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Yes, I Know My Daughter Needs a Sibling

It doesn't matter what your family situation is there are always people who ask questions about your reproductive plans. I remember as soon as my husband and I were married we were bombarded with baby questions, even on our wedding day. We had spend so long organising one of the happiest days of our lives but thne to be bombarded with baby questions wasn't ideal, we should have been completely honest and tell them that baby plans were not something we had even considered at that point. However, we just nodded along. We both wanted to enjoy being a married couple for a few years, go travelling, explore the world before adding a baby into the mix. Is there some kind of requirement at weddings to ask the bride and groom about their reproductive plans? Because let me tell it's not a question you ask.

You'd think having a baby would stop such questions being asked, they don't! 

Becoming parents was amazing. We were completely in love with our roles as new parents and taking care of our beautiful baby, it's so exciting watching someone you adore and love with everything you have grow and become independent. Parenthood is one of the most fulfilling experiences that anyone can ever go through and we feel so lucky to be able to finally have a family of our own. Becoming a mother to our beautiful baby was not the easiest journey, actually it was probably one of the toughest things we have ever been through. Many women don't want to talk about their feelings of pain, frustration and shame that comes with fertility. I think throughout society, there is a kind of stigma that to be a real woman you should be fertile and have babies. If anyone needs extra help, we are somehow less perfect or less of a person. But as a woman who has had fertility problems we just cannot beat ourselves up about it. Some women can look at a male and become pregnant, others it could take a little longer than they first anticipate and some need extra help along the way. No way is the right way for conceiving a baby, it just has to be the right way for you. I think that's what a lot of people forget becoming a parent is not always a walk in the park. You don't think one day 'let's make a baby' and by some miracle, poof, you're pregnant!!! It's doesn't always work like that. It takes a lot of love, support and patience.

I think that's why we feel so grateful to be parents, we never thought we would be parents. Our daughter is our miracle! We are complete. We feel content. But those baby questions are being asked, again. 'Are you having another?', 'Baby number two on the cards yet?' We were more than content with our life as a family of three but it seems that a couple sticking to one child is not enough. If you don't have a baby you are always being asked when you're going to have a baby. If you already have a child, you then start getting asked when are you having another and I have known some people with two children of the same gender getting asked 'are you trying until you get a boy'! As a mum of an only child my biggest fear is leaving this world and leaving her alone. I know I may sound irrational and I know she will have family and friends but it's a genuine fear. It is fair for her to be alone? 

The year marks a big milestone in our second fertility journey and it's something that we have kept close to our hearts. After the birth of our daughter we started to tell people and the whole world through this blog about our fertility problems, along the way felt some kind of comfort knowing that it can happen to anyone. Being a parent was one of the most amazing experiences you could ever have, and last year we made the decision to start trying for a baby. Unfortunately we are in a similar position we were five years ago. I honestly thought that I wouldn't have any problems when it comes to conceiving another baby. After all, I have already prepared my body for pregnancy and we pretty much know how it all works so it should be a walk in the park right? Last year saw a lot of heartache for us. We have had one negative test after another. We had a glimmer of hope with our first positive pregnancy test, which was short lived making the heartbreak that much harder and so painful.

Like most children, our daughter is desperate for a sibling. I'm beginning to realise that it's having an impact on my daughter. Our daughter has always been confident enough to go off and play with her toys, colour or play dress up on her own. But recently she is making references to a brother or sister and telling us that it's no fun playing on her own. As a parent it was absolute torture hearing those words. Both my husband and I are trying so hard to have another baby and it's getting to a point now where I don't think it's going to happen for us and it breaks my heart knowing how devastated our daughter will be. How do I tell my daughter that she may never have a sibling?

I would love nothing more than another baby. I know everyone is right our daughter needs a sibling. So can you imagine our heartache that we may never be able to give her the sibling she desperately wants. Each time you ask a question about a second baby, it's like a stabbing pain in my heart, or you're picking a wound that refuses to heal. My husband is just as desperate for a child as I am,  we feel guilty we cannot give our daughter a sibling, we are consumed by the immense heartache each month and at times we are angry and sad that we can't have what we want. 

We have always known that becoming parents was never going to be an easy and both my husband and I have been extremely lucky to have been blessed with our beautiful baby girl. I guess, we never considered the possibility of having another child, seeing as we have already blessed with our miracle baby. With most families, a second baby comes soon after the first. We have lots of friends who have had children around the same time as we had our own daughter and have already had another child, pregnant or already planning for another. Being under this spotlight is not fun. If anything it makes us feel as we are not enough. My husband and I love our little family, to us it's perfect as it is and if we are blessed with another baby then that would be wonderful. But if it's not meant to be we are more than happy with that.

Those questions, those words feel like you're picking at our family. Are we not enough? It's something that we struggle with daily, it weighs heavily on our mind. But we have no intention of sharing those personal emotions of our lives until we are good and ready. A turning point in trying to conceive a baby naturally came when we noticed it began to have a impact on us, our life and marriage. We were constantly worrying and asking ourselves whose at fault, and in reality these things just happen. We have made some big changes this year in a bid to improve our chances of a second baby. But my husband and I were very fortunate to have our beautiful miracle baby girl, Amelia-Rose. A true blessing and one that I will never ever take for granted. The only way that I can end this post is to say, be thankful and appreciate the things you have in your life and remember whenever you meet new people, stop and think that they could be fighting a battle that you know nothing about, so be kind.

Small Interior Changes To Your Bedroom Can Do Wonders For Your Sleep

As you man know, we have been making some big changes in our household and spending the last few months turning our house into a home. Although we have minimal scheme throughout and the majority of the decorating is completed, it still feels as if some rooms lack finishing touches. Our bedroom is the main focus for us at the moment as we both want to create a space that oozes tranquility and calmness, but also create a space that we feel comfortable, relaxed in to help get a good night's sleep. Are you getting enough sleep at night? If you do manage to drift off into a slumber is the quality of that sleep as good as it should be? I don't know about you, but night time is the worst part of the day and getting to sleep has become something that I dread. I always have a good intention when I go to bed, but then as soon as my head hits that pillow I'm wide awake. Small changes in your bedroom can do wonders for your sleep.

1// A Good Mattress is the Essential. 

A good night's rest may be as simple as getting a new mattress. If your mattress is too lumpy, hard, or soft, it will keep you up all night trying to get comfortable. Both my husband and I have different needs when it comes to sleep and a mattress so it can be difficult to get a good balance. There are many different types of mattresses, such as foam, spring, adjustable, waterbeds, and even an airbeds. I have wanted to get a new bed and mattress for some time as ours is far too hard for me, I prefer a softer feel. Have you ever thought about all the things you need to consider when buying a mattress? We spend a third of our lives sleeping and yet the perfect mattress is easily overlooked. Where we sleep determines how we sleep, and not all mattresses are created equal. And I have to say when it comes to choosing a new bed and mattress there is a lot that I haven't consider before. Being the biggest independent retailer in Scotland, Archers Sleep Centre know a thing or two about mattresses and all the different types, materials, fillings and even consider your physical needs too. So for us we would need to get a bed that is long enough for my husband, but is comfortable enough for the both of us.

2// It's a Sheet Thing.

I don't know about you, but the best way to end any day is getting into fresh bed sheets. Have you ever noticed you tend to sleep better? But did you know that buying brand new bed sheets every two years can do amazing things for your sleep. I did not! So I have been making several changes and made lots of new bedding purchases. But as a standard you should be changing your bedding once a week. Besides collecting dust, your bedding also gets a fair share of sweat and dead skin cells. Sorry for too much information, but you really need to know these things. So fresh new bedding improve your personal hygiene and sleep, and who doesn’t love the feeling of climbing into a freshly made bed with clean sheets? When choosing your sheets always go for a cotton material as they are cool and lightweight, with natural fibres making it breathable. It's also machine washable. These are our favourites.  

3// A Colour Can Change An Atmosphere.

Believe it or not but the colour of a room can actually have an effect with sleep. Colour has a powerful effect on our mood, and our mood in turn affects our ability to sleep. And no one wants bad sleep. If you’re trying to create a serene space, opt for a muted blue, which is considered the most calming shade. Keep the colours simple; go dark, go light but never use bright colours. Often colours such a bright red, orange or bright pink can often increase brain activity preventing you from switching off at night. Personally we always go for dusty tones, our room colour is duck egg, silver and cream. The perfect colours for a good night's sleep. 

4// Plants Look Good, But They Are Also Great For Your Health. 

Yes, adding a few plant to your bedroom decor can do wonders for your sleep. I know right? We have a few plants around our home so it does make complete sense to add some into our bedroom. An array of greenery throughout the home gives your home an instant botanical feel and make you think of embracing the outdoors. Plants in the home has become one of the biggest design trends over the past few years. People crave bringing a bit of the outside in, from big statement furn trees to tiny succulents and even arrangements of herbs in a kitchen window sill. In your own home plants can be arranged and clustered or spread out throughout rooms. Not only do they look nice and add a pop of colour, but they also help purify the air and can make you happier. The best plants to put in your room are Jasmine, Snake Plant, Lavender, Peach Lily, and Aloe Vera. 

Relaxing yet functional, the bedroom is our happy place. It’s the place you retire to after a busy day to unwind and relax, and for the parents out there, it may be the one place to have a quiet moment to yourself. So, shouldn’t our bedrooms be the ultimate luxury relax, recuperate and get a good night's sleep. By make a few changes to your bedroom can make all the difference to anyones lifestyle and more importantly their sleeping pattern. Do you have any ways to help you sleep better at night?

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Don't Forget Dad! 5 Ways To Spend Time with Your Dad in 2019

Everyone wants a strong, healthy relationship with their dad. And as we get older and start raising our own families, we come to realise how important spending time with him is. But it’s not always easy. When it comes to things like days out and spending afternoons with mum, that seems to come much more naturally than finding something to do with dad! But don’t worry, here you’ll find some handy ideas of ways you and your dad can spend an afternoon and just enjoy each other’s company!

1// Eat

What dad doesn’t love to fill himself up with a delicious meal? And then have a second helping! And if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, then chances are you might have a healthy appetite too! So, with that in mind why not make time for brunch? Its common for schedules to clash with work and other commitments, so catching up for a bite to eat is a lovely way to get in some much needed quality time. You could go somewhere you both like to visit or try something totally new! If you have a particular fondness of a certain cuisine, introduce your dad to it and see if you can convert him! 

2// Go For a Walk

My dad loved taking us on nature walks when we were kids, so why not recreate the magic and bring back some fond memories? If you live near a beautiful national park then head up there for the afternoon, take a picnic, a flask and try your best to make dad stick to the trail – rather than taking you on a wild walk through the unchartered wilderness…

3// Head to the Movies

If conversation is a little thin on the ground between you and dad, then don’t worry. How about a trip to the cinema? If there’s an action film he’s been wanting to see or a historical drama that is right up his street then why not suggest going together? You can discuss the film in detail afterwards and maybe treat each other to a drink in the bar before you go home. Who knows, it could become a regular thing!

4// Try a Beer Tasting Experience

If sitting in the pub with your dad and his work mates isn’t really your bag, then why not try a tasting experience at a local brewery? Your dad will love finding out about the history and the story behind local ales – he’ll have a few tales to tell his friends. And you can both take home some bottles to enjoy later!

5// Plan a Spa Day

Not just for you and mum! We often forget that dads need a chance to relax too, so why not head to the spa together for an afternoon. You can sit in the sauna, try a couple of lengths in the pool and then enjoy a massage of facial in each other’s company. There might even be Father, Daughter packages specifically tailored to you.

Burt's Bees Beauty Gems

With the cold crisp air, it does mean plummeting temperatures, hot showers, crazy winds and whacking up the heating up to full - all things that are not great for my skin. Winter is notorious for leaving my skin dry, tight, flaky, chapped and itchy. That's without even mentioning how sensitive my skin can become. And so with winter being full in force I thought that it would be a good idea to talk about a beauty gem of mine. Burt's Bees. 

Burt’s Bees has been offering distinctive natural health and beauty care products for over 25 years. From a beekeeper’s backyard in Maine to the leading edge of natural, Burt’s Bees knows natural body care solutions from head-to-toe. The company creates products for total skin health that are responsibly sourced, sustainably made and that are naturally moisturising. A winter gem for so many. 

And so I am please to tell you that WOWFreeStuff are currently offering you the chance to win 1 of 20 Burt’s Bees Natural Gift Sets. With the cold, dry winter season, the presence of chapped lips tends to increase this time of year and so I always like to have lip balms at the ready. Keeping them hydrated this winter has been so easy with this Burt's Bees Gift Set. If you'e looking to keep those lip moisturised whilst battling the elements then you must enter this competition. After all, you’ve got to be in it, to win it! The perfect dynamic duo for hands and lips, featuring 100% natural beeswax lip balm and vitamin E and Peppermint and classic Hand Salve. 

Burt's Bees Lip Balm

Now Burt's Bees and their lip balms are something that I tend to have throughout the year. I have nothing but great things to say about it. It's very moisturizing for my lips. I️ like it better than carmex or blistex because you can actually feel a difference on your lips. It doesn’t just feel as if you have product sitting on top of a layer of skin, the product actually gets into your lips to add moisture. Burt’s bees is the best lip balm out there! It fixes broken and cracked lips! It’s more expensive than some other lip balms but you get what you pay for. It doesn’t have a super strong odor and didn’t give my lips that burning sensation that others can do. 

Burt's Bees Hand Salve

My hands also have trouble when battling the elements and at the moment I am loving this Burt's Bees Hand Salve. It’s easy to carry around. It leaves my hands feeling so moist, soft and smooth, healing and sealing any cuts or sores on my hands and nails. This is a super-rich balm that will coat your hands with a beeswax layer and a little goes a long way. It creates a barrier on my hands and protects them from the cold. It also doesn't just all come off when I have to wash my hands and stays moisturised all day. I would recommend this to anyone with dry hands, who is looking for something long lasting for the winter months. However, it's great for feet too. After a soak in the bath I will add some of this hand salve to my feet and pop my socks on, by the morning my feet feel so smooth and most definitely nourished. 

It actually works. I will keep this on my bedside table and use it before I sleep and also before I leave the house every morning. After a week of use the skin on my hands is a lot softer and smoother than before, even after I wash my hands. Usually all of the moisture on my hands just washes away after a good hand washing and I’m left with the same cracked hands as before. Now my hands retain most of the moisture and while I still do use other hand creams throughout the day, I don’t think my hands are dehydrated anymore. So why not try and get your hands on one of your own and enter the competition. All the information needed to enter this competition can be found here.

BIRCHBOX - January 2019: Shake Your Pom Poms

It's the first Birchbox post of the year and I am very excited. So let's kick start 2019 in style with this delightful box. This month's box is jam packed full of treats to help battle those January blues and hopefully puts a spring in your step. Every single subscriber will receive a gorgeous highlighter from Cle Cosmetics in either Apriot Tinge or Copper Rose.There are six products included in the Birchbox January 2019 contents, with a very good mix across all the usual types, such as skincare, make-up, body stuff, accessories. The box is so colourful and so it will most definitely brighten your day. I am very pleased with the box this month, it's such a great start to the day. 

If you're new to Birchbox they are one of the main leaders in the beauty box subscription game. Each month you will receive five deluxe samples and travel sized samples and these will be with makeup, skin care, body care or hair care. It's a great way to discover new products that you wouldn't normally come across if it wasn't for this little beauty subscription. So without further ado let's take a closer look.

Cle Cosmetics. Essence Moonlighter Cusion in Copper Rose. RRP | £30

I can always use another highlighter, but this one took me by surprised as it's not something that I have ever come across before due to the moonlighter filled sponge. The Essence Moonlighter is a cushion highlighter infused with ingredients such as Squalane and moisturizing essence, adding luminous and iridescent radiance to the skin. It's a cushion product that comes in a white compact, complete with a mirror and sponge applicator. The packaging is lightweight and there's a plastic lid to protect the cushion and stop the contents from seeping out, so you could throw this in your handbag if you wanted to. Personally, it was something that I like used but I preferred to use my own finger to apply to my cheeks, as the cushion that came with it needed a lot of product and wouldn't sit well on my skin. 

Doucce. Maxlash Volumizer Mascara in Carbon Black. RRP | £18

When it comes to mascara I am very picky, actually I like what I like, and mascara wands are always have the deciding vote. If I was to rely on the wand on it's own this wouldn't even be in the running. I really don't like the wand. However, the formula I love! This was a very long wearing mascara. It does give a lot of volume to your lashes. I had a minor issue of clumping but once I figured out a way to apply it with my eyelashes it goes on smoothly. This mascara definitely has an impact on lashes, I just wish the wand was different. The fiber bristles glide through the lashes evenly, coating each lash for the ultimate volume. The formula enhances the lashes adding depth and dimension that creates visually fuller and longer lashes. I really loved this buildable formula and is flake proof, I hate when you see flakes under your eyes at the end of the day. 

AfterSpa. Facial Scrubber. RRP | £6

The innovative texture with micro scrubbers technology which is pretty perfect for a daily soft wash or for an exfoliating wash. I am so glad that this one was in my BIRCHBOX this month as my skin is breaking out and no matter what I try my makeup ends up slipping off my face after a few hours. I use my facial cleanser along with my exfoliating scrub and I have noticed a difference in my skin. I have consistently used this for a few days in a row it has helped that skin on the top be removed, leaving newer, healthier skin showing. 

Dr. Botanicals. Cleansing Bar in Cocoa & Coconut. RRP | £5.90

Cococa and Coconut Superfood Reviving and Exfoliating Cleansing Bar is infused with rich oils from coconut. The soap gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin to allow the active ingredients to penetrate and revive the skin and reveal a healthy, nourished complexion. Gentle enough for face and body, this is more than your average bar of soap! Formulated with 98% natural ingredients, this small but mighty bar will cleanse, exfoliate and restore your natural glow. I am kinda in love with it!

Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo. RRP | £20

The change in seasons between autumn and winter can be tough on our hair. Whether you have natural, untreated locks or coloured, hair extensions or styled locks. No matter what hair type you have, a seasonal change is the time stamp to alter your hair care regime. And what better way to do that than with a shake up with this Philip Kingsley Shampoo, however this is a little different because it's been designed for those with flaky or itchy scalps. I really love this shampoo, it deeply cleanses but is very gentle. I don't have an intense scalp condition, but it gets itchy from time to time, so far after using this, I haven't experienced any irritation. I love to try new things all the time because of my job, but I can definitely see myself re-buying this in the near future.

Finally, there’s a duo of super cute Birchbox Pom Pom Hair Ties which will definitely come in handy for the school run bun. The ones that stood out for me this month were the Essence Moonlight Cushion, it's been interesting trying this one out. I also really enjoyed using the Dr. Botanicals Cleansing Bar with the mini scrubber these two work well together. There really isn’t anything I don’t like in this collection and I really love the mix of products. The Birchbox January 2019 box is available now, so go shake your poms poms and get yourself one. 

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