My thoughts on the latest additions to the LighterlifeFAST range

I did the LighterlifeFAST 5:2 this summer. My experience was a positive one - weight loss mixed with tasty shakes, scrummy snack bars and filling dinners. I was honest, as always, whilst blogging through my 5:2 journey using the LighterlifeFAST packs and had to share my feelings about the Spaghetti Bolognese. I really didn't like it all - I never even finished one serving out of the whole box, I just couldn't.



LighterlifeFAST got in touch with me recently and asked if I would like to try their latest additions to the range so I thought, why not? I enjoyed the 5:2 plan and all but the one of the fast packs so let's see if the new additions where as good as the majority (or as bad as the bolognese!)

I was sent 2 items; Curry and Pink Grapefruit Drink.

LighterlifeFAST Curry.
Upon opening the sachet, the aroma instantly makes an impact on you. This actually smells like a real curry! Microwave for 4 minutes after having mixed the sachet's contents with 5oz of hot water, stirring once half way through, and the dish is done.

The portion is small, but then at 155 calories per serving what can you expect?! It doesn't really look like curry, more a mince based chilli of sorts, but the dish is both aromatic and flavoursome, with a real texture to it too. There's no denying that this is curry going by the flavours! You can actually chew on the meat and feel the rice in your mouth, which is great.

I used 5oz as recommended to make this dish but it was really filling with quite a heavy feel to it. Perhaps add an extra oz of water to thin it out a little, giving some more sauce.

It's the most 'normal food' flavoured LighterlifeFAST Fast Pack dinner of them all if you ask me. I rate the curry!

They retail at £8.99 for a pack of 4, exclusively at Superdrug.

LighterlifeFAST Pink Grapefruit Juice Drink.
This drink has been introduced as an added extra to the 4 fast packs a day on your LighterlifeFAST days. Make 1 litre of juice with just one sachet, and you get 10 sachets per box. That's a lot of calorie free juice! The best thing about a sachet making a litre is that it reminds you to get your daily fluid in take. If the jug's sitting half full in the fridge before you go to bed at night, you've not drank enough!

Sometimes, water just isn't fulfilling, and when 'dieting' it can make you feel like you're missing out - often having a counterproductive effect.

This is a real thirst quencher with a fabulously fruity flavour. (I love it - I'm drinking some right now whilst typing this up.) You could even make your own lolly-ices using this juice so it gives something further different to your diet, that isn't counted towards your fast pack allowance of 4 per day. Definitely a fan of this new addition!

They retail at £9.49 for a pack of 10, exclusively at Superdrug.


DISCLAIMER: I WAS SENT THE ABOVE SAMPLES FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVIEW. 
I WASN'T PAID FOR THIS POST AND ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN - OPEN AND HONEST AS ALWAYS.



Finley's New Keepsake from Feather Grey

Predominantly known for their party supplies, pretty tableware and decorations Feather Grey offer everything you'll need to set up a party, for any occasion. From child's party bags/favours including wooden magnets, stickers and chocolate, to tools you need to make cookies and cupcakes, you choose your theme and you'll pick pretty much everything you need up from these guys.

What makes occasions more memorable than having a keepsake of some sort? Well, you've chosen your theme and got all you need, why not grab a framed keepsake in keeping with the theme that was chosen.

I was lucky enough to have a personalised Framed Keepsake gifted to me for the purpose of reviewing it's quality. In keeping with a baby shower theme that is available on their website, this keepsake could be the perfect gift to run on from the shower, once the baby has arrived.

All they needed to know in order to do this was Finley's full name, DOB and birth weight. I've lost count of the amount of times I've told you about my love for personalisation so straight away you know how excited I was to see the outcome. Here's what arrived...


Packaged in beautiful blue tissue paper sealed with a logo'd sticker, it already screamed "GIFT!" at me. Anything that arrives as delicately and beautifully packaged as this just has to be gifted to someone, based on initial impact alone. It sets high expectations to the recipient in my opinion!

As you can see those high expectations were met, and some. How stunning is that picture? So minimal yet decorative at the same time. The frame is glossy and shiny, and the glass has been polished so much so that it sparkles. It wouldn't look out of place in any baby's nursery, be it colourful and specifically themed or a minimalistic white-washed room.



Size-wise, this is bigger than I anticipated, the frame being 12x12" and the print 10x10". Whether it's on a mantelpiece, shelf, or wall mounted this print will be a great focal point in any room.

Selling for £39 is it worth it? Yes. The quality is wonderful, the packaging is a delight and the size of it means it can have a real impact in whatever room it lives.  This will be a cherished keepsake for many many years. I adore it. They also do girls personalised keepsake pictures too, don't worry!

You can see Feather Grey's range at feathergreyparties.co.uk

DISCLAIMER: I WAS SENT THE ABOVE SAMPLE FOR PURPOSE OF REVIEW. 
I WASN'T PAID TO WRITE THIS POST AND ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN - OPEN AND HONEST AS ALWAYS


Giveaway Special!

I've included Feather Grey's Colouring in Sets in our Christmas Gift Guide as they're are exactly the sort of thing that Carson would go crazy for.

Who doesn't love colouring in?!

Best thing is, these sets come in 10 themes, from princesses to monsters so any child will love these tinned colouring activity sets.

They retail at £9.95 each and Feather Grey Parties have teamed up with us to offer one of you a set of your choice.


GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**T&C's are in the rafflecopter widget**

Winner Announcement!

Another day, another winner to be announced. This time we were offering you the chance to win a goody bag crammed with Bepanthen products for both mummy and baby.

The answer the the question was, indeed, Centella Asiatica. That is Bapanthen Stretch Mark Cream's ingredient known to stimulate collagen and fibre production resulting in strengthening of the skin. 
One person answered "don't know" even though it was in the post you entered via. Oh well, better luck next time!
Well done to everyone who did answer correctly! 

So the entries have all been verified and I'm very pleased to announce that the winner is....

Visible Toothy Pegs! #BabyBabble

A couple of weeks ago, I told you that Fin had finally cut his first tooth at 23 weeks old. Well, 2 long long weeks later, it's finally visible (ish) on a picture, wahoo!



He still remains very niggly, and has gone off of his food this week (just when he was doing so well with weaning too). 
I can't bear to see the pain he's going through, he's just at that poor little age where he can only chew on his hands rather than holding a teething ring himself. He still likes Dentinox teething gel but his Nin bought some Bonjela the other day and he reeeeaaally doesn't like it. His face is hilarious contorts into all kinds of expressions when I give him some and I am lovingly sprayed with spit. I've not managed to get a cracker of a picture of that yet. Too busy laughing trying to comfort him. It's something like this though...


Ohhh, teething is so mean. But the journey has only just started. Resilient little mites aren't they?

#BabyBabble

Remember, sharing is caring. 
So go ahead and tweet, facebook, g+ or scream from the rooftops. 
Spread the word to get your posts seen on this week's linky!

My experience with MultiCIG's MultiVAPE Device

I have smoked since I was a teenager. God knows why. It's a horrid habit to have gotten into. It's funny though because I quit when pregnant with Carson and never went back to my usual habit after he was born - just more of a social smoker. You know when you have an alcoholic drink and it just screams "CIGGY NOW", yeah well I was that kind of smoker.

When I was pregnant with Finley I quit smoking again, and it was e-e-eeeasy. Let me tell you, the smell knocked me physically sick and any of my colleagues at work who'd had a smoke on their break just knew to keep away from me - or face the wrath of a pregnant woman.

After Fin was born I hardly smoked at all. That is, until my Dad died. Then I took right back up to how I was in my late teens - around 20 a day. Given his cause of death (haemorrhagic stroke) and the family history of stroke (my Sister and my family on my Mum's side have suffered with TIA's, or mini strokes) I just had to stop, or cut down at the very least.

The timing was impeccable when I received an email from MultiCIG offering me the opportunity to trial their vaping devices and I took up their offer immediately. I was sent a MultiVape Starter Kit which consists of the device, charger and 7ml of Tobacco Leaf flavoured liquid and retail at £24.99.

Getting started.

The device itself is usb chargeable as with most devices available these days. It's perfect for someone like me, I can charge in the laptop whilst blogging! 

So first things first, remove the base from the tank and mouthpiece and screw it into the charger. Whilst charging it will show a red LED until it is fully charged and it lights green. (Scroll down for image)

The top half of the device consists of the coil, tank and mouthpiece. Simply uncrew the tank from the coil (so that the device is now in 3 parts), tip upside down so the mouthpiece is facing the floor, and fill with your e-liquid of choice. Reattach the coil, remembering to keep the mouthpiece to the floor so you don't spill the contents, to the tank and then that to the base. 

Your vaping device is ready to go! 

Use of MultiVape Device.

Whenever you want to vape, press the button 5 times to activate the battery and it will flash blue. Press the button whilst vaping and the light will be a solid blue colour. Simply draw in as you normally would do on a cigarette and you are vaping!


E-liquid choices.

My Mulitvape Kit came complete with a 7ml bottle of Tobacco Leaf flavoured liquid however MultiCIG offer a variety of flavours to choose from including Coffee Break, Vanilla Sky and Apple Jack in various strengths and bottle sizes. They retail from £4.99 separately. 
I opted for another variety they offer, Menthol Mist, as I usually smoke menthol cigarettes, and it has a really refreshing taste - a cool menthol blast, not dissimilar to a fresh and minty mouthwash.


Troubleshooting.

> If the button flashes blue more than 8 times, the battery needs charging.

> If the button flashes 3 times the coil needs replacing. You can buy replacement coils in packs of 5 for £9.99. This is easily done. Simply unscrew the 3 parts, as you did to fill the tank when setting your device up, to access the coil. These normally need changing roughly once a month but it all depends on how much liquid you get through and how 'hard' you draw on the mouthpiece. 

> If you're at all unsure about your device, simply call MultiCIG up (0845 226 8584). I did and they were incredibly helpful in diagnosing the coil needing replacing. I would never have thought about any coil needing replacing, I'd have thought it was broken and thrown away a perfectly good device. 

Summary.

The device is easy to set up and get started. Funnily enough I vaped less than I would normally smoke which is a big plus for me. You'd think that because the e-liquid's vapour tasted so good I would have been vaping more but it's because of how tasty it is that I didn't. The flavour lasts much longer than a cigarette would so whenever I think I need a smoke, I'm reminded that I not long had one.

I also make a point of still going outside to vape, just as I would with a ciggy. This is simply because I don't want to get in to the habit of vaping at convenient times/places where I wouldn't normally be able to. As far as my smoking goes, it has dramatically reduced. I completely stopped for the first 10 days but didn't have my MulitVAPE with me when I needed it one day and I caved in but, my word, that ciggy tasted foul. 

What's the saying? Why have a burger when you have steak!

Visit MultiCIG at www.multicig.co.uk for the entire range.


DISCLAIMER: I WAS SENT THE DEVICE FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVIEW. 
I WASN'T PAID TO WRITE THIS POST AND ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN - OPEN AND HONEST AS ALWAYS.


Funky Giraffe Gets Personal!

I've reviewed Funky Giraffe bibs before. They're the best bibs that I've come across so far and Finley is coming up to 6 months old now so a definite hit in our house! Their designs are sweet, the quality is great (no dribble gets through these bibs!) and the price is very reasonable.

But now Funky Giraffe are offering a new service - personalisation.

I was asked if I'd like to try out the personalisation service so jumped at the chance to have a go at designing my own. Funky Giraffe's website is incredibly easy to use in the making of your own bibs. Simply select the style, whether it be cotton for the summer months or a large bib for older children or adults who require a stylish way of protecting their clothes. 


I wanted to go for a Christmas bib so thought about the classic colours of red white and green. Seeing that there was a plain lime green (£5) bib, I opted for that one. With plenty of icons to choose from, such as footprints, teddy bears, racing cars etc I was hoping for a Christmas Tree icon. I wasn't disappointed as there were 2 to choose from. I added my fave (+70p) and changed it's colour to red and chose the text Finley's 1st Christmas in white, with 2014 in red below.

It is really hard to create your own on a smartphone, I gave up and got the laptop out. I'm glad I did as it took all of 10 minutes to play around with and create it. Very excited to see how it turned out, this is what arrived...





I am so happy with the result and see that Funky Giraffe even added the yellow star for me, which really does set it off. The quality is as my prior experience, excellent. That double layer of cotton and fleece to keep baby completely dry even when the bib is dribbled up to the max. It just doesn't seep through.

If I had a quid for every time I stated my love for personalisation, I would be pretty well off by now. But seriously guys - don't you agree? Personalised products make the most thoughtful gifts for loved ones and it just adds that pinch of difference to the norm.

For £5.70, I'm impressed. Carson squealed when he saw what I'd designed... he's now giving it to Finley for Christmas specifically from him because "that's what best big brother's do" apparently (n'aaaw!)

DISCLAIMER: WE WERE SENT THE ABOVE SAMPLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVIEW. 
I WASN'T PAID TO WRITE THIS POST AND ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN - OPEN AND HONEST AS ALWAYS

Personalised Jewellery from Funky Laser

As much as I love picking up high street bargains, I like to be different every now and then. Having something completely unique to me is something that I love love love! 

Funky Laser offers laser cut acrylic and wood jewellery and there are tons of quirky & distinctive designs to choose from, or personalise to your particular taste. 

Take this Personalised Speech Bubble necklace, if you could say something to anyone, without opening your mouth - what would it be? For me... "Coffee Please. (white no sugar)" My own design features on their website as an example because let's face it... who doesn't want a coffee randomly given to them? 


The quality is second to none. No rough edges from the laser cut acrylic, it's completely smooth. The text itself is engraved within the acrylic so not going to be worn away after lots of wear. The chain is a simple silver chain that takes nothing away from the design itself, and sits on the collarbone. 

I, personally, prefer a longer chain but it is easy to take it off and change if you want to. You can also opt for a different colour chain if you want, from pink to black to green, there are 7 colours to choose from. Retailing at £13 these are fantastic value for money!


Don't like making a verbal statement? Make a design statement instead with this stunning reindeer necklace, available in 24 different colours. Again, the precision of the laser cutting means that there are no rough or jagged edges. The chain is short again, however as it is attached to each side of the design rather than sitting as a 'drop pendant' style, it works for me. I actually really like the short chain for this design! IT RETAILS AT JUST £9! Bargain stocking filler!


Perhaps you were thinking something more along the lines of a name necklace? Well I was sent a double layer design to take a look at, to check out the quality for myself. I was sent a 'Bride' necklace, in a 'Barbie'-esque style, which would be a great idea for a hen party keepsake! But you can choose whatever name or word you like for just £14.99
Again a short chain but, like the reindeer design, the chain attaches to either side rather than the centre of the design, so it works across the collar bone very well. A solid design, this will bring a funky edge to any outfit for years to come. 


Funky laser don't just offer jewellery but photo props, cake toppers and even personalised baubles .(which I sooo want! Check them out here in the christmas special offers section)

I have nothing to fault Funky Laser on, Their website is really easy to navigate and create your own personalised products. The delivery was swift and packaging was beautiful and I've already said how great the products themselves turned out to be. I have to give these guys top marks!

You can follow Funky Laser on twitter here and like them on facebook here.

DISCLAIMER: I WAS SENT THE THREE SAMPLES FEATURED FOR PURPOSE OF REVIEW. 
I WASN'T PAID TO WRITE THIS POST AND ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN - OPEN AND HONEST AS ALWAYS. 

WIN!! 
Ensure all entries are completed via the rafflecopter in order for them to be registered.
All entries are optional however if you complete all entries, you'll unlock a free daily bonus entry. The more entries you do, the more chance of winning. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&C's
Closes 17/12/2014 at 11.59pm
Any entries deemed false will be removed prior to the random draw.
Winner agrees to details being passed on to Funky Laser UK in order for prize to be fulfilled.
Whilst we endeavour to get your prize to you for Christmas, we ask that you allow up to 28 days for any eventualities. Good Luck!

Sorted for Halloween Yet? ASDA's got it all.

From full blown fancy-dress shindigs to trick or treating with your littluns, ASDA has so much stuff this year . Have you seen?

They've got all kinds of sweet treats at low prices (just what we need with Christmas around the corner!) including a Gingerbread Haunted House Kit for just £5. It gives you something to do with the kids this half-term in the run up to the big day.


Did you know that ASDA are the first in the UK to stock Glow in the Dark Lollies? At £1 each, it's a great excuse to nibble on them whilst trick or treating with the kids!
Carson's fave sweet treats so far have been the Pumpkin box of jellys (3 packs inside!), Chocolate Scary Skeletons and the Eerie Eyes - which we will be using as cake toppers this year.


When it comes to decorating, ASDA's range features items from £1 Skeletons or balloons to £10 spooky telephones and £15 inflatable Frankesteins. Whatever your style, there's something for everyone in their 250+ lines this Halloween.


I prefer subtle gothic features, such as my Lace Candle (£3) or Black Glitter Skull (£3). Having said that, as a parent I would be daft to think I could keep Halloween understated so this tablecloth and it's purple ghostly design (£1) is perfect for adding a bit of colour and protecting my table!


I'm not one tiny little bit arty like that and thankfully Carson can't stand his face painted so I'm saved from doing any make-up that this year. However, if you're the creative type and love to get your paint on, then ASDA should have what you need to complete the look. 


The best bit of Halloween for me though is the dressing up. Just look at how cute Finley looks in his Pumpkin All-in-One Suit that his Ninny bought for him (ASDA £6).


If pumpkins aren't your thing, why not dress the whole family up as The Frankenstein Family?


Are you all sorted for Halloween now? I'd love to hear what you've planned, anything exciting or unusual? To stock up ready for the big day, visit your local ASDA store or shop online here.

Oh I forgot to mention... there's even something for the dog... *CUUUUTE!!!*


Happy Halloween!

DISCLAIMER:
 I WAS NOT PAID TO WRITE THIS POST. 
I DID RECEIVE SOME HALLOWEEN SAMPLES TO NIBBLE ON WHILST WRITING THIS PIECE THOUGH!

Winner Announcement!

The recent competition for a dress of your choice up to the value of £180 from Tiffany Rose proved very popular... in fact, our most popular ever!

As you all know though, I check every single entry and was very disappointed to see so many false entries amongst the genuine (strangely - they were mostly men, except for the odd few 'regulars' who try their luck). How hard is it to leave a comment? Seems some people just don't like to put in the (whole ten seconds worth) of effort.
Anyhoo, they will never win our give aways for as long as I check and verify... and I always will!

So, without further ado....

the winner is... TRACEY K NIXON

Congratulations!

That's a couple of prizes you've won with us now and I'm so pleased for you. It just goes to show that persistence pays off when it comes to those daily entries available.

You opted for the Alessandra Dress Short thanks to it's feminine style and pretty colours, I'll be emailing you shortly to confirm that this is still the case.

So sorry to everyone that didn't win on this occasion, but remember there are lots of give aways live at the moment HERE

Good luck! 


Our Christmas Gift Guide will be live in just a couple of weeks which will bring loads more competitions and giveaways too. 
Don't miss out and follow the blog now so you know when they're all live and ready to go!

Daylight Saving: Extra Hour or Extra Headache? #REVIEW

The clocks go back on Sunday 26th October. "Yaaaay! An extra hour's sleep!" I hear some joyously cry. Yeah well, they either don't have kids fullstop or they already own a GroClock.

Yes, that second time of the year has come where everything gets thrown upside down all because of one hour. In the summer we lose an hour of precious sleep on the night the clocks go forward. It puts us all out of sync - adults and children - and ends up being a super late night because it's still so light out at bedtime. Just when you think that's bad... what about the clocks going back? No way do we get that extra hour's sleep... the kiddywinks are up and about as normal only this time it's 5am instead of 6am. Ooof. I can't cope with the thought.

Thank goodness for the Groclock. A sleep trainer for those younger children whom have no concept of appropriate timing.


23/10/2014 Baby Babble this week...

Thanks for coming along again! I appreciate every single one of you taking the time to link up and I just LOVE seeing your littluns progress each week. Can't wait to smile some more whilst reading them this week too :)

Seeing as BabyBabble isn't just about our bundles of joy in the flesh but pregnancies too, this week, after a bad week of back pain (pfft what else is new!), I'm going to link to an old pregnancy post which makes me stop in my tracks before I moan too much about my general aches and pains!

Ooooh, that horrendous thing called SPD...



#BabyBabble

Remember, sharing is caring. 
So go ahead and tweet, facebook, g+ or scream from the rooftops. 
Spread the word to get your posts seen on this week's linky!

Tattooed Teachers... What I think.

It's been in the press recently about a teacher on placement at a school who has tattoos. It is alleged that she was told to go home and cover up, be it with clothes, bandages or plasters. There's been a major split in opinions from what I've seen. The most posing question of all is should she have to cover up?

My answer in this particular case... yes. *awaits backlash*


Tattoos in general, including 'sleeves', are very common these days and are not so shocking to anyone. This, I have no problem with at all. After all, diversity in life is something that children have to accept. There's nothing wrong with being different! General tattoos and sleeves can be covered up very easily and not on permanent show. Having a huge, colourfully decorative symbol tattooed on one's neck, however, is not easy to cover up and would be a distraction to me, let alone a child. The teacher in question has just this kind of tattoo. 


Distraction and impressionability. 
I'd be intrigued and ask about it's origin and wonder why they'd made the decision to have it placed in such a position. Me. I would want to know, as a genuinely interested person. I would happily accept their answer too - whatever that answer might be. But a child? They would ask question, after question. A class full of children? There'd be tens of questions, after questions. A school full of children? Look... it's an awful lot of little inquisitive people to answer. It becomes a distraction in the classroom and a talking point on the playground "Have you seen Mr/s Such'n'Such's tattoo's?"

THEN comes the Oooh's and Ahhh's. When something is different, it stands out, and more often than not it stands out as 'cool'. Children are impressionable at any age, there's no denying that. Teachers are there to teach my children the necessities to get by in life, not to influence their thoughts on lifestyle choices - be it positively or negatively. Children should be able to make those decisions themselves using their own independent judgement based on the pro's and con's based around them at the relevant time. Personal taste and opinion should not be portrayed to children at school by their teacher.

Have as many tattoos as you like - in any profession. I don't judge you by your cover, nor do I lower my expectations of your ability in your job. Just don't thrust it into the face of my young, naive, impressionable child. It's not fair. 


Rules.
Aside from the distraction and impressionability though, what about dress code and decorum in a job role? I'm pretty certain if I went to work in a belly top and flip flops I'd be told to go home and change. Is it because I'm showing something off in an environment where it is seen as inappropriate? Possibly. But first and foremost, it's because I'm failing to follow the code of conduct set by my employers. If Carson went to school in tracksuit bottoms instead of grey trousers, he would be sent home too. Because it is breaking the rules of the school. The teacher in this case was advised that her tattoos needed to be covered, prior to her starting, as other teachers do with no complaints. The majority were covered, except the neck-eating one. *Pssst... never heard of a scarf, dude?*
The minute someone is allowed to do something outside of the code of conduct is the minute where others think it's OK to do so as well. Then all 'discipline' is out of the window. 


Why does it matter what someone looks like? They could be the best teacher in the world. 
It doesn't matter! If you're still thinking the above then you're missing my point entirely. Why would someone be asked to tuck their shirt in or take their sunglasses off of their head before a sales meeting - what does it matter? It doesn't! It's just what's expected of them by their employers. 
The teacher in this case said that she 'looked ridiculous' with plasters on her finger tattoos. I didn't think so? Just proves the point that what one person thinks looks ridiculous, another sees no problem. This is why codes of conduct are in place. If you don't like this code of conduct, move on and find somewhere that suits you better. If you're unable to do that, you bend over backwards to ensure you keep the job you have if you want it so badly. If that means wearing a scarf then so what? We all have things we wish we didn't have to do at work, but that's life. 


Final thought.
It's not about adversely affecting the kids or that tattoos are wrong because it doesn't and they aren't. I have tattoos, my husband has tattoos, both my family and his family also have tattoos. I'm not against them, nor am I against Carson asking questions about them. But a school is all about discipline and following rules. If the teacher can't do that themselves, then it's not a great start is it?

What are your thoughts?

Jo x

Weigh in: Week 13.

Whoopsies! A day late for weigh in. I didn't even twig that it was weigh day yesterday  - clearly not stressing about it this week then eh?! Well, if I'm honest, my amazing 6.6lb weightloss last week was piddled on a bit, putting me on a downer really.

I took a bit of stick on my personal facebook account last week after my Clean 9 detox. Apparently if I have time to blog, I have time to diet correctly. Apparently being mentally exhausted having recently had a baby and losing my dear dad so suddenly, is actually down to lack of carbs (?)


My answer to that is simple, I blog as my hobby in my little spare time. I don't often see friends or go out - it's my vice.  If food research was a hobby, I'd end up demented.

Carb intake is the cause of my mental exhaustion? A bowl of pasta aint helping any mum, with a 6 yr old (with aspergers) and a 5 month old, who's just lost her dad so suddenly and at such a young age. Iron might, so I get my 100% RDA. If that's not proactive...?

Care to disagree all you want. I'm doing really well and for once I'm not beating myself up about my weight. I call that progress. Two fingers to those who beg to differ.



Week 13 Weight Loss Results
Start weight: 17st 5.8lb
Current weight: 15st 13.8lbs
Weekly loss: +1lb
Total Loss: 20lbs

Straight after a full 9 day detox.. that aint bad if you ask me. It's not "all back on" as I was hit with.

Onwards and upwards with my head held high.


Travelling this Christmas? Win with Milton.

If you're travelling to see friends or family this Christmas, it's a tough job knowing what to take with you as it is. Add a baby to the mix and your head is likely to explode even thinking about where to start!

Top of the list of priorities is something to sterilise your baby's bottles and dummies with. The last thing you want is a poorly baby thanks to lack of sterilising equipment whilst away from home.

I reviewed the Milton Solo Travel Steriliser and the Portable Soother Steriliser back in April and I still continue to use them both every single day - even just at home.
The Solo is an all-round handy little product, you can use it in the microwave (ready to use bottles in just 2 minutes) or as a cold water steriliser (sterile bottles after just 15 minutes). I use all different shapes, sizes and brands of bottles in this unit and never had a problem with it fitting, so you needn't worry about compatibility either. Don't just think bottles either - think, teething rings, plastic toys, all things easily dropped on the floor. 
Retailing at £10.95, it is truly imperative to my bottle making routine - you can see how, here. and it's one of the best baby products I own.


I've voted for the Milton Solo in this years'
Mumii UK 'Best Baby & Toddler Gear Awards'
(Definitely worth a minute of your time to vote, they deserve it.)

The Mini is a handy decorative ball that fastens on to the buggy/car seat/change bag via the velcro loop handle. It sterilises dummies in just 15 minutes and it can be used for up to 24 hours per tablet. Retailing at £7.97 with free delivery - it's a parent's dream. 
I wouldn't be without it attached to my pram, and it looks super cute too!

To celebrate the Christmas travelling season creeping up on us, Milton has teamed up with us to offer one of you a cracking prize: 

The ultimate Sterilising Travel Kit, complete with everything you need when you're travelling with a little one including the Milton Mini and Milton Solo as talked about above, Sterilising Tablets, Mini Sterilising Tablets, Milton Surface Wipes and Milton Antibacterial Hand Gel.



Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below, entries close on Tuesday 4th November at 11.59pm. All entries will be checked and verified, any incomplete entries will be removed. Winner will be emailed within 5 days of the competition close date. Winner agrees to their details being passed onto Milton for fulfilment of their prize.


GOOD LUCK!


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A week of development! #babybabble

This week has brought so many different developments for Finley that it has scared me! 

Chew-Chew!
Firstly, he's making a chewing action when he's eating , instead of just kind of supping it down. So I squished up some green beans and added it to his dinner the other day, he looked like cute little old man with no teeth chomping away at his dinner, I can now introduce some sorts of textured food now. I certainly won't be giving him solids yet, but it's a development all the same isn't it? 

Toothy-Peg!
Speaking of teeth, that brings me on to point number 2... we have a slither! YUP - A tooth has finally cut through his sore little gum and, no longer can we just feel it, we can see the tip! Wow. It just goes to show how different all babies are. I found Carson's old baby book and I'd written that he never cried whilst teething and that his first came through at 6 months. Finley has whinged and whined for weeks (bless him), those rosy cheeks have been melting my heart. Plus his has cut through at just turned 5 months old. Sooo different. I wanted to take a pic but it's not visible on a picture yet (unless my phone could fit in his mouth and take a bird's eye view pic!). Perhaps next week I can have one for you all to see!

Sittin' & Chillin'
Finley has started to decide that he no longer likes to sit reclined, so just sits himself forward. All by himself. Only in his bouncer though. He likes to lean on his left knee like rancho relaxo. Excuse the terrible pics but he gets faaar too excited laughing and looking at everyone as if to say 'look at me!'

Muffle Shuffle! 
This little dude is desperate to get moving. If he's laid down on his back he rolls straight over, but THEN he lifts his bum and knees and digs his feet into the floor and CRAWLS forward! 
Problem... he can't move his arms yet, so his bottom half moves forward until his hands are no longer in front of his face but by his belly button instead. Then he gets incredibly frustrated and tries to bite a chunk out of the carpet whilst it muffles his shouts of anger! 

My mum reckons he'll be crawling in the next month or so, I duno myself. I think he may be trying too hard and end up wearing himself out. We'll see!

These may not be huge developments to some, but the fact they've all happened in one week has made it even more hard-hitting that my baby is fast growing up. As proud as I am, I'm not sure I like it...

#BabyBabble

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Clean 9: Final Results!

I've been doing the Clean 9 nutritional cleansing programme, in association with Lucy from Forever Living. I go into detail about what the plan entails here but for now, I'll recap... 

The idea is to cleanse your body from toxins and kick start a healthy digestive system in a bid to assist weightloss by using Aloe Vera gel, Bee Pollen, Garcinia, Aminotein, good old H2o and exercise.

Days 1 & 2 consisted of a complete cleanse whereby only water, bee pollen tablets, garcinia capsules, aloe vera gel and one aminotein milkshake passes your lips all day. See my thoughts on these 2 days here (and enter the competition with 2 winners too!)

Days 3-9 consist of more of the same however there is an additional shake and one 600 calorie meal. You can read my experience up to day 6 here.

On the whole, this plan was surprisingly easy. At times I craved food but not because I was hungry - more because I, well, just wanted it. This was a rarity though, I might add. The plan has taught me that mind over matter with regards to food is the best way forward. 

I feel great, awake, full of energy. My skin also feels softer too and my hair less greasy after one day than normal. I guess it's because I've not been shovelling crap into my body and I'm now clean as a whistle! 

TODAY is day 9 and I have measured and weighed accordingly. Are you ready to see the results?....

The LBD Diet, lose weight in a week, clean 9 detox results

>> An incredible 9 pound and 12 inches lost!! <<

If you look at the inch loss you'll see that there is an average of around 3 inches lost per body part, except for my arms. Grrr will anything get rid of bingo wings??

I still live in maternity wear for comfort but today I am wearing real jeans! My size 18/20 jeggings are falling down and my size 18 real jeans fit completely comfortably over my second-time baby belly. I am thrilled. My waist, thighs and bum are most noticeable to me. My clothes are much more loose and I have had several comments made as to how well my diet is going and it's this week that people have started to notice more.

We know that 9lbs loss on a fatty isn't all that visible but honestly, not only can I feel the difference but I can see it. Can you?

clean 9 before and after
Excuse the pjs & bedroom mess!

The plan costs £119.24 here so it averages out to £13.25 per day. Or put it this way: less than £4.50 per meal per day. 

The only thing I didn't like, taste-wise, was the aloe vera gel but I did cheat a little towards the end and added a dot of honey to the shot. The benefits of the aloe vera gel within the cleanse are worth persevering IMO. 

But the rest? 

I love it. I can't recommend it enough. The milkshakes are deliciously creamy - even made with skimmed milk, the garcinia plus suppresses your appetite, the bee pollen gives so much energy. 

Remember, there is a giveaway for Forever Living products on my Day 3 post here. PLUS all first time orders will come with 10% off AND free P&P if you mention: CARSONSMUMMY. 

So if you get the Clean 9 NOW with the discount, it works out at less than £4 per meal per day!

Whether you want to live clean or drop a dress size before that Christmas party, I recommend the Clean 9 plan.

What do you think of my results over the 9 days?  


DISCLAIMER: I WAS SENT THE CLEAN 9 KIT FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVIEW. 
I WAS NOT PAID TO WRITE THIS POST. 
ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN, OPEN AND HONEST AS ALWAYS.

Weigh in: Week 12!

As you're all aware I'm in the middle of doing the Clean 9 programme. A 9 day detox to clease your system, kick start a healthy lifestyle and aid weightloss.

I'm up to day 7 today and last weighed and measured myself yesterday.  In those 6 days I've, so far, lost 6lbs and 7.5" across my waist, hips, bust and thighs.  I haven't lost a single cm from my arms though which is a bit gutting. Has anyone got *any* hints on how to reduce these big bad bingo wings?

So this week...


Week 12 Weight Loss Results 
Start weight: 17st 5.8lb
Current weight: 15st 12.6lbs
Weekly loss: -6.6lbs  <<<< holy sh*t!
Total Loss: 21.2lbs 

Next week will be interesting, my detox finishes on Wednesday and I'm really hoping it doesn't all go back on afterwards.

How have you guys done this week?

Pssst... Don't forget to enter the giveaway in conjunction with the Clean 9 review HERE.

Memories - They're not like they used to be!

I remember before technology allowed our parents to video our school plays or Christmas morning as kids, unless your parents were millionaires a bit well off. All we have are some pretty blurry picture prints, but even they are enough to make your heart skip a beat as you wander down memory lane. 

Check out my very first mobile phone on Christmas morning, this was a good 15 or 16 years ago now.
My first mobile phone!
WOW!

Did anyone have a BT Cellnet 'U' also known as the Philips c12... they were AMAZING, at the time. Remember the Bio thing that told you how much love etc you'd have on whatever date you input. I have no shame in admitting that I believed what it predicted, followed by utter disappointment when the boy I fancied didn't send me a "YES/NO/MAYBE: Please tick" letter. C'mon, I wasn't the only one... was I? 

As much as I loved that mobile phone, I am truly thankful that our generation has the technology that allows us to video our littlun's. I've managed to catch things like Finley's first laugh, him rolling over, Carson singing to Nikki Minaj like a diva when he was 4 years old. 

Then, there was this little gem that we found yesterday.  A video of Carson on Christmas morning when he's just turned 3. It was his first real Christmas. You know what I mean? Where they're old enough to understand and get excited about Santa's mince pie and Rudolph's carrot? 

Give it a watch - his scream of disbelief at around 25 seconds is adorable but at 1:20 ish, his overwhelmed and joyous statement just absolutely melts my heart.


You think you remember everything but it's only when you look back and realise how much they've grown and developed. I don't remember him talking like this - ever. 
I shed a little tear watching this back. Not only is it incredibly cute, but I feel a bit bad for not recalling Carson being that toddler. If it wasn't for this video I'd have had my own version of this memory in my mind which turns out to be wrong. 

Such a strange realisation. How many of my own childhood memories are wrong? 

Thank god for technology, this will never be forgotten now and I have it all to look forward to with Finley as well... imagine the memory making tools our kids will have when they've gifted us with grandkids, now that is scary thought!

Ethans Escapades

Win a Bepanthen Bundle!

In August I told you all about the Bepanthen Stretch Mark Cream (you can read that again, here), for the prevention of stretch marks in pregnancy. Well, the prevention of stretch marks full stop - you've don't have to be pregnant to take care of your skin after-all. 

Our collagen and fibre production can sometimes struggle to keep up with our most rapid skin stretching so whilst keeping skin supple is a good start, you need to be looking beyond moisturisers and focus on something exactly like Bepanthen Stretch Mark Cream, which contains Centella Asiatica. This is a tropical plant which is known to stimulate collagen and fibre production resulting in strengthening of the skin, thus being effective at preventing stretch marks.

Bepanthen have very kindly teamed up with us to offer one of you readers a goody bag crammed with their products including:

· Bottle of Bepanthen Stretch Mark Cream
· Bepanthen Nappy Rash Cream
· Bepanthen Baby Moisturiser
· Bepanthen Baby Bib
· Bepanthen Cuddly Toy
· Bepanthen Baby Sun Cream

All you need to do is enter via the rafflecopter widget below, answering the following question: What is the ingredient in Bepanthen Stretch Mark Cream which is known to stimulate collagen production?

There are, as always, extra entry methods available after answering the question. All entries that cannot be verified will be removed before the draw. Competition ends Monday 27th October 11:59pm and winners details will be passed to Bepanthen for the fulfilment of prize. One winner. UK only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Warm Milk on the Go with Myyfeed

When I'm out and about with Finley, I must confess - he gets cold milk that was pre-made before I left the house. Yes, I know it's not the nicest for him, and I know it can cause bacteria to fester - should it cool and not be refrigerated for any length of time. I'm always careful to time my trips so I know the bottle will be needed within at least 90-120 minutes of me going out. What a pain in the bum though, seriously.

So there are flasks to keep milk warm but, again, you don't want the formula being continuously warm for hours on end due to the risks of bacteria build-up.

Myyfeed have introduced a middle-ground to these issues. An insulated carry case for your bottle, complete with compartment for formula. This way your water stays hot and, in compliance with the guidelines that state water should be no less than 70c in order to kill bacteria in the formula, you don't have to add your formula until you are ready.



Sounds good, now let's put it to the test...

I put 240ml pre-boiled water into my bottle and add 8 scoops formula into the compartment that sits above the water. After placing into the Myyfeed flask with the teat in the lid, I purposely leave the bottle for 2 hours on the kitchen worktop to put it to the test.

travel bottle maker, flask, myyfeed

When you need to prepare your feed, remove the bottle from the Myyfeed and simply click the button which connects to a plunger, releasing the formula into the milk. Shake, remove compartment and add teat.

Put easier, in an everyday scenario... you're out and about and know you're going to stop for a a coffee in ten minutes. Open the Myyfeed, click the button into the plunger, shake and let cool.

If you don't click & shake prior to needing the feed, the feed can remain too hot which can lead to mega-screams from an impatient baby. Click and shake 5 mins before you need it! This way, Baby will have a fresh, none bacteria-festering, feed without having to ask at counters for ways to warm up your bottle!

Myyfeed leakage

Do not shake with the powder compartment still attached as it leaked for me - even though the seal was fitted just fine. I may have been too vigorous,  but just to be sure in future, I click in the powder then place on teat before shaking. Problem solved!

Overall, it's a nifty little product which will be well used for Finley, especially as it can be used to insulate pouches/jars of food too (is there anything worse than cold mashed broccoli!) It retails at £19.99 and I will, no doubt, get that money's worth out of the Myyfeed.

Follow Myyfeed on twitter here or like on facebook here for lots more info on their innovative range.

DISCLAIMER: WE WERE SENT THIS ITEM FOR PURPOSE OF REVIEW, ALL OPINIONS ARE OUR OWN: OPEN AND HONEST, AS ALWAYS. 

Welcome!

Welcome!