Getting Organised With Personal Planner

I'm far from being an organised person, I try to be I often start off with good intentions and then after a while I just stop bothering. When I went to BritMums we were given a notebook from Personal Planner along with a code to create our own planner so as soon as I got home I ordered myself one and thought it was about time to give it a little mention on my blog.

With Personal Planners you can customise the front cover, I chose the same photo as I use on my blog as I wanted this to be my blog planner. When selecting the photo the site tells you whether the quality is good enough or not. Inside the planner you also get to choose how the pages look you can choose whether you want the pages lined of not and you can choose which boxes you want at the bottom.

When you order your planner it says on the website it can take 2 weeks for delivery but mine come in half the time and I'm really impressed with the planner it is great quality the pages inside are pretty thick so your ink doesn't run or seep through the pages. I would highly recommend looking in to Personal Planners for your 2014 planner.


Iron Vital F From Hubner*

Hubner Iron Vital F provides 100% of the daily iron requirement for mothers and young women, expectant and nursing mothers, children and the elderly. It contains a number of different ingredients some of which are Beetroot juice, grape juice concentrate, apple juice concentrate and cherry juice concentrate.

Like many women I have suffered from low iron after giving birth and now around the time of month I feel drained and tired so I was interested to try an Iron product to see if it would help perk me up a bit.

On the bottle it tells you how much to take daily and for me it was 5ml, the liquid is quite thick like you would expect a medicine to be. The taste is ok I wouldn't describe it as nice but it is definitely not a bad taste it takes a little fruit but there is a hint of the iron still there which does leave your mouth tasting a bit like blood but I take this in the morning before brushing my teeth so it's not a problem.

I have noticed a change in how I feel after taking this supplement I feel a lot less drained and more energised, I will definitely be buying a bottle of this ready for when I have my next baby as it is safe for use both in pregnancy and breastfeeding.


Maybelline Baby Lips

I should imagine that by now anybody who has had any interest in make up or beauty blogging has heard about Maybelline Baby Lips. They first came out a while ago in the US and of course they took a long time to come out in the UK. I don't normally take that much notice of hyped up products but with these I wanted to see if they were really worth all of the fuss because I tend to have chapped lips most of the time so I wanted to see whether they were worthwhile.

It took me quite a while to actually find them not because they were sold out I don't think but most of the shops where I live were a little late to get them in but I finally found them in Boots after searching Superdrug, Supermarkets and a few other smaller Boots. 

There are 6 varieties to choose from although at the Boots I found them at there were only 3 or 4 left but I didn't want to get them all anyway so I just chose the "Pink Punch" and "Intense Care"
The "Pink Punch" leaves a subtle pink colour to your lips when I first saw it in the tube I was a little worried that it would be really bright and as you know I'm not a fan of bright lips on myself. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it out it does leave a nice hint of colour on your lips but it's not overly bright at all. I think I might be tempted to pick up "Peach Kiss" and "Cherry Me" as I think those are tinted.

I love the fun and bright packaging too, do you?

I have heard a lot of mixed opinions on these because of the hype I think a lot of people were expecting a miracle lip product but at the end of the day they are only £2.99 (Currently on 3 for 2 at Boots) For that though you get a nice lip balm which does the trick for me it keeps my lips feeling soft and isn't sticky. If you are wanting a miracle lip balm you perhaps need to look elsewhere and spend a bit more money.


How can the Elderly stay Mentally Sharp?*

I'm bringing you something a little different today having had a grandad that had Alzheimers I thought it quite a useful and helpful post to share

After a certain age, keeping the brain sharp is an essential thing to prevent memory loss, depression, and even perhaps things like Alzheimer’s and other diseases. The need for this often comes around retirement when people have way more time on their hands and need something to fill the gap. If something isn’t found then it can be pretty disastrous, increasing levels of boredom by a lot. There are a range of things to help stay off the boredom and keep the mind sharp, here are some of the better options. If you’re looking for a place for you or your elderly family to stay active then check out some inspirational retirement villages to see what they can achieve together.
Puzzle games and brain trainers
We’re getting new old people as the generations start to change over. Over 65s can now have access to videogames in a way they haven’t been able to do before and certain consoles are specifically designed for their ease of use, but also their puzzle and problem solving games. The DS series of handheld consoles have a lot of these, from Brian Trainer to Professor Layton, they all help to keep the mind active.
Join Competitions
Growing old doesn’t mean you don’t want to compete any more. There are tournaments in pretty much everything, whether that’s sit down tournaments of scrabble and chess, to online videogame tournaments (there’s one for almost every game out there), you can guarantee to add a little extra excitement to a game this way.
Don’t become a couch sloucher
Although this isn’t a thing you should do, it’s really important to not succumb to the wallowing state of sitting in front of the telly all day. This can cause things like depression, and has the obvious ill effects of not being able to stay in touch with friends while Eastenders is on.
It’s quite common to see or hear about older people always going on cruises or away on holiday, and people can presume it’s because they have a load of money that they want to get rid of while they can. While holidays obviously do require some money, there are other health-based reasons why it’s a great option for retired people. This is especially prominent in people who haven’t travelled much in their working lives: the places they’ve lived can become stagnant to be in all the time, so a trip aboard can make a refreshing change. They aren’t just goo for getting a tan, too. Visiting new places is a good chance for catching up on your area research skills of whatever town or city you visit.
Start a new hobby
If you’re not the competitive type and uninterested in seeing the world then it may be worth picking up a new hobby to pass the spare time and keep your brain in use. That can literally be anything, from growing your own herbs and fruits (stay away from the heavy back work foods in this situation, e.g. potatoes.) to photography, or even having a go at writing a novel, or a memoir of your life for the younger generations of your family. You can literally do anything.

*Guest Post

Blog Everyday In August - Day 28 When I Grow Up

How often did you change your mind about your career choices when you were little? We all wanted to be teachers and nurses or vets but what if you are nearing your mid twenties and you still don't know what you want to do? I still change my mind like the weather about that sort of career I want. I know I want a career and not just a job.

I want to do something that I love, something that I don't mind getting out of bed for, something that pays the bills with a little extra each month. I've even been through a phase of wanting to blog full time but I don't think that will ever happen for me.

I have always felt like my life has no direction on the job front and I hate that I don't know what I want to do I'm the future. I keep thinking how can I encourage Thomas to follow his dreams and to find his dream career when I can't even do that as his mum?  Although I do hope by then I am in a job I love because that will be about 20 years away!

One career that has been in my mind for quite a few years now is to be a social worker but its just finding the route there. I can't afford college courses and that sort of job is one that you need some sort of qualifications for so I guess that's out of the picture for a while until I go back to work full time.

Are you in your dream job? Do you even know what your dream job is yet?


Are Men Spending too much on Anniversaries?*

With the question of gender equality constantly being at the front of current conversation, whether or not men are spending too much on anniversaries is a big one. We have to consider whether this is simply a sentimental and precious way of showing someone’s love to another,  or if premium prices on traditional gifts like engagement rings and anniversary presents are an unnecessary reinforcement of outdated patriarchal values. While this may not give a completely comprehensive answer to this question, it aims to raise some of the prices and issues to help you answer the question yourself. 

Engagement Rings
These ones are generally a little more expensive than the wedding bands, and that of course is because of the huge, or small, expensive rock placed on the top of it. In UK tradition, most people spend between one and three month’s wages on an engagement ring, although the Daily Mail now reports that has gone down to three weeks.  Does that mean we’re seeing a sense of sensibility?

Wedding Rings
These are traditionally simpler, so will cost less, but people can still spend thousands each on the bands. Women’s bands sometimes have added diamonds so are more expensive.

Does this mean they’re too much?
The big thing to remember now is that both people in a relationship now tend to work, which compared to a decade or two ago, is a big change. This means that the overall income is generally higher, but also that both of them have disposable cash to start spending on each other. This has helped to equal things out a little, and now some men also wear engagement rings too.

Wedding anniversaries
Luckily, we’re now moving away from the more traditional values of wedding anniversary gifts. They can perhaps be cheaper than they would normally be, and more focus is on making a gift personalised and special, which is why so many sites like www.gettingpersonal.co.uk have appeared. Often gifts from both halves can be cheap and cheerful, or even joint presents that fully depend on the communal budget.

So what does this mean?
It means that, in short, men aren’t spending too much on anniversary gifts. As we’re now moving to a more equal society across genders, even though we might not be all the way there yet, people are beginning to share and be more honest about their earnings. 

*Guest post

Blog Everyday In August - Day 27 Wishlist

I could have done a wishlist of all the things I want but that is mostly house things at the minute and I thought I would give it a rest on the homewear front for a little bit so I thought I would make a list of all the things I am hoping to get for Thomas for Christmas.

 I had better start saving my pennies hadn't I? I'm not sure whether the Toot Toot train tracks will be a bit much for him at the moment or maybe wait until his birthday. I also want to get him a few little bits and bobs but I'm not really sure yet.


Blog Everyday In Augst - Day 26 A Role Model

My Daddyo
I have always been a daddy's girl and always will be.
My dad is a hardworking man and I have always been proud of him,
growing up I heard a lot of people moaning about their dad's who were never around.
I feel so lucky that I have a dad who has always been there, who always puts his children first
Who has worked all his life to provide for us.

Even now I have left home I know my dad is always there for me
He will always help us out if we need it. I honestly don't know what I would have done without him during quite a few parts of my life.

I also admire what a great grandad he is, I love watching him and Thomas play
He teaches him so much and I love it when Thomas toddles over to him just to sit on his knee for a cuddle.
He loves his grandad as much as I love my daddo


Blog Everyday In August - Day 25 A Wonderful Day

Obviously the best day of my life has got to be the day I gave birth to my beautiful boy.
The day my life changed forever
It changed for the better.
I fell head over heals in love.
A boy stole my heart
I became a mum
I became responsible for another life


Blog Everyday In August - Day 24 A Quote To Live By

This is probably one of the only quotes that really sticks in my mind. We all go through crappy times in life, there will be times when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Those times in your life will pass eventually and things will start to look up for you.

I think this will be the next tattoo I get I know everybody and their mum has probably got this tattoo but I don't care


Blog Everyday In August - Day 23 Why Do You Blog

I started this blog for the simple reason to give me something to do when I started my maternity leave whilst I was waiting for Thomas to arrive. I wanted my blog to be my own little place on the internet somewhere to record our lives and document Thomas growing.
My blog gives me somewhere to babble and get my thoughts down and sometimes vent when I need to.

I think I also started to blog as a way to make friends and to meet people to talk to when I was on maternity leave and I have "met" some fab people who I speak to pretty much daily and more than "real life" friends. I have even met a whole load of bloggers at a local meet up that I went to at the beginning of the year and then of course I met a LOT of bloggers at BritMums


Blog Everyday In August - Day 22 Time For A Change

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
― George Bernard Shaw

Our family is currently undergoing quite a few changes in the next couple of months, we have just bought ourselves a new car which we have needed and next month we are moving house which I am so unbelievable excited for. I love a nice change, change is good who wants to stand still? Who wants to moan about things not being how you want when you don't want to do anything about it?

We are also thinking about another major change in our family, yes we are thinking about adding to our little family of three. Some people may think why so soon after Thomas but he would be nearly 2 and I think it would be the right sort of age gap for us. We want our children to be quite close in age not just for the reason that they will be happy playing with each other and their toys but it makes financial sense to us as it means I will be able to go back full time sooner that waiting say 8 years.

I keep thinking about what it would be like when our family changes to a family of 4, another child to love and cherish, a little brother or sister for Thomas, What would he be like with this new little person coming in to our family? That makes me a little nervous how will Thomas take it? I guess it will be hard to begin with but I think he will get use to it and I think he will be a fab big brother I can just imagine him bringing me nappies and wipes when I ask and being a big boy.

I can't wait who knows this time next year we could be living in our new home as a family of 4.

Toddler Tantrums

I've heard a lot about toddler tantrums in the past, you know the "terrible twos" and thought it can't be that bad and I was sure that most of it was just people exaggerating. That however was until I experienced my first proper tantrum!

I don't even know what started Thomas's tantrum he had woken up and I think he just decided to be in a mad mood and started to cry so I tried to pick him up but he didn't want his mummy so he pushed himself off my knee and turned his tantrum up a notch and started to scream. When I realised I couldn't comfort him because he didn't want to know I just put him on the floor where he continued to scream and started thrashing around so I moved anything he could hurt himself on out of the way and put cushions in front of the mantle so he couldn't hit himself on it.

After a couple of minutes I tried to comfort Thomas again which was not what he wanted and he started to hit me to try and get away from me so back on the floor he went and I sat near him on the floor and I just kept saying to him in a soft voice that I was ready for a cuddle when he had finished and I think me being nice to him just annoyed him more as that's when he started to throw anything he could find whilst rolling around on the floor and he scream had gone from a high pitched scream to a dry throat-ed noise.

After about 10 minutes it was like something left his body and he started to calm down and finally let me give him a cuddle and then decided he would eat his tea that I had made him after all. So I put him in his high chair and fed him a couple of spoons of his tea and then left him to it and then this was the face I got.

Thomas had completely forgotten about the mini breakdown and was completely full of cuteness and was back to being my best friend again.

If that was what the terrible twos are going to be like..... give me my baby back....I mean bring it on!


Blog Everyday In August - Day 21 Promises

I've only made real promises on two occasions in my life and one was my wedding day I made promises to my husband, promises that are not to be taken lightly promises that I hope I can keep for the rest of my life not just for mine and Davids sake but for Thomas's sake. I want him to have the happy nuclear family life that I didn't. When my parents divorced I wouldn't say that it ruined my life, far from it but it definitely didn't make things easy. Birthday parties or family gatherings there was always friction especially when my parents future parents got involved. Even my wedding day certain people couldn't put their own differences to one side for a day so I promise not only to David but to Thomas that I will try my hardest for this to not happen.

The day Thomas was born I made a promise to him to be the best mum I can be, To love him as much as I possibly can, To keep him safe and to make him happy and to give him the best childhood and life that I can because that is what he deserves.


Sleep In Rollers Review*

Sleep In Rollers seem to have taken the hair and beauty world by storm since appearing on various programs such as Towie and Hollyoaks. I have hair which is generally rubbish and never styles how I want it and never holds a style. I was looking forward to trying the Sleep In Rollers to see if they would actually work with my hair.

I put the rollers in with wet hair which you are normally told not to do but I was trying out the hair dryer hood so I thought it couldn't hurt. I put the rollers in the same way as I have seen quite a few tutorials, I put the rollers in down the centre of my head and then I put them in at the sides. I then used the kirby grips that came with the rollers to keep them in place as I would also be sleeping in them

The rollers we pretty easy to put in from a complete novice like me but I don't think I had them secure enough as you can see some of the hair was falling out which I sorted.

I then put on the hair dryer hood I love this little device doesn't it make me look attractive. This can be used when you hair is dry to set the rollers perhaps when you are using them through the day and aren't able to keep them in your hair for a whole night, but I used it to dry my hair around the rollers.

I've never slept in rollers before so I can't say whether normal rollers are difficult to sleep in but these rollers weren't as easy to sleep in as I thought they would be. Although they were quite springy they didn't flatten down as much as I thought they would. I could definitely tell they were there and half way through the night I had to take a couple out so I could actually get some proper sleep.

You know what they say though no pain no gain, I absolutely loved the end results with my hair. It felt volumised and bouncy and full of life and I also love how the ends of my hair curled. When taking the rollers out I started at the bottom of my head and after each roller I sprayed a little hairspray on so that the curls would last as that is one thing my hair struggles with.

I have been testing out the Blow & Go Kit which comes with 20 rollers which was more than enough for my hair, kirby grips and a hairdryer hood and retails for £36.


Blog Everyday In August - Day 20 You Need To Read This

This is my all time favourite book and only book I have read more than once. It's a beautiful love story by one of my favourite authors. In case you haven't heard about The Notebook it tells the story of a couples love story as told by the husband and you later find out it was written because his wife has Alzheimer's and he reads her their love story everyday in the hope that one day she remembers their life together. It has also been made in to a film but I strongly recommend that you read the book first 

Maximising Storage Space*

Next month we are moving in to a bigger house, I say bigger but actually it is smaller but it has an extra bedroom. So I am currently trying to think of ways to maximise our space especially our storage space. In our current house we have quite a large space under the stairs which we store a heck of a lot of stuff and the same again in the bedroom we have a cubby hole which we store a lot of stuff. So I am trying to declutter and sell on things I don't want to take with us. In the new house we have a loft space where we can store a lot of things that we don't reach for on a day to day basis.

We will still be left with quite a few bits and bobs that we do use frequently and we will need a proper home for because I do not want to see things lying around in the new house. One thing I have been thinking about is a coffee table with drawers or a trunk to be used as a coffee table so that it can double up as storage as well as looking good in our living room. Something like these tables

What do you think? we also have a large foot stool that came with our settees that we can use to store stuff inside so we should have no excuse for having things left around. The next thing to think about is something to store Thomas's toys inside so we can tidy them away when Thomas isn't playing with them. I would love to know if you have any ideas to share with me?

*PR collab


Working Mum Guilt

Going back to work after maternity leave hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be, after the first couple of days when Thomas had settled in at nursery and I had settled back in to work we kinda fell in to a routine which we both like. Thomas absolutely loves nursery it couldn't be better each morning he literally struggles to get out of his car seat as quick as he can because he knows where we are. As soon as we get in to his room he's trying to get out of my arms before I've even finished taking his coat off and he walks straight to the toys or if he's hungry that morning he makes his way over to the table and sits himself on a chair. I go to work knowing Thomas is happy, I know he's being well looked after and knowing he is having lots of fun playing with his little friends.

I've never once felt guilty about going back to work, I've never missed out on anything in Thomas's development he was sitting up, crawling and pulling himself up before I went back to work I didn't miss his first steps his daddy and I were there to witness them, we heard his first word. If anything I feel like I am witnessing a lot more since Thomas has been at nursery because he is doing a lot more with the things he is learning at nursery. I'm stunned almost daily when he comes home and I notice him doing something new.

I also feel that for me the work/home balance is good at the moment, I only work 3 days a week and I'm with Thomas the rest, I always said that I don't want to be seeing the people at work more than I see my son. I get to have a couple of days with adult conversation and a little break from dirty nappies and I each night I go home with an excited feeling in my stomach because I am going to see my baby again. It also means Thomas gets a break from mummy he gets to spend time with different people and he learns how to socialise and make friends, and every night I am greeted with a big smile and open arms when he spies me through the nursery window.

The occasional morning when Thomas is poorly I feel like the worst mum in the world when I have to take him to nursery because I have to go work. I hate having to get him dressed when he doesn't want to when all he wants to do is lay on the settee. All I want to do is spend the day with him on my knee or cuddled up in bed with him so that I can make him feel better with mummy cuddles.

This is the time when I feel guilty about going to work and having to take Thomas to nursery. I'm his mum I should be at home looking after him when he's poorly, I should be the one who is cheering him up and making him feel better but I can't because I have to go to work. I wish I had the type of job where I could work from home on days like this but I don't. Obviously if Thomas was really poorly I wouldn't go to work but on the days he's just a little offside I still feel terrible for leaving him. I guess the only answer to this is to make sure that we make the most of our night together and I give Thomas extra big cuddles to make sure he is feeling better.


MUA £1 Essie Dupes - Live With Love

MUA Nail Polish in Lush lilac, Pistachio ice cream & Natural days.

I'm always looking for a bargain and these New MUA polishes are just that. They are an amazing dupe for the Essie polishes that are about 9x the price! Admittedly, they do go on a bit streaky and can take up to 4 coat to look good and get a nice finish, but for £1 I still don't think you can grumble at that! They almost look like gel nails because I have so many layers on but I like that look & think it helps them stay chip free for longer.

The colours are gorgeous, I went for the most pastel/spring colours but they have a great range of naturals and brights as well, I have my eye on the bright pink. Yes, I do need another bright pink! ;) I love the brush on these, it's just the right width for me and helps me give a nice clean edge.
I know some people prefer a one coat job but if you're on a budget and don't mind a couple of coats, give them a go. At £1, you don't have much to lose!

Have you tried these? What is your newest bargain buy?

Thanks Sarah for letting me guest post!

Blog Everyday In August - Day 18 A Summer Memory

This summer Thomas became a dare devil, he found his feet and went off exploring and generally doing what little boys like to.

Summer has been pretty short lived this year as it is most years in England but what made our summer special was it was our first holiday as a family and one that I will remember and treasure for ever


Blog Everyday In August - Day 17 My 5 Favourite Blogs

I thought it would be a nice idea to share my favourite blogs as part of my blog everyday in August series. So in no particular order we have...

I apologise for the fact I can't count but I just couldn't miss any of these out so please go check them out.


Toot Toot Drivers Garage

For Thomas's first birthday we bought him the Vtec Toot Toot drivers garage. I had been wanting to get Thomas a garage and some cars of some description for a while as a toy that would last him and that he wouldn't grow out of too quick. I had settled on the Toot Toot Garage after seeing one of my friends had got her little boy who is a couple of months older than Thomas one for his birthday and she highly recommended it and said that he son love playing with it. So my mind was made up and I decided to get it for Thomas's birthday.

The garage itself comes with one car and you can buy other cars either separately or in packs of three so I decided to get him a pack of three to go with it as I saw them on sale at the time.

I love the size of the cars they are nice and chunky for little hands and you don't have to worry about any little parts coming off. Each of the cars play different song which before long you will be signing along too like any other childrens toy. I often find myself at work humming the tune of "I love driving on the road toot toot beep beep" and "I'm a truck a little truck, I'm busy delivering goods"

Each of the cars interact with the garage when you run them over certain things for example when they go down the ramp they say weee or if they go through the car wash then it plays water sounds. As well as this there are also various buttons you can press on the garage that play different tunes or say different things.
The garage as a whole is really well made and very toddler friendly. I was actually impressed at how strong it is as Thomas sometimes likes to sit on it if he decides he needs a rest and there isn't anywhere else he could possibly sit.

One of the things I also like about the Toot Toot range is that you can buy different add on bits which I think I will be getting Thomas for Christmas so you keep it new and enjoyable for toddlers to play with so they don't get bored of it.


Blog Everyday In August - Day 15 I'm Thankful For

We often spend our lives wanting and wishing for something better, we are always wanting something we can't have. Whether it be better clothes, a better car, a better house, more money, I'm guilty of this all the time it seems like everyday I'm wanting something better. It's not just for me though I want these better things for my family, I want a better house so Thomas can have a garden to play with, I want a better car so that we feel safer on the roads. We often forget about what is right under our noses and we can often take things for granted that we should treasure.

So today I am sharing what I am truly thankful for.

Above all else I am truly thankful for my beautiful healthy son, he makes life worth living, he is the reason that I wake up smiling each morning whether it be 6am or 8am when I hear him chatting to himself it instantly puts a smile on my face. Thomas is my instant mood lifter I love how at 14months he already knows how to make mummy laugh and smile, he does the most adorable things simply because he knows it makes me smile. I'm truly thankful for the magical bond we have.

I am thankful for my husband yes we may get on each others nerves at times and he isn't a great help with the housework but most importantly he loves Thomas and I. We had a husband/daddy that pulls 50+ hour weeks pretty much week in week out to provide for us and never complains about going to work. When I see some men who just couldn't give a damn about their families and they can't be bothered to work to provide for their children I just think we are so lucky to have David.

I am so thankful for my wider family, my dad and mum, sister, brother, grandparents, Davids family and so on. I know if we ever need help one of our family would go out of their way to help us out, I know we can rely on anyone of them. I know we are so lucky to have them all.

Tommee Tippee Aeroplane Spoons*

Hands up if you have ever tried to entice your little one with aeroplane noises whilst spoon feeding them. I have with Thomas when he is getting near the bottom of his bowl and is getting a bit bored I have been known to make noises and twist and turn the spoon until it lands in his mouth. The wonderful people at Tommee Tippee have gone one step further and have created a spoon in the shape of an aeroplane. 

I love the spoon I think it’s a fab little design and I don’t think it’s awkward to hold I thought it might be a bit uncomfortable to hold but it isn’t. Sometimes I do dip the wings of the aeroplane in to Thomas’s food but I don’t think that really matters much.
I wont be letting Thomas loose with the spoon anytime soon as I think it would be a bit too difficult for him to hold as he is only just mastering how to spoon feed himself, but it certainly makes meal times more and it makes Thomas giggle when I make the noises. The serious face below was because I was interrupting him whilst he was trying to feed himself he was like "Mum what are you doing? I can handle this myself I'm a big boy"

They don't just come in blue either they have them in pink if your little girls loves to play aeroplanes at meal times.
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