Friday, 28 June 2013

The joys of pregnancy

Well I am on my last stretch now, 37 weeks today :-)  and starting to really feel it now. I don't remember feeling this heavy and achy.  However, I am still very pleased we have got this far this time and full of excitement to meet our new addition soon and for our first LO to finally have a sibling.

My start of my pregnancy was like a rollercoster, having had my first daughter 5 years ago, we have struggled to have another suffering 3 miscarriage's in the last 2 1/2 years. So as you can imagine, when I feel pregnant for the 5th time how nervous and anxious I was right up to my 20 week scan. It didn't help that at 9 weeks I had my first car crash, which was a very stressful period especially as this happened a few days before Christmas and I work in retail too. I won't go into details about it as still makes me angry and I refuse to even drive near where it happened.

It also doesn't help that I suffer from Bi-Polar, a form of depression which seems to run in our family ( my dads side, with my dad also having it ). From a teenager I have suffered with this, although it wasn't till my mid 20's that I got proper diagnosed with it after an event that nearly got my sectioned. And although I have been able to cope with it since coming of meds a good 6 years ago, my last miscarriage brought it all up to the surface and causing it flutter in and out in this pregnancy.

But not all is gloom, my excitement, support from my partner and the excitement from our little girl has really helped me though the middle parts. It has certainly helped that I have been reassured all is okay by the baby's movements ( my god she is a wriggler at times lol ).

The pregnancy has also been so different from my first in other ways too. I had more morning/all day sickness in this pregnancy.  Oh and my, those braxton hicks! again I never experienced them in my first but this time I have and my have I thought as times I was going into early labour.

Than the aches and feeling of heaviness. This last few days, I think she has had a growth spurt as I have suddenly felt so heavy, and my back is starting to feel it too. It probably doesn't help that we are sleeping on a mattress on the floor at moment, as the new bed we ordered had arrived in an awful state and had to be sent back. A week on the floor isn't good for a heavily pregnant lady and probably hasn't helped with these aches and pains. Good thing though, because I am pregnant the company has rushed as another bed on order and instead of waiting another 2 weeks, it is arriving Monday ( hopefully in a very good condition this time! ).

So, yes I am starting to get alittle impatient now.  My first daughter was born at 38 weeks and I hoping this one would come early too, but I am getting the feeling she may not, however, time will tell soon.



Monday, 24 June 2013

Little Us Dolls *


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 OMG these dolls are so cute!

I got a PR release from Tots100 to review a new product launch in the UK called "Little Us".  A brand new range of enchanting dolls for pre-school girls. Each doll and their are 4 of them have their own unique personality.

 

 Choosing a doll " most like me" gives the your child a delightful story by identifying with one of the dolls. Dressed in pretty outfits to match their personalities, velvety hair and different coloured eyes, the dolls give a real appeal on the toy shelf.  The doll's measure 12" high and made from soft plush material which gives them very huggable appeal and perfect for young children as their first doll. It also gives the dolls a great companion for play or sleep and to encourage creative imaginative role play.

When I gave the doll to my daughter she instantly feel in love with Chole. Although we did not pick a doll to review, funnily enough the doll she received was actually "just like her". We received Chole, who wears a lovely pink dress with ballet pumps. 
Chole loves everything that my daugther loves doing too.

 We received the doll on Friday, which was fab timing for the weekend as my daughter is in the foundation years at school full time in the week. This gave us a good time for her to review the doll over the weekend for me. With instant love for Chole, she actually took it out with her Friday night to dinner for her grandma's birthday. The whole weekend she never let go of her either, involving Chole with everything she did. She even takes her to bed.  Like most girls, my daughter loves Pink, dressing up and into Disney Princess's and Tinkerbell. 




My daughter used to do Ballet too, and loves to dance and sing 
( she is a big fan of " The Voice", Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing on Ice ). My daughter even wanted to take Chole to her swimming lesson!                                                                                  

video 
The doll is very well made and is a fab companion for my daugther who as at present has been an only child   ( we are expecting finally our 2nd very soon ). Instantly role playing with Chole it was lovely too see her have something she could make a little connection too, even though it was though imagination.
I would certainly recommend any of the dolls to any little girl. Price is very reasonable too at just £9.99! and available from retailers like Harrods, Hamleys, Asda.com and Debenhams.
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Little Us dolls are also planning future collections that can have new outfits with themes such " My favourite thing to do" and " My day out". Little Us are made and distributed by Posh Paws International.

For more information on the Little Us dolls and follow their stories and adventures, visit their facebook page LittleUsdolls and on Twitter @Littleusdolls

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Savvy Shopping Tips

Since becoming a mother, I often looking for a great price or bargain on products that I buy. So I thought I share some tips that I use when I shop whether it for myself, my children or for the household.

1) Make the Internet your friend not foe. I use the Internet to shop around ( a bit like window shopping ), trawling the web for the best offers on items that I am wishing to buy. This doesn't mean I shop online, It could be I find an offer that is on the high street and purchase direct from the store instead. It is all about being smart and savvy and getting the best offers at your advantage.

I do this by using Google and price comparison sites ( although Google will sometimes come up with its own as well ).

2) Signing up to  My Kiddy Offers is a great way to save money.  Their site is packed full of offers from the UK's leading baby retailers. Every day their offers are up dated to give you the best bargins, clearance and speical offers and much more. I love this as it means that I only have to really look at one site to see what baby offers are on, instead of spending loads of time trawling the web myself. They will even email you so you don't miss an offer too! Competitions and voucher codes are also available and best bit is that it is FREE to sign up. They even have a facebook page.
site is packed full of fresh offers from the UK’s leading baby retailers. - See more at: http://www.mykiddyoffers.co.uk/#_=_

3) Sign up for Boots Treat Street. If you haven't already got a Boots Advantage Card, go and get one. Not only can you build points instore and online with Boots, but though certain retailers as well. Check out http://www.treatstreet.boots.com , shops include Mothercare, Very, LEGO, DisneyLand Paris etc

4) If you are to shop and purchase online - sign up for Cashback on your purchase.
 ( NOTE: if a retailer is also on treatstreet - you can earn both Boots AdCard points and Cashback, you will need to download the points booster tool bar for this to work ).

I use www.topcashback.co.uk and can not recommend this site enough. I use it every time I purchase online and made some great savings on my online shopping. There are no catches - it’s free to join, and free to use. There is also a downloadable app which you can use via your phone for instore purchases as well or Snap and Save ( which is when you take a picture of what you purchase and earn cashback ).
 OR
There is also a cashback site for putting the money back into your child's savings account called KIDSTART. It works just like the above cashback site but the money goes to your child.

5) Sign up to zulily, a website that does deals for mummys, babies and kids on designer brands. Membership is free and there are some great offers every week. For an example they had Kickers for 50% off.  ( if you go though Topcashback site first and shop from Zulily that way you will also earn casback from your purchase ).

6) Although you can no longer get cashback from Ebay, and at the moment Amazon, I would always look on here too, as sometimes the deals are better than getting the cashback.

7) Use free trial periods on offers, for an example - Amazon Family, when you sign up they give you 3 months free usage to see if you like it. This gives you access to free Prime membership too ( which can give you free next day delivery ). Amazon Family gives you access to discounted products which are exactly cheaper than buying it from someone else that has it offers most of the time. You can cancel this just before the 3 months if you don't think its worth it.

I hope you find my tips helpful, and happy shopping and saving.

Friday, 14 June 2013

My favorite pregnancy bump products

I thought I'd share with you products that I have used in this pregnancy for my bump that I love.

I first started out with Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil, which is an advanced formula for multipurpose use.


The oil is formulated with their unique Rapidermal Absorption Systeme for maximum penetration of the
epidermal layer allowing our powerful ingredients to deliver targeted benefits.
 I loved the original smell of the cocoa butter that this oil has. The oil is fast to absorb and helps the appearance of scars, stretchmarks, dry and damaged skin and uneven skin tone. It contains botanical oils of Rosehip, Sesame and Canola with pure Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E.
 I used this twice a day - morning and night and lasted for about 2 months ( I used this from day one ). Cost was £9.10 from Boots for 150ml.

http://www.sanctuary.com/en-gb/sites/sanctuary.com/files/mtb%20award%20image.jpgMy next oil I tried was the Sanctuary Mum To Be Stretch Mark Oil. This was alittle cheaper than the Cocoa Butter at £8.20 for 150ml in Boots. This oil was little runnier than the cocoa butter but also smelt very nice and absorbed into the skin nicely leaving it very moisturised.
Tamanu, borage and organic rosehip seed oils help to prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
The oil seemed to last a little longer too, and again I used morning and night.

After having my Beautiful Bump Treatment with Champneys, I than brought there range of Blissful Bump Products. The two products to use on the bump were the Blissful Bump Stretch Mark Body Oil 100ml and Blissful Bump Body Butter 300ml which I brought in the gift set for ( which also contained the room spray and shower gel ) £25.
You use the oil first massaging gently over your bump, chest, hips and thighs, followed by the body butter again over the bump, chest, hips and thighs.  The oil contains Rosehip, Sweet Almond, Soyabean, Evening Primrose, Sunflower and tamanu oils. The butter contains Coconut oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Tamanu oil, Evening Primrose and Rosehip oils. These products just smell divine and was the main reason I brought it after my treatment. The oil lasts nearly 2 months but the butter I am still using nearly 3-4 months down the line. I also used this twice a day.

http://www.saafskincare.com/media/cache/eraser_310x450_310_450.jpgThe final oil I am using at the moment ( and you can see my full review on this product on myBeauty Blog) is the Saaf Body Eraser. Out of the oils, this is the one were I haven't actually needed to apply any more during the day due to itchiness. It is alittle slower to absorb than Palmers Therapy Oil, however, I have seen much more of a difference on old stretchmarks, skin tone etc with this oil.  The oil is most definitely the richest oil out the above. I have also use the Champneys Body Butter over the top of this.
The oil comes in 100ml for £39.99 so out of them all it is the most expensive but sits on the premium side of the beauty industry.  The smell is also divine but the smell is more natural and organic than the Champneys oil. This product is also certified organic. Oils used in this are Rosehip, Safflower and Mandarin.

Angel Sounds Fetal Heart Detector - Review

I know most midwives say not to use these devices, as they can give you false assurance and some of the devices are not that effective and a waste of money.


However, I did do a little research into the different types you can get and found this one had a fair amount of good reviews since it came out not long ago and price wise was middle market.

Angel Sounds have joined up with a medical company called Jumper ( Shenzhen Jumper Medical Equipment Co. Limited ), giving this device a more clearer and accurate result. It also looks very similar to the one they hook up to the machine when your in hospital.

Like all of these devices, the recommend use is from 14-16 weeks to be able to detect the heart beat. I however found my baby's around 12-13 weeks and I have seen similar reviews on the web stating the same for this device. Although please, if you do go and use this advice, don't be dishearten if you have can't find it as early as this, everyone is different and advice should go with the manufacturers recommendation.

Now I brought this because I wanted reassurance everything was fine due to suffering three early miscarriages over the last 2 years. I used it between scans to ease my anxeity as I also suffer from Bi-Polar. I had discussed this with my midwife too, who had advice me to use it purely for this as it was helping me stay calm but not to relay on it too much, and any concerns to go straight to her or the GP.

It was also a great way to get my 4 year old daughter involved with the pregnancy too and she found it great to listen to her siblings heartbeat.

I used it on and off till about 20 weeks when I had my next scan, but after that I haven't felt the need to use it as been feeling the baby kicking which is much more reassuring. I am now at 35 weeks :-)

The device will be able to pick up many sounds in the womb, from your own heartbeat to the placenta. Your heartbeat will sound much slower than the baby's heartbeat and the placenta sounds like a whooshing sound. You may even hear a kick.

The best way to use the device for it to pick up the sounds is to lie down, with the gel on your belly and alittle on the device's transducer. Power the device on first so you don't an unpleasant sound when you put it onto your belly with the volume down. Than when it is placed on the belly start turning the volume up till you can hear noises to your comfortable volume. Take some time to discover what sounds your are hearing so you can them apart. Once you found your baby's heartbeat you have the option to record it as well as the device comes with two CD's. You could also record yours to use to play back to your baby when he/she is born.

Prices differ depending on where you purchase this from. I used Amazon and brought mine for just £19.99 and for me it was worth the money. I would also recommend getting an extra gel with it as the one that comes with is a very small tube.

I would recommend this if you want to involve the family or just give you alittle more reassurance, but like the midwives state, any concerns please go straight to them.

Enjoy :-)


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Champneys Beautiful Bump Treatment Review


Ok, I start off with a post that is actually on my beauty blog, but as it was a treatment for pregnancy, I thought it be a great post to set off this new baby and parenting blog with.


This is my second pregnancy, but after having 3 MC's in between and working in retail standing most of the time, I decided I would treat myself to a much needed relaxing treatment.

This is of course my first ever treatment too!I had a little idea what to expect, and was rather excited to finally give a treatment ago. Being 7 months pregnant, I thought I go for the full 1 hour treatment, which consisted of a back massage ( sitting of course ), leg and foot massage and a head massage.

The treatment took place in the Champneys Spa in Boots, Milton Keynes, which is situated on the 1st floor. The Blissful Bump Treatment is available at the Champneys Resorts as well more info can be found here www.champneys.com
 I've never been to Champneys before, but I guess the interior designs are very similar with a vintage/modern look to the spa. The staff were very friendly and welcoming, as one would expect and offered me a hot or cold drink whilst the room was being prepared and for me to fill out a new client card.

My therapist was Georgina, who again was very lovely and explained everything to me before hand.
The therapy room felt relaxing, almost at home/luxury hotel feel to it. The music was lovely and tranquil too.

The treatment started of with the sitting back massage, and my god did I need it. I knew I had a knot or something in my back/shoulder from standing at work for long periods but the one on my left was a big knot. It felt so good to have it eased out, and my back and shoulders have felt amazing since. My bump than was given an oil and butter wrap whilst Georgina than did a leg and foot massage, which again I so needed. I could do with one of these after work every day. The treatment than finished with a head massage which was bless, I actually nearly fell asleep by this point.http://girliegossip.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/pregnancy-beauty-products.jpg

The products used were amazing, and formulated especially for pregnant women. The range is called Blissful Bump.What surprised me the most and was very happy to see, is that the products do not contain any Parabans, SLS's or Paraffin oils. As someone who uses everyday skincare and body products without these ingredients in, I was very happy.
 I believe the oil was used everywhere, than the oil and body butter was applied to my bump.
The range can be brought in the Baby section of Boots too and consists of the Stretch Mark Oil, Room Spray, Body Butter, Shower Creme or purchased as Gift Sets.
Obviously I had to purchase the products as they smell so amazing, and of course extends the treatment experience into the home. I got the Oil, Body Butter as a duo gift set, the room spray and shower creme.

I would definitely recommend any pregnant women to have this treatment at some stage in the pregnancy.

P.S Just an update to the post - I got commented on by a Midwife the other day when I had to go in for a check up, how nice I smelt. I mentioned it was the Champneys Blissful Bump range and told her some of the oils used in it and she mentioned she could smell some of the oils and how nice it was.

Welcome to my New Baby and Parenting Blog

Hi

This is my new baby and parenting blog. I have been blogging now for 3 years as an established beauty blogger - Beauty Alchemy, but after falling pregnant for the 5th time, although this will be 2nd child, I decided to expand into the Parenting world of blogging too.

This was mainly due to me getting a lot of PR requests as well as me introducing myself to companies to test and review baby/parenting related products, as I didn't want to get my already beauty readers confused or lost by adding baby/parenting related posts, I thought it would be best to create a new blog for this. And here we are.

I have some products already lined up to test and review over the next month or so, some will have to wait until baby arrives ( which could be any day from now till her due date on the 19th July - this was because my 1st was an early baby ). Products marked with an * are products that have been given to me to trial by the said company to write about on my blog.

Products lined up are:

okiedog - two changing bags with 4 accessories *

NoroClear - their travel pack of antibacterial wipes and hand rub *

Baby Rug - Bug in a Rug Swaddle Blanket *

Cheeky Wipes - Reusable cleaning wipes*

Oral B Kids electric tooth brush

My fave bump products