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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2018

This year is going so fast already and I cannot believe that in just a few weeks time, (15 days to be exact) it will be Mother’s Day yet again. I struggle at the best of times knowing what to buy people and Mother’s Day gives us an opportunity to gift something that someone wouldn’t necessarily buy themselves or treat themselves too.

I’ve been taking a look at what’s around to gift this year and I’ve found some amazing companies that offer products that are treats for mums/completely unusual purchases and products that might just give mum a little bit of time off (or at least an easier day). I’ve also chosen some alternative/niche gifts that you might like and these are truly worth a nosey at.

First up are Cheshire Home Fragrance who had a fab rebrand last year and I have to say their monochrome products are very appealable aesthetically.

I chose the Blackberry and Bay fragranced set and the smell was stunning. The candles are extremely well made and these particular ones burn for 40 hours and in my opinion rank way up there with certain expensive brands but for a much more sensible price. I’ve recently been burning the Shortcake candle too and it was gorgeous, with so many different fragrances to choose from, it’s hard to pick my favourite. The set also came with a reed diffuser and an in car fragrance, two products that were completeley new to me. Placing the reed diffuser at the top of our stairs has given the landing a wonderful aroma when you pass. Take a few minutes to have a wander around their website as there are some beautiful products to treat your mum to or spoil yourself with. If you are local, you can also visit the lovely Caroline herself who makes all these lovely handmade candles as she has a lovely showroom in Hazel Grove.

Next up is some kitchen storage 🙂 I’m a complete sucker for kitchen utensils and gadgets and I came across this amazing egg hutch which I absolutely loved, even more so because they are handmade to order in Stockport and are available in a range of colours (mine matches the new paint I have bought for my kitchen). I love the fact that they are so unusual and I’ve never seen one in a shop like this before and that’s what appealed to me. I had a boring wired egg rack (no offence to anyone who has one of those) that I’d had from before I’d even moved in with Dan 8 years ago, finding this gave me an excuse to finally get rid of the old one and get a funky new one in our nearly new home!

Available to fit 12 or 24 eggs in and they can be delivered free to Stockport and surrounding areas you can send your queries/orders through to pwardjoinery-handmadegifts@outlook.com and they are taking Mother’s Day orders until Friday 2nd March (although they are available all year round too).

Michelle from the fabulous Crystal Company based in Macclesfield introduced me to this gorgeous gift set that made our bathroom smell absolutely exquisite. I am not joking, three days later our bathroom still smelt as though I had just taken the bath. This particular set was Rose Quartz and came with a Rose Quartz Crystal, a gorgeous candle, a few chocolates and two bath bombs that leave you with a smaller Rose Quartz after you have taken your bath. The aroma in the bathroom with this particular one was a stunning floral scent and I can’t wait to use the second one. These boxes make a great gift at £16.50 and you can also purchase the bath bombs and candles individually so there’s something for everyone. Click here to purchase or visit them on Instagram.

You can see the smaller Quartz in my hand here that I was left with after the bath.

Heading off to get my nails done (as seen in the photo above) is one of the only “mummy time” things that I get to do in a month. The ever friendly Mel at Composure & Harmony in Bramhall offers Bio Sculpture nails and the thing I love about her is that she is fast but the nails are amazing. As much as I love my mummy time, I still only get very little of it and this helps me out a lot! Mel and her team also offer lots of other beauty services and one that I’ve recently experienced is the Caci Hydrating Skin Boost which only takes around 15 minutes and is just £15. It is so relaxing, smell gorgeous and makes your skin feel beautiful (it does take a little longer and a few more pennies at £45 if you choose to have the Caci Ultrasonic Peel on top) and they are very much worth a try and I can’t wait to have another one.  Composure and Harmony have gift vouchers available for Mother’s Day gifts and always have special offers on for those special treats.

I’m giving away a personalised soft toy in my competition, click here to enter

One of my favourite companies that I came across during this research was Cooks at Home. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love cooking, genuinely I do and from scratch as I always find it tastes better. As a Mum though, sometimes you just want a night off from cooking but to still have a good meal but in my house it hardly happens as Dan is so busy with other jobs that I’ve given him 😀. Kelly from Cooks at Home popped round to my house and left us with three samples. Prior to this, I’d had a phone call with her so she could determine what to make us. This involved telling her of foods that we didn’t like and foods that we couldn’t eat. Mushrooms (bleurgh) and fish (allergies) were off the list for us and this led to Kelly making uo three lovely meals, Carribean Chicken, Lasagne and Chicken Satay.

The best thing is that I didn’t have to prepare them! They were dropped off frozen and went straight into our freezer and I was able to pop them in the oven straight from frozen and just add a bit of veg or rice to them. The food was extremely tasty and I was shocked to find that my favourite was Chicken Satay as I wouldn’t usually say that I am a huge fan of food with peanut butter in but it was so yummy! The lasagne was meaty and juicy and the Carribean Chicken was perfect with the meat being very tender. Cooks at Home don’t only prepare off site, they will actually come to your come, prepare and cook in your kitchen, clean up and leave you with a freezer full of food. You can book a personal chef for the evening for any occasions, hire them for outside catering, after school cookery clubs and join them in a cookery class (which is something I hope to be booking on soon). Take a look here for further details.

Stickerscape are a company that I came across last year when we were decorating Asher’s Nursery as they make wall stickers, these turned Asher’s Room into a gorgeous little haven for him, you can see this here. As well as stickers, they also sell some unique gifts that I’ve been taking a look at. I actually bought my Granny a shopping bag from them for Christmas because I loved the fact that I could find something for her with Granny on as that is what I call her, the best thing was is that she absolutely loved it. The same goes for their Mother’s Day products, I was sent a gorgeous bag with “Mama” on it as that is what Leo calls me (see the pink bag below with chief bottom wiper on it) and it’s lovely that you get things on with Mum, mummy and Mama! They have lots of different products to chose from and I’ve shown some of my favourites below.

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They have many variations of styles and in lots of different colours. I love this #mummyfuel gift bag, it’s fab and reusable when you’re visiting other people with wine! Check out their shop here.

If you are looking for something to keep forever, head on over to Daisy Imprints. The lovely Amanda makes beautiful, solid silver finger/hand/foot and animal print charms, jewellery, cuff links and other gifts.

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You do need to book an apointment (at her home in Cheadle) for fingerprints but she is able to send out inkless wipe kits for all other prints to be captured easily in the comfort of your own home. Gift Vouchers are available.

Please contact Amanda on: 07963 906698 or email: amanda@daisyimprints.co.uk or message via Facebook or Instagram or Twitter

Synerva CBD oils are offering products that are made from the finest organic, zero THC,CBD Hemp oil. I received the RELAX Chamomile CBD Oil and before you start to get worried after seeing the word Hemp, that you could get high, don’t worry, you won’t!

It is used for many different things from anxiety & depression to pain relief, sleep issues and cancer. It’s wakes up your endocannabinoid system and works to put your body back into a state of homeostasis and don’t worry it is legal in the UK. CBD oils are still very new to the UK but I’ve already started to notice them when out shopping. I remember about 20 years ago when a well know high street brand made Hemp Lip Balm and people couldn’t believe it! This is something new and worth taking a look at.

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The appealing thing for me was the benefits for sleep as mine is awful! I’ve just started to use this, so I will bring you an update on another blog soon.This product is a food supplement and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. For more information and to purchase, click here.

Loretta Douglas, a local provider of Temple Spa products sent me a package which basically has everything in for an indulgent pampering session for yourself and you can choose products to match your skin type. This is basically a “spa in a box” and you can purchase specific products for different skin types and the best thing is that it has instructions on the inside of the box of how to use the products and in what order to have the most amazing “me time”. I often buy things or get given presents of beauty products and don’t have a clue as to which order they should be used in or which should be used with which, this is why these instructions were perfect! I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who does this, if you do it too – you’d love one of these boxes.

The products smelt divine. They literally made you smell like you do when you have spent the day in a spa being pampered – they definitely have the luxurious feel to them. I have to say, my favourites were the Purification Deep Cleansing Mask as it made my skin feel amazingly cleansed and fresh and the WORK IT OUT muscle tox bathing and massage oil smelt lovely and made my skin feel really soft after my bath. Oh and the last thing, the ALL TALK moisturising lip balm is fabulous. Around 8 years ago, I ended up with an infection in hospital and it scarred my lips and I find it hard to find a good lip balm, but I think I’ve just found my new one! It made my lips feel soft, took the roughness out and felt like it stayed on a good few hours as I often find they feel like they wear off quickly! I’ve also been lucky enough to try out their award winning Skin Truffle range and I’ll certainly be using it again as I love the way it made my skin feel and as a bonus it smelt fab too. I’m extremely impressed with this range and I’ll certainly be trying more of it out.

Take a look here at products available and to purchase.


Photgraph Copyright: Temple Spa
I also found out that Loretta offers a portfolio of ‘spa wherever you are’ classes in the comfort of your own home. All free of charge and all guests are guided through a luxury spa facial. It’s perfect for Mum’s who are desperate for some very much needed ‘me time’! I’m very much looking forward to booking one of these!

The last thing that I’m giving a recommendation for are Himalayan Salt Rock Lamps. Cheshire Energy Therapies sent me one over to test out and I have to say it was very relaxing having the lamp on in the evening, the light that came off it was a bit like the glow that you’d get off a camp fire, it reminded me of sitting on a beach in the Maldives on our honeymoon with the locals playing guitars around a beach camp fire 💕. One of the benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps is that they cleanse the air which for me is great having asthma.

img_5372 To read more about the benefits of these lamps, take a look here and visit Cheshire Energy Therapies to purchase.

So that’s it for my Mother’s Day Gift List 2018, I hope that you’ve found something interesting in here that you can gift on Mother’s Day, or treat yourself too! Go on, I’m giving you permission xxx

No payment was taken for any of these reviews and all thoughts are my own.

If you would like me to do a full review of a product or include you in a gift guide, please contact me using the details below;

Email: samepersondifferentme@gmail.com

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Click here to enter my competition to win a gorgeous personalised soft toy – ends 28/02/2018

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Oh, the guilt!

Could I actually feel guiltier than I do?

Pregnancy is full of amazing moments, watching your baby move in your stomach, mum looking “blooming” lovely, hair and skin glowing, energy to carry on going to the gym, eating healthier etc. etc.…

Actually, no. My experience is the complete opposite

Being totally honest, I cannot stand being pregnant. People often presume that being pregnant especially after child loss should automatically mean that you would enjoy every second of the pregnancy and treasure everything that is happening, that you should be grateful that you have the opportunity to have another child again and be thankful for being able to have this experience again.

That’s exactly why I feel so bloody guilty. I lost Millie and had a not very enjoyable pregnancy with Leo, alongside the crappy physical experience that I had with nausea, sciatica, iron problems and exhaustion; I also had an awful time with my mental health and struggled to bond with the little man Leo growing inside me because of our previous loss of Millie. I couldn’t wait to just have Leo in my arms, to not only stop all the physical pain I was in but also because I knew that my mental health would be so much better once he arrived.

Then there was the miscarriage. Sadly, 12 weeks into my third pregnancy last November, I suffered a missed miscarriage that was not only physically hard but affected my mental health yet again. I was extremely embarrassed that my husband was watching me miscarry in the bathroom (I don’t even pee in front of him) but I needed him more than anything by my side, I couldn’t have gotten through it without him. It felt demeaning, I felt useless that I couldn’t protect my baby again and I was also filled with so much sadness that my husband was watching me lose his child.

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Then I got pregnant again earlier this year – and the cycle began again. I was diagnosed with HG, it turned out that I had huge problems with my iron that meant my body wasn’t doing what it should be with it and that was causing exhaustion. You might think here, she was just a little tired. It wasn’t that. I physically did not have any energy. I couldn’t shower, I couldn’t get dressed, I couldn’t come down the stairs and some days I couldn’t even lift my arms. Eventually after a few months, I was put on some medication that took a few weeks to work but my energy started to come back and I began to function again. I was so glad because I felt so guilty that I couldn’t play with my little boy Leo, he spent weeks seeing me laid up in bed or with my head down the loo, some days he even learnt to hold my hair back whilst I was throwing up. This type of illness played havoc with my mental health, it took a huge nose dive and some days I just didn’t want to wake up (when I did sleep) because I felt such a burden to my little family.

Click here to purchase Millie’s Trust merchandise VAT FREE for the final day until 9pm 30th Sept 2017. 

My hair comes out when I brush it when I’m pregnant, I can’t stand my skin, I can only eat certain foods and then the heartburn kicks in. I honestly feel like I am genuinely keeping Gaviscon in business and have been for the past few months. The hospital has given me tablets for the heartburn, they were great; for the first two weeks. Unfortunately now, they seem to wear off pretty much as soon as I have taken them; not fun.

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Then there is the bladder jumping. Yes, this little man seems to like partying on my bladder during the early hours of the morning, pretty much every day. This was okay in my last pregnancies, as I could get to the bathroom pretty quickly but now, I’m on crutches.

Did I not tell you that bit? No, well, just to add to the fun, my body is trying to wear me down even more by adding Sciatica and SPD to my list of pregnancy problems. Again something I was coping with until recently when my legs starting to go from underneath me, in particular if I had been asleep in bed during the night. It soon became where I couldn’t walk to the bathroom without having to hold on to pieces of furniture or the walls to get there. After a very quick referral (thank you NHS and Wythenshawe Midwife/Consultancy Teams) to a physiotherapist, I had a few sessions and was straight away given a support belt for my stomach (I really wish that I had the nerve to put a photo of it here – but believe me, it is the least sexy thing that you have ever seen. Think Tubi-Grip that you have when you sprain your wrist, except this one is big enough to go all the way from your boobs, across your stomach and to your hips).

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Dan just laughed. I don’t blame him. I look ridiculous.

Then came the crutches. Well this is lots of fun, with a toddler. Not.

I also have to use them every day even if I have no pain, so I don’t counter-act the benefit on good days. I feel like a total spanner. 8 months pregnant with this huge bump and on crutches – no wonder people are looking at me in sympathy.

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Chester Zoo was fun this week on my birthday. Dan hired me a mobility scooter. Oh the humiliation I was thinking … but actually it was a great idea and we got around so many more animals than if I would have been hobbling around on crutches. Leo thought it was hilarious and he got to have a little sit on it before we left.

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The physical pain that I am in though isn’t a laughing matter. It’s excruciating some days and it makes me cry. It makes me really sad that I can’t play with Leo like I want to.

After all that – I’m not even sure that I have captured all the reasons that I don’t like pregnancy here – but you must get the idea.

To all you mums that completely adore being pregnant, I totally envy you – I really do. I wish I could enjoy my pregnancies; it would be great.

But to all those mums who feel even the slightest bit of guilt like myself, I’m with you, I feel your pain and it will all be over soon, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Bring on the Pink Botegga Prosecco and Camembert Cheese! I cannot wait. That’s all I can say!

Saturday 30 September is your last chance to purchase VAT free merchandise and Qualification Course places for Level 3 Paediatric First Aid and Emergency First Aid at work. You have until 9PM on this date to purchase VAT FREE. This includes are limited edition giraffes too, so please click here to purchase to save pennies before the increase.

 To read We got his hair cut blog, click here

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During October Stickerscape will be supporting Baby Loss Awareness UK 2017. Every sticker sold during this month we will donate £1 to the The Miscarriage Association (charity no. 1076829) and Millie’s Trust (charity no. 1151410).

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We are Seven

If many more people thought like the child in this poem, the world would be just a little lighter for many bereaved parents as the acknowledgment of every child they created and not just the ones that they still have with them everyday is something many of us crave. 
I’ll forever be a mum of every child I’ve held inside me, not just the ones I can hold tight every day. xxx

We are Seven – William Wordsworth 

—A simple child,That lightly draws its breath,

And feels its life in every limb,

What should it know of death?
I met a little cottage girl:

She was eight years old, she said;

Her hair was thick with many a curl

That clustered round her head.
She had a rustic, woodland air,

And she was wildly clad:

Her eyes were fair, and very fair;

—Her beauty made me glad.
“Sisters and brothers, little maid,

How many may you be?”

“How many? Seven in all,” she said,

And wondering looked at me.
“And where are they? I pray you tell.”

She answered, “Seven are we;

And two of us at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea.
“Two of us in the churchyard lie,

My sister and my brother;

And, in the churchyard cottage, I

Dwell near them with my mother.”
“You say that two at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea,

Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,

Sweet maid, how this may be.”
Then did the little maid reply,

“Seven boys and girls are we;

Two of us in the churchyard lie,

Beneath the churchyard tree.”
“You run about, my little maid,

Your limbs they are alive;

If two are in the churchyard laid,

Then ye are only five.”
“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”

The little maid replied,

“Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door,

And they are side by side.
“My stockings there I often knit,

My kerchief there I hem;

And there upon the ground I sit,

And sing a song to them.
“And often after sunset, sir,

When it is light and fair,

I take my little porringer,

And eat my supper there.
“The first that died was sister Jane;

In bed she moaning lay,

Till God released her of her pain;

And then she went away.
“So in the churchyard she was laid;

And, when the grass was dry,

Together round her grave we played,

My brother John and I.
“And when the ground was white with snow

And I could run and slide,

My brother John was forced to go,

And he lies by her side.”
“How many are you, then,” said I,

“If they two are in heaven?”

Quick was the little maid’s reply,

“O master! we are seven.”
“But they are dead; those two are dead!

Their spirits are in heaven!”

‘Twas throwing words away; for still

The little maid would have her will,

And said, “Nay, we are seven!”

William Wordsworth

International Bereaved Mother’s Day Sunday 7th May 2017 – send a thought to those who pop into your mind, they’ll appreciate it xxx
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Never Ending Cycle of Life

There are so many special events throughout a lifetime for your children, the day they begin to talk, when they start school, move to high school, graduate university, get engaged, get married, have children; the list is literally endless but for Millie, she was never even given the chance to get started.

I am so proud of my little baby girl, I am so proud that she came into my life and I got to see her smile, I got to hear her laugh, I got to see her wiggle her little bum when she was dancing. I am so proud of everything that she was and I hate saying that as I want to still be saying that I am so proud of everything that she is, but I can’t because she is gone.

I am genuinely sat here in tears whilst I am writing this because as I am writing, I am flicking through video footage of Millie and once again I can her laugh, I can see her gorgeous smile appearing and I am watching her little bum wiggle and I miss every tiny cell of her body, it tears me apart that Dan and I created this amazing little human being and she was ripped from us in an instant and we never even got a chance to say goodbye.

Led in front of me right now, is our newest little addition, little Leo and he is fast asleep and I can hear him breathing and every breath I hear come from him is a treasure to me, only a parent who has lost a child will understand that. I want all the things for Leo that I wanted for Millie, that has not changed, what has changed is how I think. I try not to imagine Leo growing up and experiencing all these things that Millie missed out on because , for my own sanity, I have to concentrate on one day at a time and cherish whatever Leo is doing on each and every separate day.

For 2 years, Dan and I haven’t done birthdays or Christmas, we couldn’t face it. I couldn’t face going out and looking for presents for my family and friends, especially the children. The pull from my heart to my eyes strengthened so much if I even thought about trying to shop for child; my heart made my thoughts turn into tears. This wasn’t just for the younger children, this was for the older ones too – I couldn’t face looking at things that I was never going to be able to buy for my daughter, toys that I would never be able to see my daughter play with or clothes that she could never wear.

This year though, we are attempting it, for Leo’s sake – to ensure his normality of life is there as he grows up. We seem to be doing ok so far. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy, I still cry, I still come home with headaches because I have tried to buy someone something and it has stressed me out so much because my head has been in a totally different place. This week it has been a set of twin relatives eighteenth birthday , two absolutely gorgeous, articulate and intelligent girls and we went to their 18th birthday party. Looking at them hurts, it hurts that I will never ever see my little girl turn into this beautiful woman who is so excited for her 18th birthday party, a party that I can never throw for her. It hurts that I can’t see her get excited about passing her driving test or take her to look around universities (that’s if she wanted to go), see that’s the thing , I will never know if she wanted to go into further academia, she might have just wanted to throw a rucksack on an go travelling and to be honest , she could have done exactly as she had pleased and I wouldn’t have tried to stop her, because all I wanted for her was to be happy and enjoy her life.

Then it comes to the dad’s to look so proud – hearing their dad talk about them with so much pride in his voice , so ecstatic that his daughter’s have grown up to be polite, stunning and amazing human beings. You don’t know how much that hurts me as a mum, it hurts me because I know it hurts Millie’s daddy, I can see the pain in his eyes when he sees things like this, I know that his heart is breaking and all he wants to do is stand there and cry, just like I do. I detest the fact that I cannot do anything to ease my husband’s broken heart, to stop him feeling this excruciating pain. We have sadly learnt how to keep our poker face on now in the moment, the tears stay put until we get home. Mine came in the shower later.

Just over 12 months ago, one of my truly best friend’s got married, I’ve known her for close to 20 years and when I have needed her, she has been there supporting me every step of the way. At her wedding I was one of her bridesmaids and I was genuinely honoured to have been asked by her, as (I don’t actually know if she knows this) I have never been a bridesmaid before. When she asked me, of course I said yes, there was nothing to even think about. Later that night, I cried, I cried so many tears because I knew that my daughter would have taken my place if she was still here, I know she would have been a little flower girl/bridesmaid tottering down the aisle, stealing my place of a bridesmaid from me, but that would have been OK, she would have been entitled to steal it from me and I would gladly have let her. It was me though as a bridesmaid that day, it was I that was the bridesmaid because my little girl had left us way before her time, before her mummy. It hurt that day, it really did.

HB Wedding Me as a bridesmaid with Dan, (the eyes say more than the smile here)

But back to proud dads. My friend kept completely to tradition that day and kept her dad away until she was ready, until she was ready to show him what a beautiful bride she was (she really was).

He walked through the door; the look on his face when he looked at her, the look that he couldn’t believe that this stunning bride was his daughter, his little girl – that it probably didn’t feel like two minutes ago that he was teaching her to read, to ride a bike and to tie her shoelaces. But here she was, all grown up, ready to create this whole little new family and become someone’s wife.  It’s really funny because this was such a lovely moment, it really was and I will never forget that split second look on his face as he beamed his “proud dad” smile for the first time at seeing his daughter in her wedding dress. The reason it’s funny? Because this was like a dagger to my heart for Dan, it didn’t affect me as much when the mother of the bride was in the room, it was the dad. All I could think about was how Dan was never ever going to get this moment with his precious daughter, how he was never ever going to do that “proud dad” smile as he saw his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. It hurts me more when I know Dan is suffering because we lost Millie. I blame myself, I know I shouldn’t because it wasn’t my fault but your head does crazy things to you, my head makes me think, well if Dan had never met me or married me then he would never have had to go through this pain. I know, it’s stupid because we could never in our wildest nightmares have predicted what happened to Millie but it doesn’t stop your brain thinking it.

The closest we ever got to seeing Millie in anything remotely similar to a wedding dress was at her christening and I am so glad that her great-granny bought her this amazing gown, she looked absolutely gorgeous in it, I am sure that you will agree.

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I know that this is going to be a never ending cycle, there will always be something that will be coming up that Millie should be involved in or that Millie should be doing. People like to say that “it must get easier” – for your information it doesn’t get easier in the slightest, you just learn to live with it. The pain is still exactly the same, the same as what is was on 23rd October 2012, just after 1pm when I found out Millie had passed but there are tricks that you learn, tricks that you learn to use to in front of other people and to be honest, a lot of the time, the tricks are to benefit you, not us …..

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Competition … Me time

Getting up and getting out of bed early has become the norm for me in the past few months and I love it. The day is so much longer, I get much more done and I’m feeling so much better than I have done in a long time and if you are local to me (Stockport area), I’d like to give you an opportunity to try something new and feel good about yourself…

I’ve teamed up with That Squatbot who who has been doing my personal training since March and we are doing a fantastic giveaway … but first take a look at the photos below.

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Photo 1

This was mid March this year … Asher was 5 months old and I’d decided that I needed to stop hanging around and pull my finger out and lose the extra baby weight. I was very unhappy with myself in this photo; it’s not a social media thing that I was feeling crap that I was pressured into losing weight, it was a me thing.

I was overweight, tired, run down and felling very lazy. At this point, Asher was pretty much sleeping through the night and routine was getting normal, so I had no excuse.

I was lucky that around this time, Squatbot got in touch with me and convinced me to work with her and see how I felt, so I took her up on her kind offer and never did I think what it would lead to!

Enter now

I walked in on my first session thinking I’d be doing just Cardio, how wrong was I and how right it turned out for me …

Photo 2

So here I am in photo 2 last week, I am so happy with how my body is changing. I am nowhere near where I want to be but Squatbot has being working my ass off and I’m extremely happy with where I am at right now and Squatbot is continuing to work my backside off!

Enter here

My clothes are fitting much better and I have noticed that a lot more of my pre-Asher clothes are coming out of my wardrobe again, it’s like I’ve had a big shopping trip and treat myself to new clothes – which is amazing!

It’s not just about how my shape is changing but how better I feel in my head, getting up and working out has had a brilliant effect on my moods and it is totally true that exercising helps your mind.

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Since March I’ve been weight training, learning to lift properly and safely, losing weight, toning up and getting strong. Last week I Box squatted about 13 stone, I was amazed. 💕💕💕

My back pain has completely gone and I can lift my sons and even have Leo on my shoulders with absolutely no problems at all; I truly wish that I had discovered this type of training sooner and I can’t thank Squatbot enough for getting in touch with me.

So here’s what you can win …

***** 4 weeks Personal Training with Squatbot****

This breaks down into 3 sessions per week for a whole month … I promise that you will feel great about yourself … and don’t be scared, I promise that you will enjoy it.

You need to click this link to enter and remember you must be following myself and Squatbot on a social media platform to be able to win 💕

Terms and conditions available to see via the link that you enter on.

You can also get bonus entries by following the instructions on Raffle Copter! Good Luck xxx

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*** Winning sessions will be held in Heald Green Stockport***

How Not to … Build A Bear

One of the most memorable days of my boys’ lives so far I think … a visit to Build-A-Bear ... but not just any visit as today was “Pay Your Age Day” ….. an absolute bargain.

So the idea was that you could pick ANY soft toy in store and yes that includes all the film ones and only pay the price of how old your child is, in our case £3 and £1 (minimum was £1) … what a cracking offer.

I’d told Dan about this earlier in the week and said “come with me, we won’t be there long” … famous last words I might add.

It is 2.30pm and we have just got home, we left at 8am! 😂

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I thought getting there for 9am, it would be pretty quiet as a lot of people would have their children in school (I was very surprised to see children in school uniforms in the queue) … but how wrong was I! We hit the queue just before 9am and I reckon that we were about 100th in the queue .. so not too far back I thought… then the problems started.

We soon realised that the queue wasn’t moving very much at all. They were only letting a few people in the shop at a time which slowed things down. Obviously on top of that, the children spend time making decisions about which one that they want, then changing their mind (all part of being a toddler I might add) … then trying to convince Mum or Dad to let the soft toy have an outfit (more pennies) then having to give the bear a name on a computer and lastly actually getting the bears stuffed!

4 and a half hours … that is how long it took us in total from joining the queue to paying for the damn things! 😂… I have to say that this was not one of mummy’s best ideas. I take full responsibility for making us have a day out at Build-A-Bear.

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The problem was as well, that after about an hour queue, Leo had spied the shop and said “going to the bear shop?” … so we couldn’t leave could we? Not a chance as he would have been really upset. The shop was so close but so far….

The local Greggs did a roaring trade this morning because there were lots of people in the queue eating sausage rolls and doughnuts for breakfast! Then a quick thinking staff member in WH Smith cottoned on (she certainly deserves staff member of the month) as she came out with baskets full of drinks and chocolates for sale – made a fortune selling to people in the queue – great idea! We took our brekkie with us …

The thing that bothered me the most in the queue … rude people. I couldn’t believe how many people “saved a space” for their friend that turned up 2 hours later …. for the record, it’s damn rude and an obnoxious thing to do when people have been queuing for so long.

I felt so sorry for the Arndale security staff as there weren’t enough of them for the amount of people that turned up and to be honest, Build-A-Bear should have had their own security on the door and the queue.

Turns out that many of the stores actually announced that they were closing and many stopped people from joining the queue anymore, this was for safety reasons

I’m not sure if they are even opening again today because of this, but I bet a lot of parents aren’t happy that they’d promised to take their children after school and now it looks like they might not be able to.

But … look at Leo’s face when we eventually got into the shop when he saw all the bears that he could choose from,big smile equals very happy.

To be honest, we got really lucky with both our boys today. They were both really well behaved, Leo only had a 5 minute moment and Asher had a cry as we were waiting to stuff the bears and then he fell asleep (so totally missed the whole stuffing of the bear, placing a heart and making a wish 😂) … and Leo didn’t like the noise that the machine made, so hid behind us when the bears were coming alive!

Check out the ones we got though … they should have cost us £54 in total and today they only cost us £4 …. yes that is correct, £4 for the both of them including Chewbacca! There were hardly any of those left in the shop, good spot by Dan!

It was a really good promotion of Build-A-Bear but I think some heads might be rolling at head office because of the chaos in stores throughout the country before.

Here are my tips Build-A-Bear for your next event;

1. Registration online so you get a ticket number and an allocation time.

2. Offer pre-made bears (yes, I know that the magic is in the stuffing and adding a heart but for most under 3s, they don’t get it or quickly lose interest)

3. You needed more staff stuffing the bears, you needed temporary machines. The staff at the store that we were in took about 5- 10 minutes to stuff each bear and sew them up, that means on average about 20/25 bears an hour were being completed. This was just not fast enough for how many people were coming through the doors and how many people were outside queuing.

4.You could have done with a ticket system for toilet visits. Remember, there were sooo many young children with their parents and people were scared to leave in case they lost their place. The nearest toilets to the store we at were a 15 minute journey there and back if you were quick.

5. Water could have been offered to the queues, a really simple cheap solution to keeping your crowds a little bit happier.

So, rumour has it that the promotion is linked to the launch of “Count Your Candles” in the UK where you will be able to pay the price of the age of your child in their birthday month for a bear. Check the American version out here … I’m not sure of the terms and conditions coming with the offer but it might be worth registering on their website for especially if you can get a cheap gift for their birthday, I think it’s a great idea.

So, would I do it again?

Would I queue again for that long? You know what, yes I would!

I bet that you thought that I was going to say no then, didn’t you!

The reason that I’ve said Yes is because what memories it created today and all you need to do is look at this photo of Leo smiling …

And also look at this one of daddy and Leo, they had both definitely had enough by this point though …

And Asher checking his purchase out too …

I’m not sure what Daddy would say though, I think he was slowly being driven insane throughout this adventure … although I am also sure that when he looks back and remembers this day, he will be laughing … and I have warned him that we will more than likely be queuing again at some point in their lives for something that they want so much … all part of parenting xxx

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This weekend Millie’s Daddy Dan is doing a sky dive in her memory.

He is extremely nervous, if you have a few pennies to donate please drop him a text donation by texting DSKY01 £3 to 7000

Nearly there again

You know when something is driving you completely crazy and you just cannot get it out of your mind? I’m feeling a little like that at the moment and the emotions my head are going through are absolutely heartbreaking.

Asher is 8 months old

Millie passed away at 9 months.

This is totally messing with me at the moment. I keep spontaneously bursting into tears at random reminders.

I struggled a lot when Leo was the same age but this time I have realised that I am struggling even more and I think that it might be because Asher looks so much more like Millie than Leo ever did.

Sometimes I look at him and it’s like having Millie sat in front of me, it’s the strangest feeling ever.

Millie was 286 days old when she passed away… we just need to get passed that many days and I know I will start to feel a little better. I know exactly what date Asher’s 287th day will be; I know, I sound like a crazy lady but I worked it out when he was born and then haven’t really thought about it until he turned 8 months old a couple of weeks ago.

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I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s like a barrier for me, a wall that I need to break us through.

I think I’m doing okay and then something starts to niggle at me and I can’t work it out. Then bang, there it is – the answer that has taken me a while to figure out and this is what has happened over the last few days, it’s hit me like a brick wall.

I’ve gotten through these feelings and mixed up emotions once before with Leo – this time, I can see that there will be a positive outcome at the end and I’m glad that this time I can see past that date.

I’d love to know your feelings about how you dealt with this with your children, how you got passed that milestone with your younger children when an older child had passed away, maybe I won’t feel as nuts as I do reading about your journeys xxx

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Would you like you child to learn basic life saving skills in Stockport? Take a look here to see what’s coming up for them in the school holidays.

Unbelievable

Can you believe that on the same day that Asher learnt to crawl … Leo decided that it would also be the same day that he would choose to show us that he can open every single baby gate in the house!

We can’t believe it as they are all different kinds and he can open all of them.

Millies Daddy is going to jump out of a pane! Sponsor him here.

Or Text DSKY01 £3 to 70070

So this is going to be an interesting few weeks in our house. Any tips on how to make this easier for us, leave me a comment!

How old were your children when they learnt to crawl?

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25% off all soft toys on Millie’s Trust website – until 30th June! See code below to use

Check out which fitness activity I tried out at the weekend! It was extremely fun – Click here

Aerial Hoops

Never in a million years did I think that I would ever be doing something like Aerial Hooping; I mean a week ago, I didn’t even know what that even was.

I’ve been working out with That SquatBot and she decided that she wanted to put some random sessions of fun different activities on and this was the first one.

Heading on over to Stockport on Saturday afternoon after I had already walked 3.5 miles to the gym and done an hour workout, I wasn’t sure what to expect or whether I was actually going to enjoy myself.

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On walking in to Cloud Aerial Arts, Stockport we were met with a lovely room with some fabulous splatter art on the wall but it was very warm with the lovely weather we were having. I reckon that there were about 8 of us, most of us whom had never done this before and a couple of lovely ladies that had.

After a little warm up, the teacher had us straight into the hoops. Okay, so this sounds really easy – it isn’t. You have to throw your whole body weight at the hoop to get you leg over… I’ll leave that there. 

After finally being able to swing my leg into the hoop, the fun started as we got to learn little tricks. I loved just hanging around in the hoop whilst it span around but I have to say that my favourite move was doing a spin. Yes, I know – in the video clip, I fall off at the end but it was hilarious.

We also go to have a go on Silks, which I actually loved. Sounds really weird but when i went upside down in the silk, i just hadn’t realised that everyone else would be upside down too and this made me laugh out loud… it was stupidly so unexpected but so much fun.

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After 2 hours of Aerial Hooping we were all ready for a drink (which Squatbot so kindly provided) and to head home. It was a fantastic experience and was great to try something new and probably something that I just wouldn’t have picked to do myself normally.

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Waking up this morning though, wow have I felt it. I actually slept with an ice pack behind my knee last night as it was so sore but this morning that pain has pretty much gone and I am literally just aching everywhere, which shows what a good workout that it is on the body.

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Despite the cracking bruises that I am rocking today, I would definitely do it all over again tomorrow and the day after; although I’m not sure how much I am actually going to be able to move in my gym session tomorrow 😂

I heard that the next one of these events that SquatBot has lined up is a beginner’s strongman event and I am very much looking forward it.

Well done Squatbot on arranging these events, fabulous idea.

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For more details on my personal trainer click here

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Got to love a good TV show

As in most relationships I can guess that sometimes (often) you clash when you are deciding what to watch on television in the evening and we are no exception to that. We are also a couple who don’t ever seem to watch live television anymore as we are just too busy; On Demand and Netflix are great inventions for busy people as it is the only way that we get to watch tv!

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Currently when we are in our separate time when one or the other is out, I am watching Thirteen Reasons Why; which I didn’t think that Dan would like to watch but every time he sees me watching it, he says “I can’t believe that you’re watching that without me” Clearly I was wrong.

To be honest I thought it would just be a cheesy high school teen show but actually it’s about growing up, suicide, teenage indifferences and it is quite a dark show. Dan is currently watching Breaking Bad when I’m not in but he can keep that one to himself, as I’m not keen on that show.

We are huge Netflix fans, all those shows for a few pounds a month and there is always something to watch for everyone in the family on there and it’s very rare that we don’t find something that we agree on.

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There are some programmes that we love to watch together and recently we have seen some great series. We were huge fans of Dexter (I swear he is still alive) the serial killing blood splatter analysis who worked for the police.

Michael C.Hall portrayed the character so effectively, so it’s been great to see him recently in a new show on Netflix. If you like a good short drama then catch him in Safe which has recently been released on Netflix and is about his daughter going missing and their search for her (if you’re from Manchester, see what places you can spot as it was filmed here).

If you were fans of the Lethal Weapon films in the nineties then you will either love or hate the Lethal Weapon series that is currently on at 9pm on a Friday evening. We love it, the characters and storylines are really well thought out and it’s actually quite funny in a lot of places. I’ve become a big fan of Clayne Crawford who plays Detective Martin Riggs in the programme and I’m quite sad that apparently he’s not coming back for a third series but he is being replaced by Seann William Scott (you might know him as Stifler from the American Pie films) so it’s not all bad as he’s quite funny.

Then there is Sons of Anarchy, if you haven’t seen this yet – you don’t know what you are missing. A group of bikers that have their own way of living that are involved in so many crimes that you cannot keep track of them all. As you watch more episodes, they delve into the lives of the characters and you end up warming to them. To be honest, it took me a couple of episodes to actually get into it but once I did we had some serious binge sessions where before we knew it, it was 1.30am in the morning and we had hammered 3 or 4 episodes at once. As you work your way through the series, you can see that more money was being thrown at it as the special effects, stunts and storylines got a lot bigger.

I always found it highly amusing that Katey Sagal (who you might remember as Peggy Bundy from Married with Children) plays quite a prominent character in the programme but I wanted her to rock up as Peggy, just for a laugh. Seriously though, she is a great actress and the rest of the cast work amazingly well together. I’m very pleased to hear that there are going to be spin offs from this show over the next couple of years, I’m looking forward to them very much.

So that’s my little round up of what we like to watch and I would love to hear your recommendations as we always on the lookout for new shows.

This Blog was sponsored by Panasonic.

Tidy Tot Review

We’ve been checking out the Tidy Tot recently, what an interesting product to be trying out.

We all hate the mess don’t we? The mess that is created when weaning a baby. Asher is currently in that stage, so this product couldn’t have come at a better time for us.

Arriving in a small package from our lovely post lady, we couldn’t wait to give it a go.

I love the green colour (I’m obsessed with Green, so this worked well for me), so bright and cheerful for Asher too!

The Tidy Tot was very easy to put together, it just kind of flipped open ready to insert onto Asher’s highchair, attaching by small suction cups to make sure that it didn’t move about – what a great idea rather than it being able to spin around.

Once the Tray is attached to the high tray the bib is then put on the baby, it was a lovely size bib with long sleeves and a Velcro attachment that attached to the tray meaning that absolutely no escapee food would be able to get onto any clothes, a miracle! Not only that, food doesn’t disappear down the side of the highchair and get squashed between baby’s legs or against the highchair anymore, meaning more food is eaten!

I love the design on the bib with the clouds and rainbows, so pretty and Asher kept trying to play with the clouds whilst he was waiting for his food, very cute 💕.

As you can see in the photo below, the tray is huge. It’s great for Asher to be able to have all this room as he likes to play around with the cutlery and dishes and having all this extra room means that if he flips the bowl over at any point, the food isn’t going to get all over the carpet as the tray just catches it. Fabulous idea.

The tray and the bib does have to be cleaned after every use but I’ve found that I’m changing Asher’s clothes less as his food doesn’t end up all over him – it’s much easier wiping down the tray and putting the bib in the wash than cleaning Asher every time that he eats something. I think it would be a good idea to purchase a spare bib as that would mean that one could be in the wash whilst you use the spare one – we will certainly be buying a spare one.

The bibs are made of a very soft fabric and are fully waterproof and wipeable, I’m not actually sure how that works but it does.

Asher is loving his new found freedom of being able to mess around with spoons full of food without daddy stressing over the mess, he’s not a fan of the messy weaning process but this is making it a little easier on him 😀.

I would definitely recommend purchasing the Tidy Tot if you want a little bit of help in keeping everything a little bit cleaner during the weaning process or when you are having messy play time! The Tidy Tot also comes with a handy little bag that it all folds back into for you to take on your travels and a perfectly easy storage solution.

I’m sure that Asher will make good use out of all this extra space as he makes his way through all the amazing foods just waiting for him to explore.

Check out more about Tidy Tot and purchase here

Suitable from age 6 months to 2 years.