My #MorningWin with Belvita

Being a parent, mornings can really seem like a chore. Getting the children up (if they don’t get up before you!), getting them breakfast, getting them ready for school (or nursery), feeding the baby (if you have one of those, like me, of course), getting out the door, getting to school. And then when you get home you’re on a chore again to get those things done that you can’t whilst they’re at home.

With all this rushing around, you probably don’t even get time for a decent breakfast – I know sometimes I don’t, even on days without a nursery run to do! That’s where Belvita comes in with their range of breakfast biscuits. In just one packet there is a yummy breakfast to keep you going for four hours, and best of all you can eat it on the go.

With all the rushing around of a Mum, there needs to be something to make the early morning just a little bit brighter. My favourite morning win has to be when the children sleep in, which gives me time to actually have some breakfast in peace without little eyes prying and little hands stealing! Though often it’ll still be Belvita as I can eat it quickly and whilst doing some chores – no rest for the wicked brilliant! On the flip side of this, when J gets up before me but stays in his room to play so letting Mummy have even an extra 10 minutes, that makes me feel a bit more human!

On nursery days, my main morning win is always when J wakes up happy as I know dropping him off will be easier as he’ll go in running & smiling which just makes my day as I don’t have to do the Mummy worry thing. We walk to nursery and it’s only a short walk around the corner, but when there is no traffic so I don’t have to wait to cross the road, that is a morning win too as it means I can relax knowing we will get there on time. 
I was sent three boxes of Belvita breakfast biscuits to try for the #MorningWin challenge – apricots, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips. As always when given a choice with chocolate, I was immediately drawn to this one… There is just the right amount of chocolate in these, as anything with too much chocolate – especially first thing in the morning – makes me feel a little bit sick. These were perfect though with the crunch of the biscuit too against the smoothness of the chocolate. All Belvita biscuits have that crunch, but the hazelnut ones are extra crunchy with the nutty addition and have a lovely flavour to them. One of my other favourite breakfast combinations is crunch and fruit so I really liked the apricot ones – these ones were a little chewy though due to the dried apricot but I did enjoy them. In order of preference I would put chocolate chip at the top, then apricot, then hazelnut. 
All hail the morning wins!
What’s your #MorningWin?
This post is an entry for #MorningWin Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast. Learn more at http://bit.ly/belVitaUK

Organix Little Book of Weaning

As you may know, we have recently started weaning N. Unlike with J, we have been much more relaxed about it this time and we haven’t hit any obstacles yet! In fact, I’m finding it much less stressful and much more fun this time around.

I think as a first time parent it is going to be one of those things that worries you from the off, from even starting to think about weaning. The when, how, what? We tried weaning J earlier than he was ready so I panicked that he wasn’t getting enough food, but really he just wasn’t showing all of the signs, and we did it just because we were ‘supposed to’. With N I just knew when he was ready so it has been easy this time, really.

When you start to think about weaning though, there is so much help out there for you. Organix have just released The Little Book Of Weaning which is free to download. This book has been written with the help of four mums just like me & you – who are also experts in their own fields, but they have been there with the anxiety and questions – so it really is a great help.

The Little Book of Weaning has various chapters on deciding when your baby is ready, how to approach it, discovering new foods, top tips, and a handy guide on what & when to introduce different foods. If you feel overwhelmed and are looking for somewhere to start, then this is it.

We decided to baby led wean from the beginning with N, but we have fed him a couple of foods from a spoon (though he tries to do it himself!). It was an easy decision for us to take this time but some parents struggle to choose between BLW and traditional weaning. Organix believe that there is no need to choose if you don’t wish to:

“Rather than feeling that you have to decide between traditional weaning or BLW, why not combine the two then you’ll get the best of both worlds? You can start off with puree, then when you feel ready pop some finger foods in front of your baby so they can squash, squeeze and taste the finger food.”

As this is the second time I’ve been through the weaning journey, here are my top five tips for you:

  • let baby take the lead. They will let you know when they’re ready, and you will know when they show you.
  • easier said than done, but try not to worry if it looks like they are choking. They are just practicing their gag reflex which happens to be further forward than ours.
  • give them a spoon to hold (or play with!) from the beginning – even if they don’t use it, it’s great practice!
  • don’t worry about how much they’re eating. It’s mainly just fun up until one year old whilst they are mainly having milk.
  • following on from above – don’t worry about mess! It’s fun for us parents too!

*PR collaboration

World Mental Health Day 2014 #TimeToTalk

Today, the 10th of October 2014, marks World Mental Health Day.

Why is mental health still such a stigma?

Chances are you know at least one person who has mental health issues, but you may not actually know because they are ashamed to talk about it.

The recent death of the much loved Robin Williams caused everyone to start talking about it, but why should it take for somebody – anybody – to die, in order to start talking?

The post I wrote last year I did so with ease; I wrote it because even though I wasn’t suffering at that time, I wanted people to talk.

This post, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with.

Recently I’ve been having some pretty low days.

I haven’t posted about it here yet as I’m trying to cope. I’m trying to battle.

I have been talking though. Talking to friends.

I may talk about it openly again on here soon.

But for now, I just want to tell you, if you are reading this and you think you may be depressed, or suffering anxiety, anything to do with your mental health, then please…

…talk.

It’s time to change.

It’s time to talk.

It’s time to end mental health discrimination.

By clicking here, you can make your pledge to help end mental health stigma. 

Little man N at 7 months old

How did my littlest man get to 7 months old? It only seems like yesterday that he was born. I think the fact that he’s progressing a bit quicker than J did makes the time fly by too – it’s certainly true that all babies are different, even if they’re related.

N was weighed the day before he turned 7 months and weighed 22 lb 6 oz, meaning he’s gained 2 lb in a month! (And he’s now on the 98th centile – he was born on the 50th). Slightly unsurprising as we have started weaning and he is a very hungry baby so he still has 4 x 7-8 oz bottles a day. The health visitor said we need to cut one of those out so I’m trying to find the best routine for us to do that. He definitely loves his milk like his brother though.

He’s such a happy, relaxed baby, much more than J ever was. He’s only ever grumpy when he’s tired or hungry, and other than these times, he’s always smiling. Nearly every day I get told what a smiley and happy baby he is, and of course I have to agree! His smile is infectious too – I think when he smiles he looks like Baby Sinclair from The Dinosaurs – do you remember that show?!

He’s still waking at some point during the night but I bring him in with us again now. I’ve really been making the most of the extra baby cuddles recently as I’ve realised that it won’t last for much longer and then that will be it. Alongside his brother also waking in the night, Daddy & I both seem to be a bit more tired than usual, recently!

He can now sit unaided very confidently. He still can’t pull himself up to sitting completely, though he’s getting there. He sits and plays with bashes his toys for ages, and now J is playing with him more too as they can play together. It’s strange seeing it as his brother never sat up as early as he did, so he doesn’t seem old enough. I think I just want him to remain in the young baby stage for as long as possible – I would say tiny, but he’s definitely not tiny anymore! On that subject, he’s now going into 9-12 month clothes – I didn’t think I would have to break them out this early but I can no longer fasten his 6-9 month vests, or if I do then they pop straight open! His trousers are tight around his waist but still fit in the leg so I think he’s definitely chunky around the middle.

We have the beginnings of crawling. He will get up onto his knees and rock for ages, but he won’t go anywhere. Then he gets frustrated. I’m expecting him to be crawling in the next few weeks though, then there’ll be no stopping him. I need to go crawling around again to check for things that need re-child proofing!

We still have no teeth! He has been teething for months now, the poor little soul. I just want them to start coming through so we can get it over and done with. Though if he’s anything like his brother he’ll still have some to come through in 2 years time!

He is absolutely loving his food. Anything I give him, he will eat – another area in which he’s the complete opposite of his brother. He’s now on 3 meals a day and I think his favourite is tea time! Quite proud to say he’s had no purees or bought in baby meals – it is so much easier to just give him what we’re having, especially without having to blend it up. He’s also started trying to feed himself with a spoon already – clever little man. I’m hoping because we have baby led weaned and just given him a bit of everything, that he isn’t going to be as fussy as his brother in a year or so!

The best shot I could get as he won’t keep it still – it looks like he’s doing a trick!

Family Friday


Dettol Baby Blanket Donation #sharethememories

What is so important about a blanket? A blanket for a baby, specifically? A blanket keeps a baby warm, a blanket gives a baby comfort – but not all babies have a blanket to feel this.

This is why Dettol and Rachel Stevens have launched the Dettol Baby Blanket Donation campaign.

Laboratory tests commissioned by Dettol (on washed blankets donated by volunteer mums) showed that baby blankets carry a variety of bacteria even after a 40C wash – with a third of the blankets harbouring coliforms, a group of bacteria linked to faeces. Around the world, 50 babies a minute are born into poverty and don’t even have this luxury and comfort of a washed blanket. The poor hygiene conditions they will experience can contribute to illnesses such as diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.

Dettol and Rachel want you to keep the memories, not the bacteria, of your babies blanket.

Celebrity mum of two, Rachel Stevens

How can you do this? All you have to is send a blanket via Freepost and share your special recollections and photographs across social media with the hashtag #sharethememories. Once the blankets are collected they will be washed with Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser and then re-distributed to families in need. (Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser kills 99.9% of bacteria even below 30C). For every blanket collected, Dettol have also pledged to donate £1 to children’s medical research charity Sparks, to raise much needed funds for families in the UK with children affected by serious illness or disability.

Blankets will be collected until the end of December. You can share your memories on Twitter to @DettolBlanket with the #sharethememories hashtag, or Dettol’s Mission for Health Facebook page. For full details on how to donate visit www.dettol.co.uk/donate. The address to send your blankets to (via Freepost with no stamp required) is:
Dettol Baby Blanket Donation
FREEPOST RTKJ-YSGS-SSHR
The Hay Loft
Balcombe Place Stables.


So how about my blanket memory? When I was expecting J, a dear friend who I ‘met’ online sent me a gift for him, a gorgeous crocheted multi colour blanket. J really took to it and whenever he had it with him, he would grip on for dear life. Now N uses the very same blanket, and he does exactly the same. I think this blanket will be one to keep forever, but the boys have many more of which we can choose from to send to the campaign for a disadvantaged child.