more baby books for me, I've been pawing through them all from Olive to Marie Claire - looking at all the lush clothes I won't be buying whilst on Maternity leave. But what a handy resource whilst spending my dwindling pennies on coffee's with my new mummy mates, I can now get some mags. 

Today's libraries are so uber cool, with the self check in and outs making you feel slightly like you're playing library.. and the books, well apart from noticing the latest Louis de Berniers  book was with on a week loan ( likely!!) so I opted for a knitting book! Ha, I know I've changed but there's a brilliant t-rex and monkey toy i'm going to have  go at. All the latest biographies, travel, cook books, loads of DVD box sets which if you don't have Sky or the like are a winner and CD's... I can't remember the last time I bought new music..

Yesterday after Rhyme Time I was sat with the paper breast feeding my little man and no-one batted an eye lid and I didn't think twice about where I was, which I thought was pretty impressive to be made to feel that comfortable. I do have such fond memories of the library as a child which then turned into somewhat stressed ones - desperately trying to get my dissertation done at University and quote loads of reference books in the hope it made me sound like I knew what I'd written about!

Now  I'm glad to say I've got a good relationship with the place again. So if you've not even thought of using your local library of late, why not make it a date x

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Monday, 11 May 2015

Never mind the election, how's' Kate getting on?

What a week last week... with the general election.. (I'm not airing my views) and it was also the Duchess's first week with Princess Charlotte. 

Now whatever your view on the manner in which the Duchess of Cambridge left the hospital, there is one thing she definitely has in common with the rest of us other new mums... she will be using BREAST PADS!

Now you might think it is a dull life, that of a breast pad but you'd be wrong. I doubt you've ever thought about it much. You might be reading this and have no idea what one is ( mainly used by nursing Mum's). 

The breast pad starts out snugly packed layer of plastic and depending on its manufacturer this will happily split in two when pressure is applied to pull apart. This isn't always the case if you come from Mothercare or Pure Baby however - oh no, you behave like that irritating packed of in flight peanuts served when you decide to fly BA, rather than Easy Jet. You know how you get a little too excited when served your complimentary G&T and pack of nuts... but even your teeth won't open them! The breast pad, like the pack of peanuts ends up a little worse for wear.. The pad doesn't  manage to a safe entrance into the world, instead its already 'dog eared'. 

Now there are the more robust pads, brands whose outer wrapping seems to split neatly in two when earlier mention pressure is applied,thank you Boots and Lansinoh so the first view of the soon to be 'breast' friend is a whole one! Then there is the adhesive strip, how easy to remove can help or hinder. Also whether it is on both sides of the pad seems to differ - why limit the amount of stickiness is beyond me!

A breast pad is normally going to be thrust into the cup of a bra, whilst it's wearer is juggling a baby on one shoulder, probably half dressed with the possibility of the hair dryer going to save time all at once. Meanwhile baby goes from a slightly agitated state to one of hysteria. For this very reason insertion should be simple. sadly, if the sticky tape isn't enough, the pad can move / fall as soon as the bra is slung onto the body. Grrr!

I becomes very apparent that where pads are stored is also an important consideration, for maximum usage they need to be in the nursery, the nappy bag, the loo and the bedside drawer at least.

Throughout the day, a breast pads role is pretty straight forward, which is why your mischievous pad thinks its much more fun to move slightly just to keep its presence known . A favourite trick is to move under the boob only to be discovered in the shower, once the soap has been applied! Other places of interest can be inside tops, or peeking out to get a good view when that removable bra strap hasn't been replaced.

I'm yet to get to the end of a pad's life without it being scrunched up and not as it should be..

Will Kate have this struggle.. I believe she will... no amount of hairdressers, stylists or even having a Prince for a husband can fix the rogue breast pad

Marks out of 10:
5/10 due to poor wrapping 
3/10 impossible to open and scrunch far too easily 
7/10 easier to open but only have sticky on side!
9/10 neatly perforated to pull apart with ease, have sticky on both sides and don't scrunch easily.. 

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Due date...imminent!!

Well this is a strange time.. my due date for my first baby is in 2 days, so of course it's all exciting but what a bizarre waiting game this is. Each morning I've woken up saying to myself, well it didn't happen last night ( the general comments from the midwife being that's when labour will start) plus each day I find myself juggling the desire to push on developing my own business, along with binge watching 'Orange Is the New Black'. 

Nigel Slater's delicious brownies 

Whilst fielding regular calls from excited friends and family I have also been baking, a bizarre selection of items from Nigel Slater's very chocolaty brownies to Davina McCall's sugar free tea loaf   - there's even conflict in my recipe choice!
Davina's sugar free tea  loaf - even better toasted

Don't get me wrong, I know I'm perfectly justified in doing very little at this stage in my life, with what is about to happen. My dear pals with kiddies keep telling me to just chill. Family members get more protective with each phone call,but it's not in my nature to just stop.

Any small business owner will know it's hard to just stop - as there's always something to be done, yet i'm bouncing on a ball whilst at my desk, and every so often crawling around on all fours ( due to needing to move the bump a bit) so it's not the ideal working set up. I have been bemused by several bizarre conversations with male clients over the last few days, who are asking me whether I'm scared. It feels like it's the question they've always wanted to ask.. 

I'm not going to dwell on how I actually feel about the imminent labour. I'm now FULLY aware now thanks to the market trader in St Albans market on Saturday, who after informing me with a big laugh that I had 'such a cute pregnant waddle', went on to assure me 'we all get through it though'..Sound advice.  

But the waiting continues..it's fascinating playing with time like this. Yesterday after a poor night's sleep I didn't actually get out of bed until 11.30am, much to my husbands amusement. Yes I made a good dent in @OITNB. Today however I was awake at 4.30am, thinking about how only a month ago, it was the time I used to leave the house to go and host my breakfast radio show for Heart. 

It's now 8.10am and I'm blogging, so taking full advantage of my focused mind. 

I guess the outcome to my questioning is to continue to go with what I feel whilst it's still just me and my other half in the picture. I know how very shortly ALL our priorities will change and can't wait for all that lies ahead.. 

I just thought i'd make a record of today, probably for my own amusement. I'll be looking back sleep deprived very shortly and thinking... WHAT TF!!


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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Wonder Years..how much of this life can we do? : If you're pregnant - don't smoke. SIMPLE!

The Wonder Years..how much of this life can we do? : If you're pregnant - don't smoke. SIMPLE!: I'm so maddened with the news today that pregnant women who smoke are to be given financial incentives in the form of shopping vouc...

If you're pregnant - don't smoke. SIMPLE!

I'm so maddened with the news today that pregnant women who smoke are to be given financial incentives in the form of shopping vouchers to stop smoking!

It's not enough for the expectant mother to be given the information that smoking is the cause of around 5,000 miscarriages a year, as well as more than 100 still births and more than 100 infant deaths.

Oh no, because of their reluctance to stop there has been a trial of more than 600 women in Glasgow. It found that smokers who were paid up to £400 in shopping vouchers were more than twice as likely to quit! This is meant to be an alternative to the £87.5m it costs the NHS to treat the after affects of smoking during pregnancy in babies and mothers.

At 9 months pregnant with my first child maybe I'm more sensitive to this. The responsibility when carrying a child is massive and as a former smoker I'm fully aware of how addictive the fags can be. 

But my incentive to stop was trying to conceive.. that to me was so important as I wanted to be as healthy as possible. 

Then when it took longer than expected and being more complicated that we'd hope,  to fall pregnant - trying to keep my health at an optimum was such a priority. 

I'm just filled with disdain for women who smoke during pregnancy and have been guilty of throwing evil looks when I've seen them - because it exasperates me! I smoked from aged 15, it was such a part of me - but I couldn't have ever imagined smoking whilst pregnant.

There is JUST NO excuse. 

I'm currently binge watching Call the Midwife where everyone smokes and it's bizarre to think how it was so accepted in the 50's but NO more. Your willpower and your future child's well being should be the only incentive you need and I don't think i'm being naive here. 

What kind of message are we saying in society 'Hey pregnant lady who smokes, here's £400 shopping vouchers to help you quit' 

Not even once you've quit. 

What about all the women who don't smoke or have managed to quit, nah, you don't get the vouchers - which could really help prepare for you baby, because you are responsible adults it's just the bloody idiots who have the likes of Kerry Katona speaking out on their behalf. 

As I've already had a rant on my facebook about this a fellow pregnant friend has informed me that Kerry has said something along the lines of the 'stress' of quitting the fags would cause to the mum would harm the baby. 

Get that woman a gag!

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Friday, 9 January 2015

Moved to the couch...

Having reached 33 weeks of being pregnant and completed our #NCT classes the countdown really is on for the upcoming arrival of our first baby!! Excitement, fear - lots of emotions running as I get ready to leave work as well.. 

Now, I confess I was slightly nervous about the whole NCT class. Everyone tells you it's where you make 'friends for life'. However the weekend before a pal told me over lunch how she knew instantly at her class, that there wasn't a single couple her and her hubby would gel with.. eek. I purposely didn't mention that to my other half and put it to the back of my mind. 

We went to a weekend intensive course and...it was good. The lady taking the course told us all we needed to know using various quirky methods. We saw some graphic pics, drank lots of tea and  we have a great group. The emails are flowing, the facebook and what's app group are being set up and it all feels rather lovely to have access to folk in the same boat as us. 

This Wednesday night was our breast feeding session and another opportunity to share tips, including one new friend - saying she'd slept on the couch the night before and had the best night's sleep ever.

So as I woke at 1.24am this morning, ahead of my 4.00am weekly alarm , with all the aches and pains of being weeble shaped. I thought - enough is enough (my pillow den all around wasn't cutting it) plus there's only so many times I can keep my husband awake this side of the baby arriving... 

Of I went to the couch and OH MY, a lovely deep slumber for the few remaining hours I had left. I know sleeping on the couch isn't anything revolutionary, but comfort and sleep get less and less the more pregnant you get and when like me you have to get up early for work - such a simple revelation is worth writing about!  

So I'm writing this all sprightly and optimistic that my sleep tonight will be as good and as a tip to any other preggars ladies,  - get on that couch!

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