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MIMI ROSE AND ME

Living Life Inspired

GIFT IDEAS FOR A SEVENTEENTH BIRTHDAY

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Turning seventeen is a big deal. It's a big milestone in their life. Teens will likely want to celebrate their 17th birthday with a party, event, or activity that’s new, exciting, and mature, just like the milestone age they’re approaching. Rather than doing something routine as a slumber party or bowling outing, make your 17th birthday unforgettable with one of these super creative, fun, and cool 17th birthday ideas.



You probably have a lot on your to-do list as it is, but one important task is to figure out what you’re going to give your child on their birthday. There’s no need to panic because there are a lot of ideas that would be well-suited for your teenager. All you have to do is put your thinking cap on and start narrowing down the options that you believe are best for your child. See gift ideas for your child’s seventeenth birthday.   

Car

Although it’s a big expense, a new car is a great gift for your child who’s about to learn how to drive. Shop around the car dealer and pick a vehicle that’s really impressive like the used Mazda CX-3. It’s definitely the more dynamic drive amongst the compact-SUV rivals. This is a thoughtful and useful gift that will put a big smile on your child’s face. You won’t need to worry about sharing cars any longer because they’ll have their own. 

Jewellery

A beautiful necklace, promise ring or earrings is the perfect way to say you love your son or daughter. If the gift is for him, consider an attractive watch that he’ll enjoy wearing. It’ll be fun shopping for and picking out a nice piece of jewellery to satisfy the birthday boy or girl. Another sentimental idea is to pass down jewellery from you or your mother and explain to your daughter what it means to you to have her wear it. 

Family Holiday

Why not involve the entire family in the fun and plan a trip to take together? It’ll be a great escape away from the responsibilities of work and school. Pick somewhere the group will enjoy and plan it all out so that all your birthday child has to do is show up. It’s a great opportunity to experience family bonding time and catch up with each other. Swim in the pool, go to an amusement park and indulge in tasty restaurants. You’ll soon be laughing and playing together without a care in the world.

Party

Most teenagers love to dance and what better way to celebrate their 17th birthday than hosting a birthday party with family and friends. Hire a hall, some entertainment and make a few sandwiches, not forgetting a cake and dance the night away with friends and family.

Night Out

One way to treat your birthday boy or girl is to buy them new clothes. After they open the gift, surprise them with the fact that you’ll be going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant or out to a show at the theatre. Plan a night out on the town they’ll never forget and invite the entire family. Your child will feel special when you treat him or her to activities that make them feel like an adult.

Turning seventeen is a big deal. That’s why it’s important to shower your special teenager with love and presents and make it one to remember. 

THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH THE FOXFAIRIES PART 3

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Hello and welcome back to another instalment of The Baby Feeding Series, that features real stories from real parents who have experienced how hard and baffling feeding your baby can be. I want this series to be a place where parents can share their own experiences in the hopes that other parents who are struggling can feel less alone. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world but it's one of the most rewarding jobs too and so I want to share their stories.
 
 
This week for The Baby Feeding Series we have the lovely Haley from The Foxfairies once again taking part with her final guest post with the series. Please read over Haley's previously guest posts: How To Feed Twin and Expressing and Feeding Twins at the Same Time. This week Haley wants to put forward a post about formula feeding her twins and her experience. So, it's over to you Haley!
 
Formula Feeding Twins

So you will have read from my last post that I had mastered the skill of expressing my breast milk AND feeding the twins…at the same time! Go me. I felt really proud that I could finally provide our babies with breast milk for almost every feed.

As I was expressing breast milk I needed to learn how to sterilise bottles in order to feed the twins. Wanting to go for the simplest approach, I bought self-sterilising @MAMbabyuk bottles. They really do what it says on the tin. And it’s bloomin’ marvellous. No having to wait around for sterilising machines to kill all of those nasties. I can wash, assemble and put them into microwave and in 3 tiny minutes, you have a sterilised bottle ready to use (N.B. if you are sterilising more than one bottle, add one extra minute per bottle, so 1 bottle = 3 minutes, 2 bottles = 4 minutes, 3 bottles = 5 minutes etc.) 
 
However the one thing I was concerned about once the bottles were sterilised was how to avoid putting the different pieces onto the countertop to assemble, thus diminishing the point of sterilising in the first place. Guess what? Of course, being the determined fairy that I am, have found a solution to this problem. Here are the steps that we follow:
 
 

How To Move From Breast To Formula

But as they say: life gets in the way. I was finding expressing, feeding, caring for the babies, looking after the house and going through a house move extremely exhausting and overwhelming. That’s when I made the tough decision to move onto formula feeding. But this wasn’t something that happened overnight.

When you decide to stop breast feeding the worry is that you will firstly get really sore breasts (and in extreme cases develop mastitis) and secondly, and more embarrassingly, completely douse people with your mummy milk as it escapes your breasts like shaken bottles of Prosecco. Cringe. I avoided the soreness by decreasing the amount I was pumping in every session (unfortunately didn’t avoid the milk squirting through…the struggle is real). As time went on, I worked up to missing out a pumping session altogether. My body was getting used to not needing the milk anymore. It took about 3 weeks for my milk to completely dry up.

Once we had decided to move onto formula, I wanted to make the whole process as simple as possible as there were many different elements to think about. This was particularly relevant when prepping for the night feeds (who wants to be counting out scoops of milk powder at 2.45am, especially as the risk of miscounting the scoops when you’re deliriously tired is extremely likely?). That was when we started to decant the required amount of powder for each feed into small containers. As the twins were feeding different amounts, I additionally had to make sure I separated these powders into different trays (I am sure they did this just to test my skills of organisation…see picture below).
 
 

How To Prepare Formula When Going Out

However the one difficultly I came across when using solely formula was how to prepare it for when the twins and I went out for the day. Breast milk is easy because you just heat it up. But formula requires boiling water, bottles, powder etc etc… The advice is to use boiling water when preparing formula to make sure any bacteria in the milk powder has been killed off. But have you actually done this and waited for the milk to cool down?? When your babies are ravenously screaming and there’s no cold tap to cool it down with…you would rather sign yourself up to step on lego than wait for it to be ready. So I wanted to work out a way of safely preparing the formula without having to wait a painful, slow and deafening few minutes (which felt like hours) for it to be cool enough for the babies to drink.

That was when a friend pointed out that you could replicate the Tommy Tippee’s Prep Machine process and use boiling water to cover the formula powder, then top it up with cooled boiled water so that it is immediately at drinking temperature. Revolutionary! (I would just like to highlight that there has been some controversy over whether the Prep Machine actually kills all of the bacteria so therefore it is questionable to imitate it…all I’ll say is I’m not trained to give advice, however the twins have used it for 4 months and haven’t yet grown a third eye, so I’ll leave that one with you).

So here are the items that I pack in my travel bag in order to prepare formula milk:

*One flask of boiling water

*One flask of cool boiled water

*Portioned formula powder

*Sterilised bottles

*(N.B. I always pack a couple of ready made milks too and a container to warm them up in just in case I need extra feeds…always prepared for every eventuality!)

 
 
This was the process I decided to follow when preparing formula out in the big wide world:

*Open sterilised bottles

*Decant portioned formula powder from the little container into each bottle

*Cover powder with boiling hot water from flask 1

*Use flask 2 to top up with cool boiled water to the required amount of feed

Now that I take the two different temperatures of water out with us, I am able to put together their feeds in minimum time. That means no hysterical babies and a happy Mumma. The only downside is the weight of my rucksack, but if I gain a toned back and slightly smaller waist from traipsing it around town, then I’ll take one for the team.
 
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About Haley
 
Originally from Devon, Haley and her husband Pete relocated to London four years ago. Having worked in Education for over ten years, a stickler for organisation and now a twin mama, Haley blogs to capture their Foxfairy adventures.
 
 
You can find Haley over at The Foxfairies
 
Don't forget to go and find her social media platforms and give her a little like or follow
 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU'RE IN A BLOGGING SLUMP

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Blogging slumps are real. I don't know if you can tell or not, but I am in a blogging slump. Over the last few weeks I have become way too focused on increasing my numbers over my social media platforms meaning that creating content for my blog has taken a back seat. It is starting to have an effect on my blog stats and my motivation to write, if you're guessing - I have none, whatsoever! I am well and truly in a blogging slump. There are so many reasons why some of us fall into a blogging slump, and it can be very discouraging  when you put some much time, effort and a hell of a lot of patience to make your blog a success. If you're a blogger, it doesn't matter who you are, it's inevitable that you will fall into a blogging slump at some point. However it's time for me to stop feeling sorry for myself, move away from the sofa and create some good content, I'm sure that the reason you're here reading this post is that you're feeling the same. So let's get out this slump and be proactive.


Before we get our teeth into this post, it can always be a good idea to figure out why you're in a blogging slump in the first place. Perhaps you have become too busy in your personal life, you've run out of blog post ideas, or you just don't feel motivated to write and now your blog seems to be suffering and failing to grow.  There are so many things that can make us feel as if we are heading into a blogging slump. For me, I have been way too distracted with my daughter starting nursery, making sure she settles and a new arrival in the family. My personal life has been crazy and therefore left me feeling unmotivated and unenthusiastic when it comes to writing posts. Blogging slumps get the best of us and so I thought that with this post we could help climb out of this blogging slump and get back to creating good content. 

B R A I N S T O R M

Sometimes life just gets in the way and this is okay. If you have a lot going on the last thing you want to do is force out a post, that's probably too rushed and crap, your readers will see that you're clutching at straws and you could loose regular readers. Ease the pressure and brainstorms a few ideas on a piece of paper and work from there, don't just sit at your computer hoping inspiration will come your way. It just may not work in your favour. I have found that when you're in the throes of writing good content, take five minutes each day to write down a few ideas for blog post, you could even host a poll on twitter asking your followers what content they would like you to share. Even some bloggers in a slump, write ' # blog post ideas' as a post so you won't be short of a few ideas when the slump comes around. 

H A V E  A  B R E A K

Are you use to blogging five, three or two times a week? Is the pressure of creating content and writing making you feel absolutely exhausted. If it is, then you simply need to ease up and take a break. If you're feeling the blogging slump, walk away from your laptop and take a break for a week or so. It's so important to allow yourself to take a break if you need it. It's always a good idea to let your readers know what is going on and tell them much how time you will need, I am pretty sure that many with sympathise with you too. The last thing you want to do is create content for the sake of it, your readers will recognise the slump content and veer off somewhere else for enthusiastic content, so don't force it. There's no reason why you should be blogging if you are not enjoying it, take time out and come back with a fresh head full of ideas.

G O  &  F I N D  I N S P I R A T I O N

One of my favourite places to go to is Pinterest for inspiration, but I also love to have a look on Bloglovin and even some magazines. There are certainly not short of an idea or two. It may also be a good idea to try and write a list or even create a blog post about ideas for blog post to help you feel inspired to write a few. By seeing an idea for a blog post can motivate you to actually write one, and then hopefully spark more ideas until you're back on track, blogging consistently. Perhaps there is a blogging month coming up, such as blogtober or blogmas. These months are never short of a few ideas to help get you inspired and writing! 

W H A T E V E R  Y O U  D O,  D O N ' T  C O M P A R E

Normally when I feel as if I am getting deeper and deeper into a blogging slump I will go and read some of my favourite bloggers for inspiration. However, whatever you do, don't get sucked into comparing yourself or your blog to others. When I do this I tend to get an overwhelming feeling of self-doubt and I even begin questioning the whole 'is blogging for me?'. I adore blogging, of course. But we have all had moments of self doubt where we do nothing but compare. So, focus on what you are doing, on your blog and this is something that I have been trying to work hard at this year. Not allowing myself to feel bad about sitting at home in my comfys while other bloggers are attending award ceremonies and amazing luxurious press trips. It's about you! 

W H A T  M A K E S  Y O U  C L I C K

In the midst of a blogging a slump a great way to begin the inspiration cycle is to sit and think about what makes you click a link? By creating content that keeps you interested will certainly be a popular post, as you will be able to tell withing your post. For me, a book review on a book that I would never read will never appeal as much as a detailed review on a new mascara I need to try. What can I say? I'm weak! 

P O W E R  T H R O U G H

Do you know what? Powering through a blogging slump won't last forever. Sometimes you have to be tough on yourself and power through because the deeper you get into a blogging slump the more likely you'll be put off forever, sometimes all it takes is a little while push into the right direction. In this currently blogging slump it's made me realise that I need to stop waiting for my blog to become successful. The only person that can make this happen is me, and it won't happen while I am sitting on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. It's going to take a lot of time, effort and a lot of patience. But I am ready to become more proactive. 

What do you normally do when you're in a blogging slump?

If you enjoy reading my blog please feel free to click through to see some blog posts about parenting, fertility, recipes, beauty products and so much more! Now don't forget you can also sign up for my newsletter that will send you an email to let you know that I have posted, just so you never miss a post. So go and sign up I promise I won't spam you!

BEING A MUM IS AMAZING, YET...

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Being a mother is a truly remarkable gift and a privilege that I hold very close to my heart. For me, becoming a mother to my beautiful little lady has been one of the biggest accomplishments that I have ever and probably will ever make in my life. Any decision that I have ever made in my life has never brought so much joy and so much love into my heart. I am more than sure that many of you reading this, mothers or fathers will understand exactly what I mean. We all have felt what it's like to love another, but being a mother or a father is a completely different form of love, one that is everlasting, one that is unconditional, a love that's impossible to break. But my journey into motherhood has been by far one of the hardest things that I have ever had to go through, it's been an emotional roller coaster. I have been thinking back to those first moments as a mother and remembering how hard they were, actually harder than I ever imagined. I don't think I was prepared for the emotional complexities that comes with motherhood. I expected to love my daughter and to be loved in return, but something that I didn't expect was the intricate shapes that both our love for one another assumes. It's powerful, it's unconditional and it's beautiful. In the midst of the beautiful world of being a mother it can be easy to find the joy and smiles, however it doesn't come without sacrifice.


Anyone will tell you that being a parent is the most exciting time in your life and all you can think about is bringing a new life into the world. As it should be, there's nothing more wonderful than watching a bump grow into a little person. In the moments before the arrival of your bundle of joy, the excitement continues to build until you find yourself wishing those last moments of your pregnancy away, after all you are eager to meet your baby. But instead of wishing that time away enjoy the last few moments of being able to sleep during the day, have lazy mornings in bed watching TV, doing things on a whim and go on as many dates as you possibly can. Just make sure you make the most of your time. Because all too soon your world will be turned upside down thanks to a certain little person. Nothing can prepare you for the joy, sheer exhaustion and happiness that is coming your way. But as amazing it is being a mother to my beautiful little girl there were some things that I never expected. In the beauty of motherhood I failed to realise that there is a lot of sacrifice...

SLEEP

Well that's a shocker! I assume that this would be on the top of every parents list, right? Remember those late nights on the tiles and the glorious lie ins. Absolute bliss. Late nights now consist of soothing cries, changing beds and listening out my daughter squeaks, then waking up at the crack of arse because she's needs to poop! I can vaguely remember a couple of people saying to me 'sleep while you can' and I remember thinking it can't be that bad! It's absolute torture, the first few months were unbearable, you cannot even begin to understand what I mean until you've been awake for six days straight.

Parenting can mean sacrificing your sleep...



TIME

Time with my husband, time to poop, time to wash and dry my hair without someone needing my attention. So, yes time is something that has most definitely been sacrificed! It's so hard to try and manage time when you have children. Before having our daughter we would always do things on a whim, we could get up late, or just spend all day in bed. And now our time is no longer ours and we struggle to get a few minutes by ourselves. Do you know what I miss the most? No, not that! Keep your minds out the gutter people! The little things, like holding his hand around town, normally we are too busy carrying the truck load of stuff that our little person needs, holding her sticky hand, or pushing the pram.  I cannot even remember the last time we had a date night, actually come to think of it, our anniversary last year! So it's been a while! Now our date nights consist of a Netflix binge with one of us (normally the husband) dropping a noddy before the opening credits have even rolled! We have to plan everything and I know that its all a part of becoming a parent but it's not fun and takes the mystery away. However it's a small sacrifice to make and I think that we cherish all the moments we do get alone so much more.

Time for myself? Forget it! I cannot remember the last time where I actually had a big bubble bath just for me, without a certain little lady using me a slide. To actually be alone, to sit in the quiet, to exhale and slump down in the sofa because someone offered to take my daughter for an afternoon, just to relax. I honestly really struggle to actually make time for myself, even though it's so important, I just end up forgetting. But looking after a toddler, the cooking, the cleaning and bath time I am just too knackered to have me time. All I want to do is sleep.

Parenting can mean sacrificing time with loved ones, and time for yourself.



RELATIONSHIPS

I was one of the first in my friendship group to have a baby, so I have plenty of friends who don’t have children. You know the ones that will always say we should meet up soon, but cancel last minute. But even though that are shitty for cancelling I am so envious of what they get up to and never realised becoming a parent would mean giving up so much. I have swapped all the late nights for early mornings, the cocktails and dinner dates for copious amounts of tea and quick and easy dinners. Don't even get me started on my wardrobe changes from skinny jeans and blouses to mum leggings and baggy tees. But even when I do go out I'm pretty sure I bore people to death with all my baby talk and baby photo spam. Being a parent is the most joyous thing in the world. Whether you agree or not, your lifestyle does change with children and I have seen so many changes because of my little girl.

When my daughter was born we were overwhelmed with visitors. The first five days were completely crazy, I thought you were supposed to give new parents time to adjust, obviously some didn't get that memo. As lovely as it was to have guests, trying to entertain family and friends when you have just pushed out a little human being is very hard. I would find myself walking around very slowly for fear of making funny faces and funny noises if I tried to sit down, I just wanted to cry. But where did all these people go? No seriously. It seems once the baby was three months old these people vanished into thin air and now my daughter is lucky if she gets a birthday card!


Not once did I ever imagine my relationship with my husband would change after having our daughter. Yes sure, we knew that she would cause an upheaval in our life, and we would soon adjust but our relationship would always be the same. Thinking back now, I was pretty na├»ve in expecting that our lives and our relationship would simply go back to what it what before our baby, but it would be three times as fun. Becoming a family of three was tough, we struggled, we snapped at one another but we soon adapted to our new life as a family. Our relationship has changed, it's not the same at all - but we have a child to love and a family to build, so it's a small sacrifice to pay.

Parenting can mean sacrificing some relationships...

MY JOB

I have always worked. I never would have imagined becoming a stay at home mum and not returning to work. I was never going to be one of those mums who couldn't bare leaving their little one. But you know what? I am. I get to spend all day with my daughter and watch as much Peter Rabbit as I possible can. I do think that life can be funny like that, so whatever you do, never expect your life to go the way you planned. But now that my daughter is older and will be heading off to nursery, I feel now is the perfect time to get back into work. I am kind of glad that this is coming around because I do actually miss working, miss the adult conversation that doesn't focus on a child's poop pattern or answering all those annoyed 'why?' questions. However being a stay at home mother to my daughter has opened up new doors, that I would have imagined would have even be possible.

Parenting can mean sacrificing your career?




MY APPEARANCE

Before having my child I would always make sure that I had regular hair cuts, style my hair and never ever go without makeup. Now? The make-up free, no contacts, mum bun wearing is the look that I roll with. I'm not saying that I have let myself go or anything, Ok maybe a little, but you get my point.  Lovely clothes? Forget it! There really is no point in buying or wearing any blouses with all those beautiful embellishments, you know the ones you have to dry clean! As my little one likes to investigates, teeth, dribble or pull at them so why bother? If it dangles, sparkles or can be taken off...forget it...it can be snapped, broken, or stolen in seconds.

Parenting can mean sacrificing your appearance...



MY BODY

When I fell pregnant, I did not think about how a baby bump would affect my body. Normally women gain weight during pregnancy, I on the other hand lost weight and I can even remember telling my sister that being pregnant was great for weight loss, plus a bundle of joy, haha. There's no doubt about it, pregnancy changes a woman's body. It was strange to see my bump getting bigger, but losng weight, I hated the fact that my face filled out into three extra chins though. Even though the initial weight loss was great, my body lost its shape. Before having a baby I was more of a curvaceous woman that had a good sized proportion throughout, big boobs and bum and slighter smaller waist. But pregnancy has left me with, what can only be described as floppy bits. I hated this part of becoming a mum and even two years on, I still hate my body because of those bits. I don't resent my baby because of it, because well my body helped my baby grow but I have to learn to love those bits, floppy or not.

Parenting means sacrificing your body...


BUT WITH ALL THIS SACRIFICE...
  
Motherhood isn't always easy, and it's not always fun. There are some days filled with non-stop laughter and others I could break down in tears. There are days I never leave the house and days where I get no sleep. But every day is worth it and everyday is precious. So even though it may look like all you do is sacrifice they are all worthwhile because someone looks up to you, someone depend son you and someone loves you more than anything. To some you can just be a part of their world, however to your children, you are their world.

THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH THE FOXFAIRIES PART 2

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Hello and welcome back to another instalment of The Baby Feeding Series, that features real stories from real parents who have experienced how hard and baffling feeding your baby can be. I want this series to be a place where parents can share their own experiences in the hopes that other parents who are struggling can feel less alone. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world but it's one of the most rewarding jobs too and so I want to share their stories.
 

I'm very excited to say that this week for The Baby Feeding Series we have the lovely Haley from The Foxfairies guest posting for us again to share another part to feeding her twins for this series, thank you Haley for kindly offering to share your post.
 
Expressing And Feeding Twins At The Same Time (Part 2)

Following on from my last post, I was open minded about how I was going to feed our twins. I had the intention of expressing so that others could also have the joy of helping to feed, whilst still giving them nutritious breast milk. However, I was realistic in the fact that feeding two babies solely on breast milk was not going to be an easy and straightforward option.

A friend advised me to pump very regularly and for long periods of time to get my body used to the demand of milk. I was trying to feed two mouths after all. So I started pumping after every bottle feed (which was every 2-3 hours) for half an hour at a time (even if I could only pump milk for 20 minutes, I would still continue to express for the full half an hour). Even writing that now makes me feel exhausted. I was very native to how tiring expressing would be. After every pumping session I felt like I had endured a mini marathon with two Dyson hoovers attached to me. Glamorous.
 


As time went on, I could see the amount of breast milk increasing every few days. At the peak of expressing each baby would only need one feed of formula and the rest would be breast milk (very proud Mumma). The one down side I found with this routine was I was constantly feeding, either physically giving the babies their bottles or expressing. I was a glorified, exhausted cow.

How To Feed And Express Simultaneously

I was challenged with a conundrum. I wanted to try and figure out a way that I could be more efficient with my time so that I didn’t have to spend all of my waking hours (which happened to be all day and all night) feeding and expressing. I thought to myself: when I am feeding the babies, does it not make sense to pump at the same time…?

Was I joking? No. Was I mad? Possibly a tiny bit. Impossible? Not at all.

It was more about timing and organisation. I set up my own breast pumping pack so that everything was organised and ready to use for each expressing session:
 


My breast pumping pack included:

*Medela swing maxi double breast pump

*Hands-free expressing bra

*Mama Mio Keep Calm nipple balm

*Kitchen roll paper for any spills / to wipe up as you detach the pumps

So this was how I successfully pumped and fed the twins at the same time (if you are going to try this, just to reassure you that this was not successful straight away. It took many attempts, a lot of wasted milk and numerous words of frustration, before I could do this effectively. Don’t be disheartened if it is not successful straight away, practise makes perfect).

*Have the breast pump set up and ready to use

*When it is almost time to feed your baby, put the hands-free breast pump bra on

*Prepare baby bottles ready to feed

*Put babies in curved cushions, attach the breast pumps to your bra, start pumping and feed babies at the same time

*Once you have finished feeding the babies, wind them, detach the pumps and store your milk in breast milk bags (A little tip: ALWAYS remember to use nibble balm straight after each pumping session to keep your nipples moisturised and sore-free)

Once I got the hang of it, this was the routine that I followed for every feed. In truth, I felt like super mum. I had worked out how to simultaneously express and feed the twins, which meant I could gain a little bit of my own time back (which, to be honest, was spent cleaning, bathing, food shopping, doing the laundry etc etc etc…but it was my time nonetheless).

However, after 2 months of feeding the babies on breast milk, I had to make the tough decision to move onto full time formula feeding.
 
 
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About Haley
 
Originally from Devon, Haley and her husband Pete relocated to London four years ago. Having worked in Education for over ten years, a stickler for organisation and now a twin mama, Haley blogs to capture their Foxfairy adventures.
 
 
You can find Haley over at The Foxfairies
 
Don't forget to go and find her social media platforms and give her a little like or follow
 

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