Friday 30 January 2015



Our word of the week is quite simply 'no'. Probably THE most used word as a Mummy but also I would say the most over used word by my darling son and possibly in our household! If I had £1.00 or even just 50p for every time I used the word 'no' throughout the day I would without a doubt be a billionaire. 

When I spend time with Alfie I do try to make our days varied whether it be watching a film together, baking a cake or doing some arts and craft but sometimes trying to convince him to participate resounds in a very stubborn 'no or no mummy'.

The general conversation  between myself and Alfie goes a little something like this:

Mummy: 'Alfie can you pick up your toys please?'

Alfie: 'No'

Mummy: 'That wasn't really an option, pick up your toys'

Alfie: 'No Mummy!!!'

Mummy: *sigh* 'Alfie will you help Mummy pick up your toys?'

Alfie: 'No Mummy, go away Mummy!!'

I sometimes get bored hearing myself say the word 'no', not only is it one of the most annoying words to hear yourself say, it gets even more annoying and frustrating when clearly the toddler has picked up this particular word from you and knows just how to use it to his advantage and over and over and over again!

The Reading Residence

Wednesday 28 January 2015

The Up the Nose Incident.

Well I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later but today was the day Alfie decided to experiment with sticking items up his nose (marvellous, another milestone in parenthood achieved!). Cue manic panic and stressing from Mummy about what on earth had been shoved up there, whether there was still anything stuck up there and what else has he poked into this orifice?. 

I will set the scene, as I was merrily washing up Alfie went suspiciously quiet, when children go quiet you never notice right away, it's usually a couple of minutes before you start thinking why is my child so quiet and what is my child doing ?! On this instance I thought he was just chilling on the sofa having some snacks when actually what he was doing was seeing how far snacks can go up each nostril, wahhhh!

Pretty much my actual reaction.

Image courtesy of 
To be truthful, initially I was unaware that he'd been experimenting. The conversation went something along these lines.....

Alfie:  'Mummy I got things up nose'

Mummy: 'I'm sorry what Alfie???'

Alfie, 'I stuck things up nose'

Mummy: 'Oh Christ'.

It was only then that he kind of snorted and snotted a little fruity button out of his nose (you know the ones that look like Jelly Tots but the healthy variety, little round pieces that are just inviting themselves to be shoved up a toddler's nostril or in an ear). Out came one sticky, snotty and resembling a huge bogey fruity piece. Me: panic, panic, panic. THEN out came another, arghhhh! At this point I had no idea how many were up each nostril, Alfie seemed to find my reaction most amusing, brilliant! The following conversation then took place.

Mummy: 'Alfie is there anymore up your nose?'

Alfie: 'Yes Mummy' *snorts*

Mummy: 'Don't snort!! Adiiiiiiiiiiiii (my husband), he's only bloody got these damn fruit things stuck up his nose, help me!!!'

Husband: 'WHAT????'. Typical male response.

So there I am 6 months pregnant trundling up the stairs with a toddler in arm hoping for some moral support from my husband who to begin with was fairly calm until he realised what exactly I was telling him.

Mummy: 'Our dear child has been shoving things up his nose, I've no idea how many and if there is anything still up there!'

Husband: 'Oh crap'

We sat Alfie on the sofa and in a scene that resembled a comedy sketch got him to snort out of each nostril to try and dislodge anything that might be up there. The whole concept of trying to get a toddler who doesn't really have a clue what you're asking of him an interesting notion. To Alfie this was one big game! The only thing that seemed to appear out of said orifice  was copious amounts of snot and  thankfully no fruity buttons at this point.

Daddy: 'Alfie have you got anything up your nose? Is it ouchy?''

Alfie: 'Yes'.

Mummy and Daddy: *groan*.

Daddy: 'Alfie can you blow your nose like Daddy?' *snorrttttttt*

Alfie: 'Yes' *snoorrttt*

Unclear as to whether anything was actually still up there we proceeded to consult 'Dr. Google' (yes I know I'm a Nurse but sometimes Dr. Google helps!), Dr. Google didn't really help that much it was more common sense so we then continued this comedy sketch and got Alfie into all sorts of positions to try and see up his nose and using a torch on our phone tried to investigate the orifice's to see if we could see anything. We couldn't, we were fairly sure there wasn't anymore there.

Daddy: 'Alfie have you got anything stuck up your nose?'

Alfie: 'No Daddy' *trots off and plays with toys*

Mummy and Daddy then exchange a look which I'm sure all parents are aware off, the he's having us on look!

In reality it was another valuable parenting lesson learnt, of course I knew that he was going to start sticking things in his nose, ears etc etc. This time we were lucky and it was easily resolved but it so easily  could have been something alot more serious potentially could have resulted in afternoon spent in A&E.

Lesson learned. Toddlers experiment. Toddlers like to stick things in places they shouldn't. Once again I panicked, but it's ok that's what Mummy's are supposed to do! Not that it takes much reminding but children are precious and simple things such as food can pose a risk to toddlers enquiring minds and experimental nature (even though he found the whole thing hilarious). Lesson learned.

Best of Worst

Tuesday 27 January 2015

My Little Energy Box (January) - Review

I can't believe it's that time of the month again, time to get excited when the latest My Little Box arrived! This my third box and with two brilliant boxes already received I was looking forward to this as a little January pick me up and treat. This months theme is 'energy' and once again the box was full to the brim of nice items, although not my favourite box out of the three but as always thoughtfully packaged and well presented.

First up a cute little sports bag with a girly design, this will be absolutely ideal as a little hand held bag for me to take into  hospital with some toiletries in, not necessarily what it's designed for but useful never the less!

Also received was the usual 'My Little World' magazine which is just great, a mini mag full of little article's, ideas and beauty tips, I read it cover to cover! I also received a 2015 calendar which let's face it are always handy and finally out of this selection is a motivational card poster, cute!

I then went on to see what products had been sent (the most exciting part right!), as with the last two boxes the beauty and skin care items are tucked inside the loveliest little drawstring bag, I'm yet to find a use for them as yet but I've kept them as they're too nice to throw, I'm thinking they may be a good makeup brush bag or to store some hair accessories in?

First item I pulled out of the bag was a full size Nails Inc polish in the shade Tate, eeeee, super pleased to receive a full size Nails Inc varnish and it's a lovely deep red shade so I'm happy with this (RRP £11.00).

The next item will definitely be coming in my hospital bag with me, an energising facial mist full of antioxidants and vitamin c and green tea to freshen and leave your skin glowing, this is the exclusive brand of these boxes called My Little Beauty. Believe me, any help I can get to look semi decent giving birth I am all over!

The third item was Talika Photo-Hydra Day Cream, designed to provide instant hydration to the skin I am looking forward to trying this, since being pregnant my skin seems to have a mind of its own and can't decide whether to be dry, sensitive, combo or just breaking out into teenage pimples! Lovely item to receive. 

So there we have the January 'My Little Box', I have gushed about these boxes since the first I received and each month I'm super pleased with the quality of items received and how truly fantastic this particular beauty subscription box is. All I can say is roll on February I can't wait to see what's inside next months.

* My Little Box is a monthly beauty subscription box costing £14.95 a month (inc p&p). Please click here to find out more.

Thursday 22 January 2015

Birth 1st Time Around - A Reflection (Part 1)

I've been thinking long and hard about writing this post, in a way I'm hoping by doing this everything that has been locked away in my head since Alfie's birth that is starting to manifest will help me face some of my fears. I'm kind of hoping that this will be a cathartic and cleansing post too because I feel I need to off load. Some of my memories of Alfie's birth are hazy while some are also crystal clear but I have definitely being harbouring some demons and with an impending birth I need to be clear in my head how I'd like this birth to go. I'll split this post into 2 parts though as it could be fairly lengthy!

39 Weeks Pregnant with Alfie.
So here I was first time Mum, very excited about the upcoming birth and really had a relatively straightforward pregnancy with no complications, in fact I actually quite liked being pregnant! I always had a feeling I would be overdue,  I didn't overly mind I was just so eager to avoid induction. So as I became more overdue I had 2 stretch and sweep's by my community midwife and later that day after my 2nd sweep my contractions finally started, by this point I was 7 days overdue. Prior to this I had been trying pretty much everything (and I do mean everything!) and I think that the sweep is what eventually started my labour. I would say my contractions started at around 7pm and were completely manageable through the evening it was only on the point of me going to bed that they started to become more intense I then proceeded to spend all night bouncing away on my birthing ball assuming that my labour was progressing pretty well, stupid thing to do really stay up ALL night, I really will know better 2nd time around to try and get some shut eye!

Fast forward a few hours and at around 4am I felt that I needed to contact the hospital, my contractions were quite strong and coming quickly although still quite irregular, we were advised to head over to the hospital to see how I was progressing at this point I was using my TENS machine (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) which was an absolute godsend, on examination I was only 1-2cm dilated (so demoralising!) and was advised to go home and try and get some sleep and see how I progress at home, I was given some Temazepam to help me sleep and to be fair it pretty much knocked me out for a few hours, I remember Adi having to sort of bundle me out of the car and into bed, I was shattered. A few hours later I remember waking with excruciating contractions, they felt different this time and we rang the hospital again who asked if I thought I was coping at home, to a degree I was so I had about 3 baths and continued with my TENS machine until I really was feeling I needed some help with the pain, off we went to the hospital again and to this point my waters were still intact. 

On arrival at the hospital another examination and I was only 2-3 cm dilated (seriously!) but I pretty much said please don't send me home can I use the birthing pool which they were happy to oblige, I was told to have a walk while they filled it up and come back in an hour, it was pretty awful having to walk around the hospital on one of the hottest weeks of the year, being electrocuted by my TENS and having contractions every couple of minutes I must have looked a right wally! After an hour I could not wait to get in the birthing pool and have some gas and air and once in the pool I felt alot more in control of my contractions, yes they were still fairly strong but the water and gas and air really helped me focus and I actually started to relax a bit more into my contractions. Hours and hours went by and still my contractions were irregular and strong but my waters were still intact, it was eventually decided that my waters should be broken which to be honest was absolutely fine and didn't hurt at all, at this point I was finally in active labour and was around 4-5cm dilated so I was making progress but it was slow, very slow. Being in the water can actually slow your contractions down and the midwife's looking after me felt that this was case, even after my waters had been broken my labour still didn't speed up and by this point I had been awake for a long time and was really feeling exhausted, I plodded on though for a couple more hours but by this point I remember feeling quite teary and anxious, this was not how labour was supposed to be.......right?!

From what I remember it was around midnight when the Midwife came to talk to us about her concerns that  I was getting so tired and things weren't progressing well and she felt I needed some help to try and get my contractions to be more efficient, it was at this point I think I realised my hopes of a water birth were over as I was then transferred to the consultant led unit next door, I remember panicking as I was having contractions and I had no gas and air, I'm fairly sure as soon as I got in the room I was near enough shouting where is the gas and air??? I need it!!!! 

In short as I realise that this is a lengthy post I was then stabbed in my arms to try and get a cannula in (apparently I have marvellous veins to take blood but not so when they need to get a cannula in!),  I also remember saying to the Midwife who was cannulating me 'ouch, bloody hell that hurts!' which makes me smile a little to think that I was moaning more about that hurting than the actual contractions that were horrendous!  Once that was in they started me on a drip called syntocinon (synto) which is synthetic oxytocin (the hormone required to cause your uterus to contract to push out the baby), this was to make my contractions stronger, more regular and more effective. Well my god I have never known anything like it this drip is the devil's work, I felt like I had no control over my body and after a while kept thinking 'jesus christ when is this baby going to come out?!' my husband described me as being slightly possessed! During this time it was found that Alfie had turned back to back and actually towrds the last few weeks of my pregnancy he had flipped between back to back and an anterior position. This then explained the reasons that my contractions were quite intense and I was experiencing the urge to push before I was actually ready to. So while I was suffering under the curse of synto I was sucking on the gas and air as if the supply was going to run out, I was questioning whether I could have an epidural but was told it was a little bit late for this but could have a shot of pethidine which just made me feel out of it and drowsy but not enough to dull the contractions, it did give me the chance to doze slightly between contractions however.

After hours and hours and what felt like days I was told that I could push, baby had turned the right way, I was fully dilated and I could go for it, the problem however was that I was past exhausted and trying to lie on your back and push a child the size of a huge watermelon out of your vajayjay was like asking the impossible, well I tried and I tried and then got told that I wasn't pushing effectively and I was pushing at the wrong part of the contraction (well forgive me but I'm fairly sure I have no real idea what I was doing!!), at this stage it was decided that I could try pushing for another 90 minutes and then it was looking likely I'd have to have a c-section, my first thought was after all this effort I am not having a c-section no bloody way, this baby will be pushed out and it's going to come now! My dear husband, god bless him then kindly suggested that we try me standing up and letting gravity take its course, I reluctantly agreed and I have no idea where I got the strength from but I stood and with the support of him every time I had a contraction I squatted and I was pushing this baby out. I think I was pushing like this for around 30 minutes............

I will continue this post in a second part, I'm sure you can't wait to read what happened next!

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Nova Silver Honey Bee Earrings - Review

I am such a sucker for beautiful and quirky silver jewellery I have blogged many a time about my love for all things sparkly and today I am reviewing a pair of earrings from UK based company Nova Silver. Established in 2004 Nova Silver trades from its main flagship store in Norwich (not far from me!) and various stockists nationwide.

So like I said I love quirky jewellery and I was sent some very sweet little honey bee earrings to review, with a retail price of £30.00 for the quality of the item and that they are silver I think this is a reasonable price to pay. Forgive the picture I found it very difficult to capture the intricate details of the earrings. 

You can view the whole Kitten range by clicking the link here, this particular collection of jewellery is just a small insight into the high quality and unique pieces that Nova Silver retail, some of the other ranges that I particularly love are the Marcasite and Baltic Amber ranges, these are equally as beautiful and right up my street.

What I love about the Honey Bee earrings is the detail, they are so realistic and detailed, they sparkle wonderfully when worn and I'm not sure whether it's the silver or the way they've been carved but when they catch the light they twinkle almost like little jewels, so pretty. 

I love that these earrings could be worn during the day or an evening out making them very versatile, I definitely think that they would be a talking point! Not only do they look beautiful but they are crafted to an extremely high quality and are simply a perfect example of a lovely item of jewellery that wound appeal to many  people. 

For more information and to check stockists please click this link to take you to the correct web page.

* Please note I was kindly sent this item to review and all of the thoughts and opinions are that of my own.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Glossybox January 2015 - Review

My last review on the December Glossybox wasn't great (you can read that here), my finger has hovered over the cancel button a couple of times until I realised that I had collected enough Glossydots to qualify for a free box so obviously took advantage of that before fully making my decision.  I was quite apprehensive to see what products would be sent this month after the rubbish that was sent in December. My January box arrived last week and on opening it the question was do I cancel or continue with my subscription this box was going to be the decider.................

What did I receive this month?

This is a new brand to me Kueshi Natural & Pleasant Cosmetics Revitalizing Face Toner (full size 200ml received RRP 10.70 Euros). This beautiful, bright pink toner is a blend of natural ingredients such as chamomile, calendula and aloe vera to calm and re-hydrate the skin. It's a lovely item and smells really nice so I'm looking forward to testing this out. 

Next up is a super sweet little faux metal pot with a mini powder puff and  packed to the brim with a pinky blush. Again, this another brand that I have not heard of Nicka K New York Colourluxe Powder Blush (full size 5g received RRP $8.95), with a quick Google I found out that Nicka K was a brand founded in 1995 in the heart of New York City with the emphasis being on high quality products whilst being affordable at the same time. I love this little pot of blush, sadly it's a little too pinky for me but if carefully applied and buffed on I'm sure I'll be able to make use of it. 

The third item is a lip balm (wahoo, got to love a lip balm!).  This particular balm is by a brand called Naked Lips Organic Lip Balm Superfruits (full size received RRP 5 Euros). I like the packaging, it smells nice and it's not at all waxy as promised, a great little item to receive. 

Next up is an eyeliner by MeMeMe in the shade Clay (full size received RRP £4.00), I like this brand and this is a lovely eye liner in a very wearable shade, I've been using it underneath my lower lashes to define my eyes and it doesn't drag the skin at all and you can achieve some nice results with it, a great item to add to my eye liner collection!

Finally and last but not least is my favourite item received in this months box, Jelly Pong Pong All Over Glow (full size 15g received RRP £10.00), I love the brand Jelly Pong Pong, it's fun and funky and this item is no exception! I am a big fan of highlighters and this gives a gorgeous iridescent glow to the apples of the cheeks without being overly glittery, I love, love, love it!

Rather annoyingly I would say that for the moment Glossybox has retained me as a customer, this is also helped by the little sneak peek what is to come in the February box which I am excited to receive. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that future boxes will maintain a high quality and I will remain a subscriber in the future. 

What are the thoughts on this months Glossybox?

Glossybox is a monthly subscription service costing £10.00 + p&p, for more information please click on the link to Glossybox.

Monday 12 January 2015

Pregnancy Update - 25/26/27 Weeks

Baby is the size of a head of cauliflower (at 27 weeks)!

Where have the last three weeks gone?! With it being Christmas and New Year I took a step back from blogging to spend time with my family and enjoy the festivities, I'm now trying to catch up and rolling three weeks of pregnancy into one post! I have now just turned 27 weeks and my bump is definitely starting to get a whole lot bigger and things are starting to become a bit uncomfortable, the constant need to pee is also not so good when you're driving around all day thinking about where the best place is to go to the loo! I'm also feeling pretty achey around the pelvis and quite tired in the afternoon, no time for a nap with working and looking after a toddler though (oh how things are different second time round!). I've also started with braxton hicks (fake contractions, although in my opinion they feel nothing like the real thing at all!), I've had less so far at this stage in pregnancy than with Alfie, I remember having braxton hicks much earlier on in my pregnancy. Other than these things I am generally feeling ok in myself. 

I have finalised my maternity leave start date and my last day at work will be 27th February so not that long to go really, I'm on countdown! I've also just started to work four days a week now using a day of annual leave until then so I can spend a little bit more time with Alfie, I was finding the full time hours very difficult and suffering with severe Mummy guilt leaving my little boy so often so I am loving my extra day off spending time with him. We've already been busy making cakes and doing some arts and crafts together, such a lovely way to spend time with him.

Having been so organised first time around, this time I am nowhere near ready for this baby to arrive, we still have to decorate Alfie's new room and then settle him in the new room, I haven't even thought about packing my hospital bag and I've only just sorted through everything I already had to establish what I need to buy! I have bought a few more bits such as a new set of bottles, babygro's vests, maternity pads and breast pads and other little bits and pieces that I know I'll need.I do feel I am alot more relaxed about things this time around, the only thing that is really bothering me is the birth and I am keeping my fingers tightly crossed for a much more positive experience. 

Baby this week roughly weighs around 900g and with it's legs extended measures around 37cm, the baby has regular sleep and wake cycles and I can totally back this up as my little one definitely has a little routine developing! The brain continues to develop and is very active, however the lungs are still quite immature and if born now would require medical help to assist with breathing. So I have 90 days to my due date and I can't believe how fast this pregnancy has gone so far, I wonder how fast the next 90 days will go! I've also booked a 4d scan at the beginning of February so I'm really looking forward to that!

You can read my last pregnancy update by clicking here.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Win a Canvas with Wall Create

I really do love a canvas and I have quite a collection throughout the house now, my latest one is a snowy New York picture taken just outside Bloomingdale's that I captured last year when we visited for my 30th. It was such an amazing day, absolutely freezing mind you but I love the way the cars have been captured zooming by and it just goes to show that even when in snows in NYC this city just does not stop. I haven't quite chosen a place for this one to be hung yet but I'm going to make sure it's in a nice position so that it reminds me of the amazing time that we had whilst we were away.

This particular canvas is from a company called Wall Create and is of a very high quality, this company prints on 400gsm cotton canvas to ensure a strong finish and bright and intense colour. The kind folks at Wall Create are currently offering one of my lucky readers to be in with a chance of winning their very own 40cm x 30cm canvas print with any photo of their choice printed on it.

To be in with a chance of winning please do so by using the Rafflecopter below. Winners will be notified either by email (if left) or twitter so please ensure that you are contactable by these methods. The competition will run for 3 weeks and is for UK entrants only please. 

Thanks for entering and good luck!