Tuesday 29 August 2017

Shampoo for Post-Pregnancy Hair-loss

Before I start, this shampoo isn’t sold as a treatment for hair loss in particular, it’s just a product I’ve found that has worked for me...

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen that I popped up a quick picture of a shampoo I use and said how much it has helped me with my post-pregnancy hair loss and I got so many people asking about it that I wanted to share it all with you! 

Since having Millie, my hair loss is terrible. I find it’s at its worst when my hair has been up and so I try to wear it down as much as I can but since having Mylo back in May, it’s hard to keep it down without him pulling it or getting sick in it so it’s quite often pulled on the top of my head in a Mum-Bun or scraped back into a ponytail - taking the bobble out always proves an absolute nightmare and I find that this is when I loose most hair! I discovered this Schwartzkopf Total Repair Shampoo after I had Millie when I impulse bought it from the poundshop in hope it could save my dry, damaged hair and I have used it ever since! 

The shampoo is formulated to help dry and damaged hair and it claims to help stop up to 90% of hair breakage, therefore contributing to less hair loss overall. The use of liquid keratin reconstructs the hair and renews its quality by repairing the damaged areas on the scalp and then inside the hair itself. I’ve definitely noticed a massive difference to my hair since using this and it continues to help and strengthen my hair too, even since re-bleaching it. The shampoo foams nicely, not too much but enough to give you that warm fuzz in your hands and on your hair and it rinses out easily too leaving no residue in your hair. You can team it with the Gliss Conditioner if you want a deep conditioning for your hair but I find that this works perfectly for me on its own. Before using this, the plug would be full of hair and I’d be pulling it out after rinsing the shampoo from my hair - it was awful (and Adam will agree!)

post-pregnancy hair loss

The Gliss range has products for all types of hair including Colour Protect, Ultimate Volume, Ultimate Repair and a Liquid silk shampoo. I’ve used 3 of the range including the Colour, Volume and Repair and I find that this one is the best for my hair type but you may want to try another to see if it works better for you. I shampoo and simply brush through towel dry hair with my Tangleteezer wet brush which also minimises hair loss as it combs easily through tangles and knots without pulling. 

My hair has really been through the wars over the last 10-15 years, I first coloured it when I was 14 and went straight for a full head of highlights and so finding the right shampoo is something that I frequently do. For all the fellow Mums out there - you have to try this as I can probably guarantee you will agree with everything I’ve said! My Mum actually used this for her psoriasis on her scalp and it worked wonders for her! If you do try it, I’d love to know how it worked for you so make sure you tweet me and let me know! 

The best places to buy this are your cheap home stores such as Poundland/shop, The Range, Homebargains and Wilkinsons. 

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Family Activities for Indoors

It feels like only last week that summer was beginning and now it’s almost over! If the colder weather is already creeping in in your part of the world, making you wonder what to do with the family on rainy Saturdays, then don’t worry... There are plenty of ways to entertain kids without going outdoors, especially now that we have so much technology at our fingertips. Whether you’re planning a family day out, babysitting for a weekend or looking for some ideas to add to your rainy day stash, here are some of the easiest and funnest activities to do indoors...

GET ARTY! All kids love art in some form, whether it's drawing, music, dancing or writing. Being naturally creative, Millie loves using her imagination and can often entertain herself for a while with make believe stories, pictures and role plays. Adults sometimes make the mistake of thinking that these activities aren’t for them, and leave the little ones to do it on their own. However, in doing so, I think we're missing out on a great opportunity to bond with our children and, of course, have some fun. We all need to let loose sometimes and get in touch with our childish side, so try to get the whole family to join in with a crafts, music or dancing session. Let the youngest lead the way and see how creative you can get!

KEEP MOVING! We all know how important it is for kids to stay active, but once summer is over how can you make sure they’re getting enough exercise? Luckily there are plenty of ways to keep the whole family active indoors, and this is one way that technology can really come in handy. The NHS Change4Life website features a collection of fun videos designed to get kids moving. Showcasing popular Disney characters and lively songs, they’re the perfect way to get the whole family involved. You can even use them as a starting point to creating your own activities, using your favourite songs as background music. You can take inspiration from games such as musical statues, have a dance-off, or invent your own activities from scratch.

Exercising indoors requires very little organising and no special equipment whatsoever. If you have comfortable clothing and something to play music or video on, you’re pretty much good to go. The only thing you do need, though, is space to move around in. If your living space is a bit cramped, you find find dancing or jumping around a little tricky. To remedy this, you can try rearranging your furniture or opening up your living area with internal sliding doors. However you choose to use your space, you’re bound to find a fun way of getting active without leaving the house.

DAY TRIPS! Staying indoors doesn’t necessarily mean not going out, so don’t forget that there are plenty of rainy day activities you can do on a day trip in your local area. Leisure centres and swimming pools are ideal and obvious places to enjoy a fun day out, but don’t discount quieter venues such as libraries and museums. Places like this often have a program of family activities to keep kids entertained, from storytelling events to craft sessions and educational talks. Our local shopping centre actually has an indoor beach at the moment which is fab! If you can’t think of anywhere in your area to go for family day, have a look online and see if you can’t surprise yourself. There are often lots of places right on your doorstep that you haven’t
even heard of!

GET TECHNICAL! If technology is your worst enemy, its time to change that when it comes to entertaining the family! Although it may seem like we’re constantly trying to get children away from the screens, playing games as a family is a great way to spend a rainy, grey day! If you have a Wii console, it’s a great way to get active and moving but also bond with your kids by using technology. For many children, this offers the perfect combination of computer gaming and active fun. But it’s not just for kids, of course! After playing a few times, you might just find yourself getting hooked on games too. Before you know it you’ll be the one begging the kids to play with you!
(Guest written post)

Thursday 17 August 2017

Fisher Price 'Butterfly Dreams’ 2 in 1 Soother + Giveaway

If there is one thing that we have used religiously since having Millie and Mylo, it’s White Noise. White Noise can help to block out noises of street, home and everything else which may stop you from getting to sleep. Not just used for babies either - we have used white noise ourselves to help us sleep when we’ve struggled and it really does work. I think you focus on the noise whether its the noise of a rainforest, a fan/hoover type sound or a light lullaby, whatever it is, it’s designed to help soothe and settle. 

We have a Ewan the Dreamsheep for Mylo and Millie still uses hers too, its a great way to keep baby settled and you simply click each foot to play a variety of white noise sounds however, it only lasts for 20 minutes and you have to manually click each foot. So we were eager to try the Fisher Price ‘Butterfly Dreams’ soother from Fisher Price when it arrived and have been using it ever since. 

It has a variety of white noise sounds, soothing lullabies and nature sounds, a projector light that has lovely stars and moons projected onto the ceiling, colour changing night light which gives a gorgeous glow to the room and a cute little butterfly bear that can either sit in the nightlight or can be removed and used as a toy. 

The one thing I like is that is has different timers that you can set so there is an option of 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 30 minutes and also different volume settings too - so it will automatically turn off and you don’t have to worry about turning it off yourself. Milo tends to fall asleep pretty quick but we take longer and often rely on the white noise to get us to sleep too so we leave it on for 20 or 30 minutes. 

If you don’t want a standalone soother, you can also get a 3 in 1 projection mobile which has the same sort of features but hangs over the cot. As Mylo isn’t in a cot yet, this is the best option for us and it can be moved into his nursery too! 

I’m also giving one of these away over on my Twitter so head on over and simply Retweet my tweet! I’ll be announcing the winner this weekend! 

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Bobble Art at Intu

We’ve been looking for new things to do this summer and because the weather has been pretty poor, it means we’ve spent a lot of time indoors. But rather than not doing anything or going to the same soft play, we went to Intu Derby, our local shopping centre, as they have some fab events and activities on for the kids this summer! You can have a read of some more indoor activities to do with the family here!

Along with all of the mall activities, Bobble Art had their own in-store activities which included Arts and Crafts for all ages, imaginative play and creative play too! They have a lovely, child-friendly store which encourages children to play and explore with toys for all ages, including ones of Mylo’s age, going right up to ages 14/15 years old. There are painting books, puzzle pieces, backpacks, travel accessories, stationery and lots, lots more! Millie loved playing with some wet and dry paints which is a board that when wet, looks as if it has been painted and then once it’s dry - you can do it all over again! It’s a great way to keep her entertained and I don’t have to worry about the mess either! 

We were also given two amazing goodie bags when we left - one for Millie and one for Mylo. Millie received a Ballerina bag and a Magnetic board in hers and Mylo got a little rucksack (which is going for up Christmas when he’s big enough to use it) and some little animal figures! It was so lovely of them to cater for both children and we also bought some little bits too! Millie loves tattoos at the moment so she got a set of unicorn tattoos (amazing) and a little coin purse which actually went with her bag! 

You can arrange childrens craft parties with Bobble Art which is a fab way to keep kids entertained and an alternative birthday idea too! Take a look at their Facebook page to stay updated with any events and activity days they have on in store. 

Friday 11 August 2017

My Breastfeeding Experience

August is Breastfeeding awareness month and I thought I would share with you my experiences of Breastfeeding... The good bits, the bad bits and the ugly bits! You can also read a little about my experience of a C-Section with Millie here too.

As you know, I had Mylo back in May and Millie is now 4 years old. I knew that when I fell pregnant with Mylo, I wanted to breastfeed. With Millie, it was the complete opposite. I didn’t feel like I wanted to even try - I wanted the ease of being able to go out if I still wanted to and not be overwhelmed with constantly feeding a newborn baby. I did actually feed Millie once as we had our first bit of skin to skin but I couldn’t get on with it after that as I was so sore from my emergency section and so tired, I didn’t have the patience. The midwives tried to get her to latch but it wasn’t working - I was becoming more and more frustrated and so was she, so she had her first bottle in the hospital and took to it fine - she was bottle fed ever since starting on Aptamil and then having to move to Aptamil comfort as she suffered with trapped wind and would bring a lot of her bottle up. 

I didn’t ever feel that I had failed as I knew that I wanted to bottle feed her anyway but I think it’s important to say that whether you have breast or bottle fed, no-one else will know. It’s not like you can point out these people in the street, it doesn’t make a difference in the long run so why beat yourself up about it at the time?! Luckily, I was never pressured to breastfeed, obviously the midwives promote it as it is seen to be better for both Mum and Baby for bonding but both times, it was completely my choice and the midwives supported it completely. 

When I had Mylo, I wanted to try and breastfeed for as long as possible and if not, at least try and combination feed. When I came out of theatre, Mylo happily latched straight on and fed for a good half an hour, after that, it kind of went downhill. I struggled to get him to latch but he was quite clearly hungry, and he took a liking to one boob over the other meaning that I was starting to get sore on that one. The midwives helped lots trying to encourage him feeding on the opposite boob every other feed and they even came and hand expressed for me to get the colostrum out to syringe feed him. During the night, I remember getting a bit teary and worked up because I was becoming sore and could see that Mylo was clearly hungry so I buzzed for a Midwife and asked if it was ok to give him a bottle... she told me that it was completely my choice and if thats what I wanted then go for it! So, I did. I gave him a bottle and didn’t feel bad about it at all. He drank it so fast and secretly I was relieved. From that point on until a little over a week later, I combination fed him. I mainly breastfed first thing in the morning, in the afternoon and last thing at night with bottles in between and it meant that I got some rest and Adam also got chance to bond with him. There was no problem with this whatsoever. Until my milk came in. 

My milk took a little longer to come in and didn't officially appear until Day 6 so I was simply just giving him whatever I could and essentially, topping up with formula. The day my milk came in, it all changed. I was in so much pain, literally toe-curling pain, I couldn’t do it anymore. I was feeding Mylo around 10am and sat crying because I was in so much pain. He was feeding fine but the pain was simply unbearable. I had to give up. I just couldn’t put myself through it when I knew that he had taken to bottle feeding fine and it meant that I wouldn’t cry every time I fed him. I felt kind of sad that I couldn’t do it - not because of the ‘hype’ surrounding breastfeeding, but because of the bond we had whenever I fed him. It’s an unreal feeling and I’m glad that I got to experience it, however, this was something that also made me want to stop...

Adam admitted around a week into being back at home that he was struggling with bonding. He hadn’t felt that overwhelming rush of love yet. He hadn’t bonded because he hadn’t had time to! Because I was focusing on feeding him either breast or bottle, Adam had missed out on the chance to feed him and bond with him. Those hours where you simply just look at them quietly and let the love sink in had been stolen from him because I did all the feeds. I hated this and reassured him that it would come... a few days after, that feeling subsided and everything just felt right. I had made a decision that wasn’t just best for me, but also for my baby and my partner. 

Breastfeeding is such a controversial topic, not amongst Mums but amongst everyone else. Whether it’s people judging others when they do it in public, health professionals pushing it onto new Mums or friends that have had such success giving false hope to Mums. Hopefully, hearing 2 different stories of my breastfeeding journey will give an insight to what it can be like to breastfeed if you’re thinking about doing it yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support it for those who can do it but I honestly don’t feel that it matters - if formula wasn’t as good as breastmilk then it wouldn’t have been made and we wouldn’t be feeding it to our children. A few things that I couldn’t have done without whilst I was breastfeeding though were the Lanolin nipple cream - this stuff was a lifesaver when my nipples started to crack and also a well-supported nursing bra. The one I used was from Bravado - it was so comfortable and I actually still wear it now. It was fully supportive especially when I was sore and aching once I had stopped feeding and had removable pads too! What I did was took the pads out and replaced with nipple pads to soak up any leakages! Another new option on the market you may want to look into is ThirdLove's new nursing bra, which comes in wired and wireless versions. 

But, when it comes to breastfeeding - it’s not Breast is Best, it’s FED is best. Do what’s right for you, not for everyone else! 

Monday 7 August 2017

Holiday Moments of 2017

I can’t believe that we’re in August already and the weather seems to have taken a step back! We had such glorious sunshine at the start of the summer and now, all we’re getting is rain! I’m glad we have already had the best of it and made use of it whilst it was here!

We went on holiday earlier on this year due to having Mylo and of course, being on maternity meant we got to miss the school rush and the increase of prices! Even though it was only a week down in Cornwall, it was a week away for us all to spend some quality time together! We have returned to the same place in Cornwall for 3 years now and plan to return next year too but I thought I’d share with you some of the memories we made whilst we were away! 

We may be taking another little trip later in the year if we’re able to so it might not be our last holiday of the year however, I’m not sure we’ll get the weather we did when we were in Cornwall as it was beautiful the entire time we were there! 

It’s lovely being able to make memories and capture them - both Me and Adam love taking our camera out with us wherever we go, especially when we’re somewhere as beautiful as Cornwall and Truprint have made that easier for you to do too where you can turn them into a canvas or phonebook! If you sign up to their email subscription you also get an additional 15% off your order! We’d be lost without our pictures, we take so many and look back on them year after year, I think we definitely need to take advantage of getting them printed rather than just keeping digital copies - it makes it a lot more sentimental I think to have them to hand.

What are your favourite holiday moments? 
(In collaboration with Truprint)

Friday 4 August 2017

Primark False Eyelashes

I first wrote about these lashes years ago back in 2013 - the pictures were terrible and they looked a little different but you can take a look at it here but, I’ve been using these trusty £1.00 lashes since then and continue to do so now but as you probably know, Primark have recently upped their game in the beauty department and they now have quite a range of lashes and I’ve got to give them credit, they’re fab! 

Now, don’t get me wrong, they’re no wispy mink, natural hair kinda lashes, you’ve got to remember they’re from Primark and they’re only £1.00 - but they’re brilliant. They blend easily to your natural lashes, the strip isn’t stiff and is easily mouldable and they even come off well so you can re-wear them! Simply remove the glue from the strip and voila! I’ve used a pair of mine at least 3 times and they’ve remained perfectly intact. I don’t use the glue that comes with them though, it’s the kind that’s a blue toned white and doesn’t dry completely clear so instead, I use the strip lash glue from KISS which is amazing! It takes around 30 seconds to get tacky and the lashes go on and stay on all day/night. 

The 2 types that I wear most are the ‘Full Look’ and ‘Sultry’ ones as I find that these are the most natural. They have a few other sorts which are a lot heavier or not as long so make sure you go and take a look at the complete range! 

 If you’re looking for some lashes to stock up on or simply want to try out a few new ones then I definitely recommend getting these! I tend to buy 5 or 6 pairs each time I go into Primark and have built up quite a collection as you can imagine. I just need to get some more glue to make sure that I’m fully prepared whenever I come to apply a pair! 

I’d love to know if you’ve tried them before - A lot of people are quite sceptical about Primark Beauty items but I genuinely couldn’t rave about these any more than I already do! 

Tuesday 1 August 2017

Family Photography

Just before I was due to have Mylo, I looked into getting a family photographer to capture his first days and our first moments as a family of 4 but, in reality, it was a tough decision to make with most of the family photographers costing over £100 for a session with just one photo to take away!

 Both Me and Adam are quite savvy with our photography skills but the problem is, it’s difficult to take photos of us all together when one of us has to be the one actually taking the picture! I’m not sure if there are any other people or services out there that specialise in group portrait photography but one way to find out is to use a super quick website called Bidvine. You can search for any profession including Makeup artists, wedding photographers and even pet sitters (we’ll definitely be on the look out for one of those soon!) So I think if we ever decide to have some professional pictures done, we’ll search for the right person on there! 

For the time being though, like I said, we are both quite nifty with our cameras and like to play around with images, especially of the kids and pets, and I’m quite proud of the ones we have taken recently. It’s not only nice for us to take special photos but also share them with family as we have a lot of family split across the midlands and even down in Cornwall so uploading these to Facebook means that everyone else can see them too! 

I’d love to get some little props for picture sessions and make them a bit more exciting - most of them are taken spontaneously so a massive photo session would be amazing, however, they do say not to work with children or animals, don’t they?! 
 (In collaboration with BidVine)