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THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH IT'S A KID'S LIFE BLOG

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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.
  
Last week we had the lovely Eva from Captain Bob Cat sharing her breastfeeding story with her children and I am delighted to let you all know that this week we have Carol from It's a Kids Life Blog who has only just started her blog and has kindly offered to share her short story about her journey with breastfeeding her children
 
My Breastfeeding Journey.
 
My breastfeeding journey began on the 8th November 2010 with my daughter Holly. It was something that I never even thought about with my daughter Danielle or my son Sean. Even though I have a very passionate opinion on breastfeeding I am not one of the typical breastfeeding advocates who love to talk about how breastfeeding is better than other ways. Every mother is different, every one has their own opinions on the whole debate. The way I see it is that every baby needs to be fed, whether that's with formula, breast or a mixture of the two. With my daughter Holly I decided to give breastfeeding a chance, just to see if it was something that we could try for a few weeks or months. I guess I was curious seeing as I never did with my other two. My breastfeeding journey with my daughter Holly turned into two and a half years and this is something that I will never change. It actually makes me so proud, proud of myself, proud of my daughter Holly that we stuck to breastfeeding. It was a 'let's just try it for a few weeks' kind of thing. When I did breastfeed my daughter until she was two and half I did get a few remarks. 'Are you still feeding?', 'It's time you got her off that?!' but despite all the comments I just let them go over my head and smiled. After all she was my daughter, it was my decision and what harm was I actually causing my daughter. It's not like you would take a dummy away from a baby that seems to be attached. I don't like the idea of a dummy, but that's my opinion, and that's an opinion that I will keep to myself as each parent is different and all the decision they make as parents is their choice. They are just doing what they think is best for their baby.
 
With my youngest daughter Lucy, I also made the decision to breastfeed, seeing as it went really well with Holly I am more than sure that it would be the same with Lucy. If I am honest Holly and Lucy's breastfeeding journeys were very similar, they took to breastfeeding like a duck does to water. Thinking back to the time I began breastfeeding Holly I didn't think I could continue, the pain was unbearable. I guess with the after pains and everything else that goes with a new born it got a little too much for me. But I was assured that I was doing great with her and so I stuck it out. I was encouraged to attend some breastfeeding support groups where I met some lovely people and made some lifelong friends. We would always end up in Starbucks which gave us all the confidence to breastfeed in public. But even though we were all so encouraging to one another it was something that took me a while to adjust to, sometimes I would even go into the ladies toilets and feed my daughter. Something that I don't actually care about my with my daughter Lucy. Who actually likes to eat their dinner in the toilet? So why should a baby because it makes other people feel uncomfortable.
 
Towards the end of my breastfeeding journey with Lucy I have been thinking a lot about the start of it. In that, when I was pregnant with her I knew that I wanted to breastfeed, as it was such a success with Holly. But I remember saying to myself that I would try and introduce a bottle with Lucy, just as I did with Holly. But Holly didn't really take to a bottle, she was so clingy and a lot of this was due to breastfeeding until she was two and a half. So introducing a bottle is something that I am still addressing with Lucy. Initially we tried the bottle, as she wasn't keen. I went out and tried every single bottle imaginable, but like her sister she just won't take to a bottle. So here we are at 21 months old and still going strong with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is one of the most enjoyable journeys to go on with your children, and I am so lucky that mine has lasted this long.

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About Carol
 
Carol is new to the blogging world and set up her blog in January and being such a new blogger she has been offered to guest post to get her name out there. Carol is a wife and mother four children, three girls and one boy. Carol is also a grandmother, but prefers glam-mother...to one grandson who is two with another one on the way in December. Carol loves to blog about her breastfeeding journey with her children, as well as her life and a review chucked in for good measure.
 
 


You can find both Carol over at It's a Kids Life Blog
 
Don't forget to go and give Carol's social media platforms a little like or follow
 

CONSTRUCTIVE CHAOS | Your Zodiac Sign Can Determine How Messy or Clean You Are!

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Do you ever wonder why you're so different from your siblings or partner? Why is it that you are the one that cleans the whole house from top to bottom and organise your books alphabetically, meanwhile others prefer to sit back and rely on others? I know that I am the complete opposite to both my brother and sister, they are messy and I am more of an organised hoarder. Some things in life are written in the stars. But did you know that the stars are also to blame for how messy or organised you are? There are certain parts of our nature that differentiate us as personalities and this is what affects our cleaning habits too. When it comes to getting organised and staying organised, every sign is different. Let’s just say that some signs just don’t get it. But don't blame yourself, blame your star sign.

Credit: Furniture@work

In general, the signs that are ruled by the earth element tend to be the most organised, especially when it comes to organising the home or the office. As a scorpion we are often seen as mysterious people who approach cleaning and organising with intense determination. I know, I take it seriously, and will not rest until everything is thoroughly completed. I like to keep everything and organise like there's no tomorrow. My filing cabinet is full of a collection of papers that have made it through the letter box and into my cabinet and never leaves. I never know when I may need that certain piece of paper from 2010! It's pretty cool to see that your Zodiac sign can determine what type of person you are, be it a super organiser, an organised mess, or a person who thrives on organised chaos, like me! 

Credit: Furniture@work 
So with this in mind, I wanted to focus on essential elements in creating the perfect work space for people who thrive in organised chaos. Some people spend a significant portion of their lives at work. Whether they love what you do or they're are less than thrilled at work, office space and how it's organisation can have a lot of impact on you and those around you. As so much of your life is spend at work, your work space should be a place where you can function to the best of your ability. The most important feature of good office design is functionality. But too often our offices are crammed with so many office machines, equipment, supplies and pieces of paper that our small or home offices are completely dysfunctional. So, today I want to share 5 things you could do right now to help you become more proactive at work...

Clear your desk

There's nothing more satisfying than a well organised, perfectly placed desk. So, start from scratch! Reorganising your office desk will be easiest if you start with a blank desk. Begin by organising your office by looking at your desk, office desk uk offer some pieces that have been tailored to suit your specific needs. Decide what you actually need for work and figure out if it essential to make the cut to stay on your desk. A computer, obviously! It's something that you use everyday to help make your work easier, but that pile of papers that you have been meaning to file isn't! So, be proactive and file them away. 



Storage, storage, storage

After you clear your desk it's time to try and reorder. But try not to put everything back into it's original place. A new look. A breath of fresh air. Try and think of ways where you could reorder your desk and take advantage of your new, clean space, by devising a new layout will actually help keep you interested while you're at work. Even the smallest and home offices produce more paper than anything else.  Unfortunately this means that there will be a lot that clutter in your office and desk so it's essential that you have sufficient space and storage. Organise your office by getting another filing cabinet if you need it or adding a supplies cupboard. Then you’ll have a place to put it and keeping your office design uncluttered will be easier. After you have filter through all that with a fine tooth comb it's now time to stock up on brand new supplies, even if your workplace provides office supplies, keeping a few of your own things on hand can make you feel more comfortable. As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files is gradually decreasing. What can you store digitally? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups. 

Try and make sure that your office space flows

Not everyone works the same way. You have to consider your daily processes, the files you use, the supplies you need regularly, the books you may need to reference, and which desk drawers and shelves are easiest for you to access. You don't want your notepads to be out of arm's reach if you use it regularly to take notes. When you're arranging your office, dedicate drawers and surface space closest to you to things of priority. The items you won't need as often can be stored out of the way until they're of use for you.

Don't go overboard with personal items 

Maintaining work-life balance is hard, especially on your desk. Family pictures or holiday souvenirs can provide positive feelings during the work day, but too many mementos can be a distraction and make you feel a little home sick. So leave it to just one photo and store the rest. Anything you decide to keep but don’t need on hand at your desk should be stored elsewhere so that it doesn’t accumulate and turn into a mess. This includes personal items, snacks and gadgets you only need on rare occasions. Written documents should go into folders and then into a filing cabinet, while other materials might need to be put away in a bottom drawer or closet if they’re not likely to be used. You could try adding a plant to your desk which can actually help you stay focused whilst working. It might sound silly, but, a plant or two in your office could improve your productivity and happiness. Even just having a window view of live greenery can help keep focus.


Make use of the walls

If you have a small desk but a lot of things, using the wall above your desk can be an efficient way to store things and keep your desk clear. Things like pegboards, cork-boards, and wire mesh boards are all great ways to hang up things that would normally clutter your desk and they give you something nice to look at when you’re even at your desk. You could even try and be creative and make your own, so you can tailor it to your specific needs. 

Wall Organiser by Sugar & Cloth
It can be difficult to get anything accomplished if you’re frequently losing certain documents or misplacing important paperwork. Working in an organised environment helps keep you focused and motivates you to make you work more efficient. If everything is in its place, you find the things you need to accomplish your daily tasks more quickly. Simple organisation techniques can make the world of difference when it comes to workplace productivity. To be in control is to be proactive, to take control to make things happen rather than letting things happen to them. So, with this notion in mind and the fact that as a scorpion I thrive on organised chaos by making a few changes in life and in my office will ensure that I am more proactive person. For many people, becoming organised is related to getting rid of paper clutter, improving their filing system or finding more time each day to get things done. And to some extent this is the main attribute to solving these problems but it will help them become better organised throughout their lives.

What is your Zodiac Sign? Check this well thought out infographic from Furniture@work to find out!

OH MY BLOG: The Holiday Edition with Modern Mum

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This is Oh My Blog: A monthly blogging series that allows you to meet a fellow blogger and get their opinions on a whole host of topics. Since its July, there’s no better time to start talking about holidays, sunshine and getaways and this month, it’s the turn of Kate from Modern Mum.



1. Summer is here! Are you going (or have you been) anywhere nice this year?

I have spent the first half of this year pregnant so we haven't made it away yet. Now our latest addition is here we are booked up for Camp Bestival in July and hoping for a couple of small breaks throughout the year. It is our ten year anniversary next year and we are saving or pennies and planning a big holiday to Fort Lauderdale.

2. Where is your favourite Summer holiday destination?

Florida, we try and go at least every other year, we usually stay a few days in Orlando so the kids can enjoy the parks, then we drove down to Fort Lauderdale, just north of Miami for a bit of luxury and relaxation..

3. Do you prefer to spend your summer abroad or in the UK?

Abroad, purely because of the weather. If you could guarantee the sunshine I would happily spend my holidays in Cornwall or floating down the Norfolk Broads.

4. Any holiday horror stories to report?

Not since I was 17, a £100 teletext holiday that seriously brought meaning to ' you get what you pay for ' a cockroach riddled apartment over a kebab shop. Still, at 17 we thought it was the best thing ever!

5. If you do go on holiday, are you a “sit by the pool all day” kind or person, or a “we need to get out and explore” kind of tourist?

Oh I'm straight down the middle! I love nothing more than relaxing with a strawberry daiquiri by the pool. After a couple of days I need to have a wander about and check out local sights, shops and restaurants.

6. Please help settle an argument. What is the earliest acceptable time to have a pre-holiday pint in the airport pub?

Easy! Anytime! It's 5 o'clock somewhere right? Also, one your airside I don't believe in time! I've had flights at 2am, 6am, 9am and 11am...... Dare you judge me when I order my G&T!

7. How are you with flying? Love it, hate it or a bit nonplussed by it all?

I used to love it, but flying with six children makes me nervous. Not because it's hard work, when airport staff see us coming all ropes get lifted, ques get jumped and help is everywhere. I think when they see the Brady Bunch coming they rush us through as quickly as possible. My nerves come from the actual flying.

8. What has been your favourite holiday that you’ve ever been on?

I should say my wedding in Florida which was pretty amazing, but just before we had the kids we did a big holiday to California, starting in San Francisco and driving through LA to San Diego and over to Vegas. When I landed back home I found out I was ten weeks pregnant with twins!

9. Where would you absolutely love to go, that you haven’t been yet?

Nashville and Bora Bora

10. What is your favourite summer holiday memory from when you were a kid?

Haven Harcourt Sands in Isle of Wight.

11. What is the first song on your summer anthems playlist?

Summer of Love, Sambuca, imagine (I love a bit of old skool) or in my later years, a country album

12. Camping (be it in the wilderness or in your back garden when you were a kid). Your thoughts?

Sounds fun, but in reality, I'm not a camper unless it's in a caravan or a 5 star yurt

13. Do you tan easily, or are you a brilliant shade of toothpaste white wherever you go?

I'm ginger.... Nuff said

14. What attraction or event would you recommend people go to this summer?

Camp Bestival

15. Finally, let us have you best tip for a stress-free holiday?

Stay calm and chilled out. Once you let stress in it can ruin your holiday. Don't organise too much, take each day as it comes. Wear sunscreen!




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You can find Kate over at Modern Mum



Oh My Blog!

A Day in the Life of Mimi Rose and Me

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It's always intriguing to see what others get up to in their daily lives. Being a mummy to a toddler can be hard and stressful at times, but I do find that having a good routine in place can make me feel as if anything is possible Even when we get some time to catch a breath I will always try and make the most of those times. We have had this routine since my daughter was six months old, and hasn't really changed much. I do find myself asking where the time has gone by the time 5 o' clock comes around, it's amazing how busy a toddler keeps you.

Here's my day in the life...

7.00am: I am normally awake before 7am answering emails, trawling through social media and perhaps to try and squeeze in a toddler free shower. If I do manage to get in the shower without the said toddler in tow, I then will then get dressed, put makeup on and get my mum bun-ness on...

7.30am: My daughter is normally awake either singing to herself, chatting to the dog or asking about her Daddy. I will then go get her out of her cot so she can wash and brush her teeth before heading downstairs for breakfast. The first thing I like to do is stick the kettle and pour myself a cuppa while I pop some milk in the microwave for my little milk monster.


8.00am: Breakfast time! After our morning drink we will then go and choose what we'd like for breakfast. It's normally cereal with some peaches or strawberries, but some days we like to have crumpets or toast with fruit. We then head over to the sofa and eat breakfast whilst watching Emmerdale or Peter Rabbit. This is also the perfect time to let my daughter know what is on the agenda for that day.

8.30am: After breakfast we will then tidy our breakfast things away while the little lady plays with some toys or tries to help or play with the fridge magnets. Then I will take to her to room to get her dressed ready for that day, then make the beds, do some laundry and begin the daily cleaning. All depending on what the day is and what we have planned I will do a deep clean either upstairs or downstairs on alternative days.


10.00am - 12.00pm: It's during this time that I like to schedule any appointments, classes, play dates or general errands. During this time of day my daughter is very awake and has so much energy, I like to try and keep her mind busy. We enjoy going to baby classes, going to park, visiting my sister and her daughters or just going for a walk. We especially enjoy the morning walks during the spring, it's so peaceful and my daughter loves all the pretty flowers.





12.00pm: Lunchtime! Most days we will eat our breakfast and lunches at home, but some days we like to explore and will take a little pack up with us. But on the days we are at home we will eat lunch together of either a pasta or crackers and soft cheese along with assortment of fruit or crudités.

1.00pm - 3.00pm: This was nap time, but the days of naps are gone. Now I will try and encourage my daughter to be creative with either play dough, painting, chalks, or other arts and crafts. We also like to try and bake something together at least once a week, who doesn't love chaos in the kitchen. If she just wants to play with her toys I will take some time out to drink tea, write blog posts, edit photographs or what I should be doing more of, exercising.



3.00pm - 4.30pm: This is when I will let my daughter watch some television. It's normally Peter Rabbit, Bing or My Little Pony.  I will make a start on dinner, with a little helper of course. We have a step for her in the kitchen and she loves to get that out and help me prepare dinner.

4.30pm - 5.00pm: Dinnertime! We will always wait for Daddy to get home before tucking into our dinner. We like to eat as a family most nights as I think that's important to have that time to talk about everyone's day. My poor husband doesn't get five minutes to relax after work because my little lady likes to talk, talk, and talk or constantly ask him if he wants to play games with her.



6.00pm: Bathtime! This is normally time for my daughter and husband to bond, he runs her a bath while I clean all the chaos we created in the kitchen. I hate waking up to a messy kitchen. While my two favourites are splashing about in the bath I will tidy downstairs to get ready for the evening with my husband.

7.30pm: After a while in the bath playing lots of games with Daddy I will then go upstairs to get my little lady dried and put her in her pyjamas. We will then have a cuddles, settle down to read a book together before she goes into her cot for Bedtime! My daughter usually goes to bed without a peep, however if she does struggle I will just go to her and tell her that the fairies want her to go to sleep so when she gets up she can have an amazing adventure. I love fairies!



8.00pm - 11.00pm: Phew, what a day. I will then have a bath or shower and go downstairs to a nice cup of tea. This is time that I like to spend with my husband to chill on the sofa watching our favourite programmes on television until my husband falls asleep. Some nights we may even share some chocolate with a cup of tea before going to bed together. But generally my husband crashes by 9pm. Haha.

5 EASY WAYS TO FRESHEN UP YOUR HOME FOR THE SUMMER

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One of my favourite things to do as a new season approaches is redecorate with a few quick changes that make a big difference. It’s time to get inspired by the warm air and sunny colours of summer days! So, today it's time to throw open the windows and let the sunshine and warm breezes into your home with these five easy ways to freshen up your home for the summer. 



Rearrange Furniture

The layout of your furniture impacts the feeling of your home more than you might realise. It doesn't matter if your rooms are large or small, having the correct furniture arrangement for the summer will make them more enjoyable. To begin with you could consider moving around furniture to help and lift the room to make it appear lighter and brighter. In our home we like to completely flip our living room and dining area by moving the sofas away from the radiators and placing the television unit and coffee table on the other side of the room. By doing this, helps make the rooms feel cooler during the summer months. Either way, giving some rooms in your home a furniture refresh can do wonders for helping you feel revitalised.

Clean and De-clutter

Just because Spring has been and gone doesn't mean there is no need for a spring clean spruce. As the summer comes around spending quality time with our nearest and dearest, sharing a cocktail or two, enjoying a BBQ and general garden fun. But where there is quality time, there are guests and mess so ensuring a good clean and de-clutter throughout the home is a great way to kick start the summer fun. It's a good idea to get prepared by cleaning and tidying different areas of your home. I have found that is becomes easier if you divide each part of your home and perhaps get other family members involved, even children

Though this one seems obvious, we often get stuck in a rut in our home and begin to leave items out. Like my camera, laptop and my organiser. It's not really a great look when we have guests over. So in order to prepare our home for the summer we have been de-cluttering like there's no tomorrow. Most clutter occurs in the kitchen so try and start with all those nooks and crannys as they are the susceptible for clutter. Our kitchen sides used to be really cluttered, but now we just have a toaster, kettle and microwave all the rest has been placed neatly in our cupboards.

Add a Dash of Colour

When it comes to decorating, not everyone has either the time or the money to do a whole makeover in their living room. But don’t fret! You don’t have to spend a lot of either to get a nice change and pick-up to the look of your room. Summer is the perfect time to take on a new project. You will find that you can add a real dash of colour by just painting one wall in your living room. This will really change the focal point of the living room without getting into a major decorating project. You can choose a bold, contrasting colour picked from a floral fabric, or a subtle tone darker than the tone of the other walls. Any change in colour will add interest and dash of colour! Nothing adds colour like pillows  placed on furniture. Whether you choose solids for a floral sofa or chair, or colourful, patterned pillows for a solid colour chair or sofa, you could even add a splash of colour to your floor, add a piece of art or even a lamp. All these simple addition to a room will sure to give your your room a lease of life. 


Ensure Safety

Summer is all about making the most of the beautiful sunshine, good times with friends and family and even escaping on the perfect getaway. But unfortunately this also means it could also make you a target for burglars. With summer, there are so many opportunities for thieves to try and take advantage so always make sure you are prepared with security and ensure your home is safe. I have a few tips to help you along the way. These days, it’s easy for social media-savvy thieves to do their research online. It doesn’t take long to work out if a homeowner is away by checking up on social media sites. Make sure your social media settings are listed as private and can only be viewed by friends or people you trust, as ‘checking in’ or broadcasting your holiday photos and updates on public sites can be risky. But don't forget while you're away to leave a set of spare keys with a friend or a neighbour, don't leave them anywhere someone would normally look. So don't leave them under the door mat or flowerpot. 

It may sound obvious but never leave valuables like laptops, handbags, purses or keys within the reach of an open window or near letter boxes. Keep a few lights on in the evenings, but avoid pulling all your curtains or blinds before you’re heading off for a weekend or on holiday, as this can indicate no-one is home. Install a home alarm, so that if the worst happens and there is a break in, you can be alerted quickly and you or your neighbours can contact the police. Lastly make sure you have Chill.ie Insurance in place, so that you’re protected should you find yourself a victim of summer burglary.


All the Fresh Flowers

Celebrate the warm weather with summer arrangements that are sure to bring energy to any room and make it feel like spring inside no matter what it is doing outside. Fresh flowers instantly brighten your home, making it colourful and so much more inviting. It helps that fresh flowers are not too pricey and add a certain decadence to any room. I also like the fact that it's an easy way to introduce trendy colours that you don’t have to commit to forever. I am very lucky as my husband kindly buys me flowers each week so we can constantly change the look and scents throughout our home. 


What do you do to help freshen your home for summer?

Disclaimer – please be aware that this is a collaborative post but as always all words are my own

THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH CAPTAIN BOB CAT

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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.
 

Last week we had the lovely Jo from Cup of Toast and this week I'm very excited to say that this week for The Baby Feeding Series we have the lovely Eva from Captain Bob Cat guest posting for us. Eva has kindly offered to share her breastfeeding stories with the both of her children. But in her post I couldn't help but feel as if many women will resonate with Eva in those first few days of parenthood. There is so much we all have to consider without everything else that was thrown Eva's ways. But, after a while they were able to find a way that suited both her and her children. So, without further ado I'd like to hand you over to Eva.
 
My Breastfeeding Experience
 
I was devastated, when my firstborn refused to breastfeed. We had a classic case of starting off well, then jaundice decided to strike, he was just 2 days old. Along with everything else a new born has to deal with, the sleepiness and not feeding. Then on day 5 - still in the hospital - the nurse suggested that "we really need to top him up. Here's some formula, mum." What's a first time mum to do? Scared to death that my baby is starving, I gave him formula. The jaundice eventually cleared, but it turned out, that he was also tongue tied. Racing with the time, he got his tongue tie snipped when he was 14 days old. Privately. This, honestly took some time to wrap my head around.  How on earth can it be, that there was no possibility to deal with the tongue tie right there on the spot, in the maternity ward? How? See, I know other mums in the same shoes and about 50% of them, like me, never was able to breastfeed their baby. How is this not a priority? Especially when there's such a big campaign and pressure on new mums to breastfeed. Just how? Meanwhile, I still tried my best to get him on the breast. We went on a "breastfeeding holiday" (basically you do nothing, but breastfeed 24/7), which resulted him losing weight. Panic, tears, back on formula. During the 2 weeks my son couldn't latch on, I kept pumping. He got around 70% breast milk and 30% formula in the first 4 months (all from the bottle) but no matter how much I pumped, my supply started to decline. For the first month, at every feeding, 6-8 times a day, I had the following routine: first tried to breastfeed him, then gave him pumped milk, then pumped again for the next feed, then prepared a bottle of formula to top him up. He was a hungry baby. My milk supply gave up when he was 7 months old and we moved to formula completely.
 
I believe, I'm not alone with this scenario. I felt pretty crap in the first few weeks, having thoughts like: I'm not trying hard enough, there must be a solution but I'm not finding it, etc. Health visitors, breast feeding support specialists, midwives, friends, family all gave me sometimes unwanted and controversial advice. I felt relieved when we switched to formula completely. The pressure was gone and I stopped blaming myself. I was lucky, I managed to more or less accept that I couldn't breastfeed him. But, until my daughter came along, I never fully made peace with myself. 
 
Second time around the story gets shorter, although my baby girl didn't take breast milk for the first week or so (unlike my son, she didn't even try, just pushed me away from the very first moment) but then I did the same thing again: just fed her all the time. This time it worked. Every 3-4 hours, including night time. I'd wake her up and feed her. It helped to boost my milk supply (milk production is better night time) and for her to learn to feed more effectively: during the night she wasn't as fussy and distracted as in the daytime. Within a week after getting home she was weaned off the bottle and fully breastfed. She's now one year old and still gets two feeds a day. She doesn't want to stop, but I know that we're coming to the end of our breastfeeding days, as my supply is getting very low. The only thing is, that she never took the bottle again. She refuses to drink any milk or formula. She went straight on the sippy cup, it was a huge battle, but now she drinks water from cup. She gets some yogurt and cheese so I'm not worried. With her taking breast milk from me, she also brought peace. Peace with myself for not being able to breastfeed my boy. She helped me massively to get over it.
 
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About Eva
 
Eva is a mum to Captain Bobcat, who came up with a cute nickname when he was just a few days old. Originally from Budapest, but lived in Australia, cleaned beaches in Ibiza and ended up in London. Eva mentions that she has a green heart on her blog, and even considers herself as an environmentalist. A vegetarian, who prefers the eco-friendly version of everything. A firm yoga-believer who loves tennis! Well, nowadays Eva cooks with meat for the carnivores in her family – you’ll find great vegetarian toddler and family friendly recipes, weaning diet ideas and some meaty recipes on her blog. As well as being an avid environmentalist she is also a former hotelier and travel expert too, where she love to blog about their journeys, share experiences and add reviews. Eva still feels as if she's a new mum even tough Bobcat is nearly three years old, especially that now he has a baby sister.
 
 
You can find Eva over at Captain Bob Cat
 
Don't forget to go and look over Eva's social media platforms to give her a little like or a follow.
 

EASING TEETHING WITH MAMA + BELLE

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Every stage of a child’s development is amazing to witness. From the moment a baby first opens his or her eyes, to the moment they start talking, walking, running, or teething it’s all exciting to watch. However, not every stage is fun for the baby. Oh, teething! It's such a tough stage that seems to last ages. To be fair, toothache actually drives me crazy so goodness knows what it's like for little ones. Many teething babies and toddlers become irritable and difficult to comfort. With my daughter we were fairly lucky and discovered a few things help ease her pain, teething gel, Ashton & Parson powders and biccy pegs. But it was hard. My sister and her beautiful baby boy are now going through the teething stage and teething gel has worked wonders, but she has been looking for something else to help ease his teething pain. A very stylish teething necklace from Mama + Belle.


Mama + Belle was a company that launched a couple of years ago by a mother who wanted to create and design something quite unique. Even though this is not the first of it's kind, this teething necklace is a set above the rest. Mama + Belle fell in love with the idea of a teething necklace but wanted to create something that is much more than just a teething necklace, something that mothers would wear regardless of it's purpose. The teething range at Mama + Belle certainly does that. I was kindly sent over the Aurora Quartz Teething Necklace and it's simply just so pretty. I love how it brightens up a casual outfit immediately whilst easing teething pain.



The necklace is 100% safe for babies to teeth on. The beads are made out of silicone which is perfect for sore gums to bite on. Each silicone bead is individually knotted and is strung on extra durable nylon card. The beads are made from high quality, BPA free and food grade silicone. For additional safety, the necklaces feature a breakaway clasp. The coloured beads are stunning and super pretty. My sisters little boy loved grabbing and chewing on the necklace and it's actually easing his teething pain, which means more sleep for him and more sleep for mama. An all round winner!





I was so happy to receive this Aurora Quartz Teething Necklace for my nephew, it seems as if the beads really help to comfort him. They are so easy to wash, simply use warm soapy water or you can pop them into the top shelf of the dishwasher or in a steam steriliser. But there are so many beautiful products available on Mama + Belle, so if a teething necklace is not your style why not try their bracelets and bangles. I have been looking at the Amelia Nude Quartz and Marble Teething Bangle, I know that I would just wear this as an everyday bangle, the colours are well matched and very pretty. Mama + Belle is not just for mums, you know. There is also a new collection just for Dads. I adore this collection, The Dad Collection includes a few teething bracelets which are perfect. The Maverick Teething Bracelet looks like a must have product for Dads. Featuring small 9mm beads, with a rectangle accent bead and cube bead over adjustable closure- allowing for a variety of shapes and surfaces for those little gums and teeth to chew on. Just one more thing, how adorable are these dummy clips. I remember with my daughter I hated losing her dummy and owned lots of  dummy clips, but mine were no where near this stylish. These Dummy/Teether Clips are made with the same high quality silicone beads as the teething necklaces means your little one can chew on their clip to their hearts content, and mama can relax knowing it's completely safe. 







What do you think of the Mama + Belle teething range?

*DISCLAIMER* MIMI ROSE AND ME IS A PERSONAL BLOG WRITTEN AND EDITED BY MYSELF ONLY, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. MY REVIEWS ARE COMPLETELY BASED ON MY OWN OPINION OF THE PRODUCT REVIEWED. THESE PRODUCTS WERE SUPPLIED TO ME AS A GIFT TO TEST AND REVIEW.

MAKING CAR JOURNEYS EASIER WITH PLAYFOAM® GO!

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Over the last few weeks we have been busy bees preparing for our family holiday to the countryside. Not only do we have to prepare our car, pack we also have to think how we are going to keep our little girl entertained for the five hour car journey. As with most car journeys being prepared is a must as you may never know what these little people can throw at you - an unscheduled nap, a meltdown because they've dropped their favourite toy, becoming hangry little people (we've all been there), explosives poops or even vomming everywhere. It's best to be prepared for EVERYTHING. Distractions are a must. My daughter has pretty much taxed my kindle and we do have a portable DVD player and so before we set off we will make sure that they are both fully charged or have enough leads in case we need to recharge. My daughter has a fantastic app on my her kindle and this is perfect for car journeys. Obviously I don’t want my daughter to be plugged in to screens for too long. So we have been searching high and low for some great ways to try and keep her entertained and we were kindly offered this Playfoam® Go! for our journey. 




The Playfoam® Go! set is an ideal travel activity! The award winning Playfoam® is an easy to use, lightweight modelling foam that never dries out. Develop fine motor skills by squeezing and folding the sculpting beads into anything you like, then squash it down and start again! The non-toxic blocks won't dry, crumble, stick to skin or surfaces, keeping children engaged and mess-free. The sturdy plastic carrying case includes 8 colours of Playfoam®, each kept neat and tidy in its own unique compartment.



We couldn't wait to get our hands on the Playfoam® Go! When the product arrived my daughter opened the box, she was very eager and certainly excited by the unwrapping of the Playfoam® Go! This was something that she has never come across before which I think made it far more appealing than some of her other toys. My daughter is very inquisitive, like most toddlers and couldn't wait to get creative with the Playfoam®. We also loved the idea than it came in a carry case, with several compartment with shapes on the lid, so she can mould into them. It is going to be the ultimate distraction when we set off for our five hour car journey.


The first thing we noticed with The Playfoam® Go! was that the foam itself was very sticky, but it was interesting to see that it didn't leave any residue on our hands, which was surprising. Almost like marsh mellow.  Honestly, we spend ages squashing, rolling, pulling and making crazy shapes. My daughter, like most toddlers love to mix colours with her play dough and this Playfoam® was no different. When we were in a creative mood we made circles, squares, hearts and even a diamond. It was a lot of fun, my daughter is beginning to write down letters and so we thought that moulding some shapes would be a great learning activity. As my daughter moulded her Playfoam® into little sausages I would talk to her about each letter and even sounded them out. Not only is it great for letter recognition but excellent for practising their fine motor skills. 




Final Thoughts

This unique and creative Playfoam® is definitely something that will stand the test of time. This travel set is aimed at three to seven years old, but I think that it can surpass this age range. I am on the wrong side of my twenties and it kept me entertained for much longer that it should have. It's a great ways to help encourage recognition but excellent for practising their fine motor skills. 


On opening the Playfoam® Go! I was a little apprehensive letting my wilful toddler loose, straight away she mixed the colour but unlike her playdough it doesn't end up in a complete mess. The foam has a bead structure and so they do mix together but you are able to see the colours still and if you have some time on your hand, you'll be able to separate them again. Another concern was knowing the fact that the Playfoam® is sticky, but surprisingly it didn't leave any form of residue on the hands, surfaces and more importantly my walls. We really like our Playfoam® Go! and it's something that we play with almost every day. We can't wait to take this on our long car journey, it's so easy to carry too, complete with compartments for colour and a useful handle to make it easy to take along. A must have product for all children!



*DISCLAIMER* MIMI ROSE AND ME IS A PERSONAL BLOG WRITTEN AND EDITED BY MYSELF ONLY, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. MY REVIEWS ARE COMPLETELY BASED ON MY OWN OPINION OF THE PRODUCT REVIEWED. THESE PRODUCTS WERE SUPPLIED TO ME AS A GIFT TO TEST AND REVIEW.


THE BEAUTY OF OAK WITH BLUSH PINK AND PALE GREY

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There’s something so rewarding about choosing solid oak furniture for your home. The knowledge that you’re making a purchase that will last. The satisfaction that you’re investing in your home and giving it real quality and depth. Seeing as we are finally in the summer months, it's time for some change. As you know my daughter is three years old and I cannot believe that in those three years she seems to have accumulated more belongings than both my husband and I, and so it makes complete sense to upgrade the size of her bedroom. But as she goes into the bigger bedroom it does mean that the smaller room will be vacant, no we are not having a man cave, we are have decided to create a home office, which is an exciting project. However our big summer project is to try and create the perfect space for our master bedroom. We have have searching high and low for the perfect inspiration, and we really like the idea of oak furniture being match with pale grey and pale pink.


LEFT TO RIGHT: Gabo Brass Mirrors, £94 | Leslie Pink Throw, £42 | Brooklyn Vintage Brass Dome Pendant Light, £69 | Tracey Embroidered Pale Pink Cushion, £24 | Henley Oak Bedroom Set, £806 | Paloma Wool Rug, £245 | Castleford Chair in Light Grey, £459 | 

I really feel inspired with a the mixture of pale pink and rustic textures with touches of metal for a cosy but chic bedroom. A pastel pink wall in our master bedroom creates an ideal backdrop for a warm, feminine look. With the pale grey adding a simply decadent touch. Choosing solid oak furniture means that you give your home and your decor lasting style. One that grows with you and your family, enabling new designs and looks, even when trends change. Enjoying the beauty of oak with blush pink and pale grey is simply, decadent. We have found the perfect solid oak bedroom set from the Oak Furniture Company

Blush Pink and Pale Grey Inspiration
Soft Pink and Rustic Textures

Enjoy the natural beauty of Oak with this Henley Oak Bedroom Bundle. A truly versatile range that will work well in either a traditional or contemporary setting. In this bundle, you'll receive the Henley Oak Bedside, which keeps personal items close at hand, along with the Henley Oak Two Over Three Chest - a petite piece of furniture, but offers a plenty of storage space. You also get the Henley Oak Full Hanging Wardrobe, which is designed to be compact and space-saving while offering the storage you need. What do you think about the beauty of oak with blush pink and pale grey scheme?
Henry Oak Bedroom Bundle

Disclaimer – please be aware that this is a collaborative post but as always all words are my own

THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH CUP OF TOAST

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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.




Last week we had the lovely Jenny from Midwife and Life who kindly offered an insight into stopping breastfeeding when your toddler isn't quite ready. It was a very honest post and had lots of tips and advice to help you along your way. This week I would love to introduce the lovely Jo from Cup Of Toast who asked to write a post about how she breastfed all of my boys but found it very difficult with her first but also found that there was a surprising lack of support. If it hadn't been for an exceptionally kind and patient health visitor, she would have been left feeling very upset in those precious first weeks when you're finding your feet. So, without further ado I'd like to hand you over to the lovely Jo.
 
My Breastfeeding Experience
 
I had it all planned. I’d been to the antenatal classes, I’d seen the videos. The birth was the hard part, after that would be a doddle(ish). I wasn’t looking forward to the nappies, making sure the baby’s temperature was ok. I steeled myself for the sleepless nights and the removal of spontaneity from my life. I organised the house and car and read review after review of car seats, buggies, changing bags and cots to make life as straight forward as possible after baby arrived. I bought myself a breast pump and a few bottles as a ‘just in case’ option. But the feeding part itself? Well, I was determined to exclusively breastfeed. The midwife said that the baby would breast crawl from my stomach to my breast, latch on and feed directly after birth. It did sound like some sort of peculiar swimming stroke that I hadn’t encountered from my days with a swimming club, but apparently it happened. The only other piece of advice was that if it hurt then baby wasn’t latched on properly so you should remove baby and try again.

Fast forward to Chief’s birth. He had apparently missed the memo about breast crawl (perhaps he’d slept through that class?) but I forgave him. After all he was minutes old and had just been yanked out of me with instrumentation that looked as though it had fallen out of a horror movie props catalogue. So I slid him upwards as discreetly as possible and plonked him on. Then gritted my teeth, and then gritted them again. This hurt. I wouldn’t say anything, he seemed ok and I didn’t want to disturb him further. Plus there was all sorts going on at the business end that I thought I was better off ignoring. We stayed in hospital for a few days because of the damage to his head made during his entry to the world. One lovely midwife sat with me one night encouraging me to try different positions, but that was the only breastfeeding advice or support that I was given, and it continued to hurt.

When I was discharged and sent out into the world the real trouble started. One midwife told me that of course it hurt, I was bending forward. Another suggested that I didn’t feed Chief until I could get comfortable, after all he wouldn’t starve (all the while I might be driven mad by the hormonal surge that made me feel as though I was having a hot flush every time he cried in hunger). Out of desperation I called an advice line one evening. “It shouldn’t hurt” they reiterated over the phone. “How many times have you tried to latch him on?” “A few” I confessed. “If you’ve tried more than three times and it still hurts then he’s not latched on properly and you’ve failed him”. Stunned I ended the phone call and promptly burst into tears. Fortunately, unbeknown to the call handler, I had a supportive husband at home. “It’s ok,” he said, “I’ve found a group that you can try”. A kind friend offered to come with me so off we went. After a couple of wrong turns we found the breastfeeding counsellor in a back room of a church hall. She was sitting with another lady when we got there. “Wake him up, strip him off and get him hungry” she barked. I did as I was told. “Now, expose your breast and wait for him to find it”. Again, I did as I was told whilst other people started filing into the room waiting for their turn whilst my boob was hanging out dripping milk and Chief was getting red with rage. Eventually, after a few mortifying minutes, I gave in and helped him. “You didn’t give him a chance” the counsellor tutted before turning to the assembled crowd of nervous women, “Next!”.

It was around eight weeks that I had a breakthrough, in the form of my wonderful health visitor. She was so supportive and could see how much I wanted to try, desperate to avoid fulfilling the comments on the advice line and having to stop altogether because I couldn’t get my head around it. She directed me to a cranial osteopath in a nearby town who examined Chief’s head, found a problem with his jaw, and promptly put me on the road to breastfeeding success. By twelve weeks it had stopped hurting and I was starting to enjoy it, even though my cross cradle position of feeding raised a few eyebrows and wasn’t the most comfortable position for me, it worked perfectly for Chief and he was content.

When he got to around eight months old and was weaning and starting to sleep more, I raised my voice to anyone who would listen about breastfeeding. It may not hurt some people, and although it wasn’t a 10/10 on my pain scale, but it did hurt, and it wasn’t comfortable, and it wasn’t close to being as natural and straightforward for me as some of the antenatal classes had me believe.

So I’ll end with this thought. If your baby is fed then one of their happy boxes will have been ticked. If they are happy, chances are that you will have an opportunity to focus on another area of the vast parenting wilderness that greets you when you have a new born. So don’t do what I did and put pressure on yourself to do it one way or another. Do whatever works for you and your baby.

Incidentally, I have since had two more babies, both exclusively breastfed, and both fed totally differently. With both, however, the biggest difference was that I was so much more relaxed and took my lead from them. That you are nurturing your child is surely the most important factor to consider when it comes to how you feed, clothe, bathe them or even which nappies you choose to use, so that should be your focal point, not what a stranger on the end of the telephone says to you.
 
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About Jo

Jo blogs at Cup of Toast about her family life, food, adventures and everything in between. She is a mama to 3 boys (aged 6, 4 and 2) and several fur babies. Jo enjoys reading, writing and eating biscuits 😉
 
 
You can find Jo over at Cup of Toast
 
Don't forget to go and find her social media platforms and give her a little like or follow.

REVIEW | FREZYDERM SKINCARE

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Using a moisturiser on a regular basis can be the answer to achieving silky smooth skin. However knowing how often to apply moisturiser can be difficult, and it's all got to do with your skin type. I have very dry skin and I suffer with eczema, and so I need to moisturise everyday. Quite recently I have been venturing into natural products as they have been great for everyday use, but now I need something that is a little more specific for my eczema, and I have become a little obsessed FREZYDERM. I was kindly sent over some Atoprel Emollient Cream for myself and some Infant Sun Care, Factor 50 for my daughter. 


Before we get into the specifics of each product, let's talk about the company. FREZYDERM is a Greek skincare company that is popular in Europe. Their skincare was initially marketed at dermatologists but is now available to the public. FREZYDERM aims to design and manufacture safe and effective, high quality, products that conform to strict pharmaceutical standards. The innovative and unique product range has been formulated to effectively treat all skin types and skin conditions, without irritation. This emollient cream is for the care of dry, sensitive atopic skin, that is prone to eczema and other skin conditions. FREZYDERM promises to hydrate your skin, strengthen the skin barrier and protects and reduces itching and irritation. Total all round winner for those for dry and sensitive skin. 

As an eczema sufferer my skin can become so dry and very irritable in an instant. I decided to apply some of the emollient cream on some dry itchy parts of my legs, sometimes they drive me crazy how much they itch. So much so, I can make them bleed. But thankfully, for these parts of my legs I have refrained from scratching and I was only too eager to apply the emollient cream. The formulation of the cream is thick , rich, and very nourishing, in comparison to some moisturisers I have used. I love how quickly this absorbs straight into the skin, leaving no residue and no oily feeling on the hands. There is a very faint aroma which comes from the cream included rather than a chemical fragrance. I cannot believe how much this has helped my skin, I am not just saying this but it's made a huge difference. 


I also wanted to talk about FREZYDERM Baby Sun Cream, which has been formulated to include safe and effective pharmaceutical materials that gently care for and nourish delicate infant skin. I was looking forward to trying this sunscreen lotion on my daughter as it promises to offer a high sun protection. I won't put anything that is less than factor 50 on my daughter, she has fair skin and would hate for her to get burned. So, a day at the beach and armed with our new FREZYDERM Baby Sun Cream we went to go and jump some waves. When we applied the sun cream we could see it creates a waterproof protective blue film, making it easier to get an even coverage. The formula is enriched with chamomile, protects against dehydration and irritation. I really like how quickly this absorbed into my daughter's skin and didn't leave any blue or white marks on her skin. With most sun screen they need to be reapplied regularly and we reapplied every twenty to thirty minutes.


In a nutshell, the FREZYDERM products that we were sent for a review were great and did wonders for our skin. For me, the emollient has near enough got rid of my eczema on my legs and the sun cream for my daughter was really good. For my daughter I think she found it fascinating that her cream went on blue and disappeared, she most definitely enjoyed applying her sun cream that's for sure.

*DISCLAIMER* MIMI ROSE AND ME IS A PERSONAL BLOG WRITTEN AND EDITED BY MYSELF ONLY, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. MY REVIEWS ARE COMPLETELY BASED ON MY OWN OPINION OF THE PRODUCT REVIEWED. THESE PRODUCTS WERE SUPPLIED TO ME AS A GIFT TO TEST AND REVIEW.

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