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Sunday, 24 July 2016

11 weeks pregnant - Pregnancy Update

11 weeks pregnant and scan pic
no bump shot this week!

How I am feeling:

Symptoms:

All about the bloat again, which could also be exacerbated by pre-scan nerves. I am a big ball of worry, negativity, apprehension...as if this is a pregnancy following the miscarriages, despite having had Alexander! Irrational I know, but probably completely normal to feel this way. I don't think I felt this stressed even in the lead up to Alexander's scan!

Food:

I've been trying to up my water-intake because of the bloating, which sometimes makes me feel so full I don't have much of an appetite. Which is a shame because I can manage to eat things I normally wouldn't be able to.

Skin:

Getting a lot better, probably thanks to managing to eat better although I do notice bad skin the day after eating chocolate. How unfair!

Embryo development:

With a bony face, the foetus is looking much more like a baby and is developing testes or ovaries.

Vitamins and supplements:

1 x folic acid
1 x low-dose 75mg aspirin per day

What I'm wearing:

Normal clothes

Watch the vlog and find out just how active my scan turned out to be!


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#hellogoodtimes | Pop Up Events by McDonald's UK

Yesterday we enjoyed a slight change of weather in Brighton. We left sunny Hampshire with it's morning temperature of 23 degrees and once we got truly beside the sea, the coastal mist swept in. It was a welcome change really, particularly for those in Queen's Park discovering the McDonald's #hellogoodtimes 'Football Gold' pop up event.


#hellogoodtimes stadium photo backdrop for a Twitter competition
Only minor squabbling over the inflatable football trophy!

We were met by Gemma and the team who had brought all their kit in two McDonald's vans and we had the opportunity to see for ourselves what was available in the park to participate in before it got warmer and busier. The Football Gold featured music, a football stadium backdrop for a photo competition complete with trophy and ball props and an inflatable 'hit the cross-bar' goal post which was always popular. What made the event 'gold' was the addition of a giant inflatable human football table. I had never seen anything like it myself and Lily was keen to join in. She was not only the youngest team player at four and a half but a valuable member of the team which saw everyone getting active in the Brighton sunshine.

Good times squad poster backdrop

hand ball children!
Hand ball, Alexander!
The aim of the #hellogoodtimes campaign by McDonald's UK is to provide a little something extra and spontaneous to enrich a regular day and of course enhance social interaction.There is very little promotion so they are a very pleasant, impromptu addition to someone's day. I was aware of quite a few people around the park who appreciated something extra for their children to participate in, especially as they didn't expect to find a giant human football table to play with, for free!

the Good Times Squad were a very friendly bunch of people who made everyone feel involved in the games, particularly the youngest, Lily
I can't praise the #hellogoodtimes Good Time Squad high enough for their friendliness and efforts in encouraging everyone to get involved, especially the youngest player of the human footaball table - Lily.
There is a link you can use to find out whether one of your local McDonald's has any upcoming activity days. They run throughout the Summer holidays, until the end of August. For example, on Tuesday 26th July Tricketts Cross near Ringwood will have a family activity day. What can you expect? Games, balloons, stickers, to VIP appearances by Ronald McDonald himself, even surprise celebrity appearances in selected restaurants. Outdoors events could boast a number of different activities, for example, the 'Summertime Gold' event features air guitar competitions, McFlurry machines (always a crowd-pleaser on hot, summery days), photo booth to gain free McFlurry ice creams and a ball pit in which you have to find the #hellogoodtimes labelled white ball for a prize. It doesn't necessarily have to revolve around good weather, the McDonald's teams have also been handing out free ponchos at railway stations to commuters who aren't dressed for a change in weather, how nice is that!

the human football table featuring Lily doing some limbering up
All the team players thoroughly enjoyed the new concept that was the human football table, and Lily even did some mid-match limbering up.
Look out on social media for little hints on when the next activities will be held near you, alternatively they could be a little surprise during a day out which will prove to be fun for all of the family.

This is a sponsored post: all opinions expressed are my own.
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Saturday, 23 July 2016

10 weeks pregnancy update

10 weeks pregnant bump shot

How I am feeling:

Symptoms:

Really strange in my opinion, as I have never experienced this before, but as I reached 10 weeks the nausea has almost, but not completely stopped. I am feeling much more normal, so I wonder whether the on and off nausea during 9 weeks was the beginning of it all petering out. With both kids my sickness rounded off around 14-16 weeks. This has made me a little bit paranoid though.

Food:

I am very good at eating breakfasts, snacks and lunches and also preparing meals for everyone else, but I just have no appetite for tea time. My brain and my stomach are not working together for the 5 pm mealtime. I also seem to have gone off beef mince, sausages, chicken...and developed expensive tastes for roast lamb (had so much recently which should help with the iron levels at least), steak (had it once) and duck (yet to eat it). Just like when I was expecting Lily I have gone off sweet potatoes, which doesn't work in my favour as it is our carb of choice, given that Rob can't eat normal potatoes. On Friday I cooked roasted sweet potatoes and sausages and fed the children and thought I may try a sweet potato but ended up immediately being sick, which took me by surprise. Cheese and crackers on the other hand around 8 pm goes down a treat.

Skin:

I bought a bottle La Roche Posay Serozinc toning spray for blemish prone skin and I have been religiously using it twice a day alongside a blemish improving serum and I have definitely seen a great improvement to my skin already. Any rashy, Noddy blush areas have gone, hooray!

Sleep:

May get rid of this section soon, especially if my sleep is all hunky dory for the moment. Still needing to hit the hay from 9 am sometimes and occasionally I could do with a day time nap, particularly after lunch time.

Embryo development:

The foetus is about the size of a kumquat and may have some fuzzy hair.

Vitamins and supplements:

1 x folic acid tablet a day, for now
1 x low-dose 75mg aspirin per day

What I'm wearing:

Normal clothes


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Friday, 22 July 2016

Sylvanian Families Seaside Ice Cream Shop | Review

Lily and I have kindly been sent a delightful Sylvanian Families Seaside Ice Cream shop to play with in return for this review since we are now "Friends of Sylvanian Families".

 Lily has played with the Silk Cat Family before, but had to use her imagination with the figures with her existing toys. This set is a complete ice cream shop, which in this current weather, sounds ideal!

Sylvanian Families ice cream shop with Striped Cat Mother

Because this is a set, Lily has been able to get her existing cat family to play-interact with Striped Cat Mother, the owner of the shop and they can all sample different flavoured ice creams (the flavours get even more varied and wonderful according to Lily, perhaps she has been to Sprinkles Gelato Bar for ideas!). It has been great for independent play, she has been using her imagination and creating little scenes and role-play themes for the toys which visit the ice cream shop.

Mrs Striped Cat, owner of the ice cream shop and a little cat boy enjoying a treat
The owner and a happy customer.

Although it is described as a 'seaside' ice cream shop, don't let that idea limit you and your child's imagination. It could be anywhere, I suppose the only thing about it which would make it suitable for the seaside particularly is that the shop has been designed like a lifeguard lookout on wooden stilts (albeit a bit on the short side). But of course, once extended with collectable Sylvanian Families seaside sets, it looks perfectly in place.

How you can extend the Seaside Ice Cream shop to make it even more 'seaside' and images of the contents and the attention to detail with the tiny ice cream cones and scoops of ice cream
I adore the attention to detail with the individual scoops of colourful ice cream and cornets. However, bear in my that these pieces are rather small, so consider smaller children as they could be a choking hazard. I will find a suitable storage box for the minute pieces.

Assembly of the set was simple; everything was neatly organised within the box and packaged individually in clear cellophane bags complete with a miniature Sylvanian Families catalogue. The one thing that appeared to be missing was any form of instructions, but just looking at the box gave me an idea of where to put things and the rest was common sense. Lily was really keen to apply the decorative stickers to the plastic features to give them more detail, but I was wary that they would be applied, well, like a 4 year old, so I made sure that I applied them as neatly as possible to get the best overall effect. It certainly needed a steady hand, and the application isn't quite perfect, but once they are applied that is it.

Infographic on the side of the box giving some idea about product assembly, and some suggestions for role play using this set

Overall, we both love the whimsical design, the attention the detail and the possibilities that it provides for role-play and creative imaginative play and character interaction; with Sylvanian characters and other toys, who must be pretty jealous of the idyllic ice cream bar in this current heatwave!

The owner having a treat herself, plus the ice cream shop roof terrace
The owner enjoying a well-deserved ice cream herself and the ice cream bar terrace, accessible by the ladder on the left; perfect for views over the ocean.

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9 weeks pregnancy update

9 weeks pregnant bump shot

How I am feeling:

Symptoms:

Nausea has been afflicting me in a variety of doses; some days I barely have any and some days I am knocked for six, just like the tiredness.

I had my booking in appointment and unlike in Oxfordshire I will be referred to a consultant just because Lily was a pre-term baby. No one knows why, but the odds are in my favour as Alexander wasn't early at all. Of course I will have to have a GTT test around 26 weeks, so I will prepare myself for the delightful Original Lucozade, if that is what they use.

Food:

I appear to be losing my appetite, just as my nausea seems to be abating. How cruel of myself.

Skin:

Same as last week, I intend on buying some more La Roche Posay Serozinc toning spray for blemish prone skin. It worked wonders when I had a bottle. Pricey though.

Sleep:

Absolutely fine, and no longer been having to wake up to go to the loo first thing, but occasionally have to get up in the night, so I limit my drinks before I go to bed, which can be anything between 9 and 10 pm.

Embryo development:

The embryo is now a foetus and poised for rapid growth.

Vitamins and supplements:

1 x folic acid tablet a day, for now
1 x low-dose 75mg aspirin per day

What I'm wearing:

Normal clothes

Head over to my channel for the 9 weeks Bump Diaries vlog!
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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Urban Armor Gear iPhone 5S Case | Review

Just over a week ago I got an iPhone for the first time. Having seen my young son throw the unshielded mini iPad over the kitchen stairgate, I wanted to get a case as soon as possible to avoid a shattered screen.

 So it seemed ideal timing when Urban Armor Gear sent an iPhone 5S case for me to review. Otherwise I expect that I would have spent a lot longer trying to find the ideal case, silicone, bumpers, etc, but it is all too easy to get distracted by prettiness. Overall I wanted something that would protect my new phone, and the UAG case didn't let me me down.

UAG case with packaging and my unshielded brand new iPhone


Although I chose and ordered my case whilst away on holiday, it was dispatched and delivered within the same week and the package was waiting for me as I opened our door upon our return. From 5 different colour case options I chose 'Ice' which boasts a clear back and black rubberised screen surround which also sits proud of the screen to avoid screen breakage. Unless it managed to hit something sharp screen on, such as keys within a pocket, the likelihood of scratches are minimised. However, scratches are ultimately the least of my worries. I have small ones on my glasses which I wear all the time but they don't affect their use.

clear 'Ice' UAG case complete with skid pads
The clear case allows the silver iPhone colour to come through so it just appears silver with the hexagonal print. If I were to scrutinise the case I would probably notice dust or crumbs down the rear of the case, but applying and removing the UAG case is simple.

It is a robust, yet lightweight case and this is due to the patented composite being made of a soft impact resistant core within a hard outer shell and the overall shape providing structural rigidity.
The back of the case features 5 skid pads which feature the design of a 6 point screwdriver head, which teamed with the hexagonal print across the clear frame produces a military, motor - inspired look which perfectly reflects Urban Armor Gear's image present on the packaging and logo in the middle of the case. You won't find flowers or kittens here!

new phone in the UAG case
As you can see, the UAG iPhone 5S case doens't add much bulk or width to the phone and there is easy access to the ports and to the screen.
Speaking of the military, UAG cases offer military grade protection;

UAG military drop specifications; dropped from a height of 48 inches and dropped a total of 26 times
So it looks like my phone will be with me, intact, for the long run.
I think I would team it with the UAG screen shield to provide further durability and the screen shield also handily has an anti-fingerprint coating - great when little fingers may come upon my phone!

So far, so good. No drops and even if there was an incident, I don't think I would be full of dread thanks to the reinforced case.

The UAG case is available from $39.95 USD and the website offers further phone and tablet shields to suit the majority of popular phones.


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8 weeks pregnancy update

8 weeks pregnant bump shot for The Bump Diaries

How I am feeling:

Symptoms:

Major tiredness and queasiness have been the flavours of the week yet again but with a significant different; actually been physically sick twice (8 weeks 3 and 4 days, once after a car journey and once immediately in the morning). And just before a Dorset mini-break with my Dad too, excellent timing! I decided to let him know our little secret. I'm sure he would have got suspicious anyway...
Ironically I wasn't ill or sick at all on our mini-break. Mind over matter or something. This also happened when I went camping in 2011, 9-10 weeks pregnant with Lily. I was sick as a dog before the holiday and I wondered whether I would be able to cope, or if anyone would guess, but I wasn't ill at all. As soon as I got back from holiday I started puking again, lovely!

Food:

Cheese sandwiches are no longer on the menu! Funny how much your tastes can change during pregnancy; they were absolutely great but now I can't even think about them, let alone prepare one!

Skin:

Skin is just not great, and getting me down. Mostly spotty on my cheeks, giving me a Noddy-esque blush. Chlorine from swimming probably didn't help either.
I have become very lazy at applying any form of body cream, even my super simple to apply Vaseline spray and go...

Sleep:

Sleep whilst on holiday was broken initially but improved and the break was cut short due to the weather so I slept a whole lot better when I was home.

Embryo development:

The embryo is losing it's tail and it is constantly moving.

Vitamins and supplements:

1 x Sanatogen Mum-to-be pregnancy supplement per day - No more, since I realised I was having more than my daily dose of Iron each day, causing constipation.
So I have switched to 1 x folic acid tablet a day, for now
1 x low-dose 75mg aspirin per day

What I'm wearing:

Normal clothes

Take a look at my 8 weeks pregnant vlog!

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