Sunday 23 September 2018

My Sunday Photo - 23/09/18

School run through the most peaceful of surroundings. 

Saturday 22 September 2018

Abdominoplasty Procedure: Can it remove my stretch marks

Having a baby is an exciting and life-changing event for a woman, but it does not come without some negative physical changes that may continue after the baby is born. One change that is common in pregnancy, and that does not go away postpartum, is the advent of stretch marks.

A person who has been overweight or obese can make lifestyle changes that yield a healthier, slimmer, better-contoured body. As the weight decreases, unsightly stretch marks caused by excess weight remain.

Is there a cure for stretch marks? Are there any creams or lotions that can make them disappear with regular use? How about non-invasive medical treatments to get rid of stretch marks?

Some moisturizing creams or ones containing Vitamin A can improve and/or lighten the appearance of stretch marks, but none have been found to erase them completely. For the lower abdominal stretch marks, there is one way to eliminate them surgically.


What is an Abdominoplasty

An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a form of cosmetic plastic surgery of the abdomen which tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess skin caused by weight loss. The result of a successful abdominoplasty will be the eradication of skin wrinkles and a slimmer, more toned and shapely physique.

Patients who seek abdominoplasty are often women who have given birth multiple times or overweight people who have lost weight but find themselves with loose, saggy skin which cannot be fixed with diet and/or regular exercise.

In performing an abdominoplasty, the surgeon may augment the procedure with liposuction or other body-sculpting methods to produce a more symmetrical and natural looking result.

Basic Facts about Abdominoplasty

  • Time Required for Procedure is 1.5 to 3 hours
  • In-Patient Time: 2-3 days/nights
  • Recovery Time (Out of Work) 1-2 weeks
  • Exercise avoided for 6 weeks postoperatively

Benefits of Having an Abdominoplasty

If you are a candidate for abdominoplasty, after you have healed from the procedure, you will be rewarded with an elevated self-image and an enhanced level of self-esteem.

Whether your weight gain was due to pregnancy or lifestyle habits that led to excess weight accumulation, you can reclaim the lean, well-proportioned figure you thought was gone forever.

Another bonus of the surgery will be that stretch marks in the lower abdominal area will be removed, since all redundant skin left over after the muscle tightening procedure will be excised. The leaner, tighter abdomen will be free of stretch marks, from the area of incision down to the pubic area.

Before and after photos of people who have healed from abdominoplasty show a shapely, tight, well-contoured abdomen with no stretch marks.

It is important to remember that stretch marks on other parts of the body will not be affected by the procedure.

How to Prepare for an Abdominoplasty Procedure

A physical examination and probably lab testing will be required prior to an abdominoplasty procedure. Once this is done and any contraindications to the procedure have been ruled out, your procedure can be scheduled.

The surgeon may prescribe new medications, discontinue some you have been taking, and adjust the dosage of others. If you are a smoker, you will be advised to stop smoking prior to the procedure.

Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications will need to be discontinued before the surgery. Herbal supplements will need to be stopped as well since some can cause increased bleeding in the operative or postoperative period.

How is Abdominoplasty Performed?

An incision will likely be made from above the pubic area, below the navel, to each hip bone. Another incision will be made around the umbilicus.

The skin is detached from the foundational fascia and muscle. Sutures are made to rearrange the position and tightness of the muscles, giving the abdominal area a more taut and solid appearance.

If liposuction is needed to remove excess fat and improve the overall appearance of this part of the body, it is done at this juncture. At this point, excess skin and any unwanted fat not removed by liposuction are removed using a scalpel and the remaining skin is sutured back into the proper position.

If an incision was made around the umbilicus to allow for movement of the overall skin flap, a new opening will be created and the umbilical stalk will be relocated to the new opening.

At times, this extensive a procedure may not be necessary, as the excess skin and fat may be confined to the area immediately below the belly button. A mini-abdominoplasty may be performed with a shorter incision and less tissue being removed.

In this case, the incision around the umbilicus may not be performed and its position post-surgery may be a bit lower than it had been previously.

A mini-abdominoplasty might sometimes be performed on an outpatient basis. This will also eliminate stretch marks on the lower abdomen. The removal of these stretch marks will be permanent because the affected skin has been removed.

Some patients may still opt for a full abdominoplasty, even if a smaller incision is adequate, because when combined with liposuction, a better body contour may be achieved.

Recovery Period for Abdominoplasty  

Analgesics will be prescribed for postoperative pain during the first week. Bleeding will be controlled by small drainage tubes placed under the skin during surgery and removed approximately one day after surgery.

Your doctor will provide an elastic compression garment custom-sized for you to wear in the immediate postoperative period to avoid opening of incisions.

In considering the pros and cons of having an abdominoplasty to eliminate excess fat, loose, saggy skin and stubborn stretch marks, you must count the cost and consider the long-term benefits.

Downtime, postoperative discomfort, beginning lifestyle changes, commitment to meticulous post-surgical wound care in exchange for a lifetime of a stronger, slimmer, healthier YOU!

Weigh the options, count the cost, anticipate the rewards and make your choice for a better, brighter future!

To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact New York's #1 rated plastic surgeon, Dr. Douglas S. Steinbrech at (347)983-9560 or online at Dr. Steinbrech specializes in the area of body lift surgery including tummy tuck procedures and excels in using smaller incisions and minimally invasive techniques for an easier recovery and superior post-surgical results.

Do Breasts Get Smaller After a Breast Lift?

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to overcome the effects of gravity, and this is a fact that every woman needs to accept. As women age, their breasts inevitably begin to hang further and further down the chest. Although the problem is usually worse for women with larger breasts, even smaller breasts will eventually begin to sag as the skin becomes stretched out and less capable of supporting the excess weight. Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding can also greatly contribute to the sagging, and this helps to explain why so many women eventually end up considering a breast lift.

There is no doubt that a breast lift may be able to eliminate much of the sagging and return your breasts to their more natural position higher up on the chest. In some cases, the lift is combined with either a breast augmentation or reduction. Still, if you’re perfectly happy with the size of your breasts, choosing a breast lift alone is definitely the best option. The only problem is that many women are concerned that getting a breast lift will also reduce the size of their breasts, which is obviously something women who are happy with their breast size would want to avoid. In this case, it helps to look at what the research says in order to fully understand the facts about breast lifts and any potential effects that a lift can have on the overall size of the breast.

Understanding Exactly What a Breast Lift Involves
Many women with much larger breasts usually choose to undergo at least a slight breast reduction at the same time as their breast lift as it is often necessary to remove some excess fatty tissue to provide the best possible results. However, there are plenty of women who are perfectly happy with their A-, B-, C- or D-cup breasts and simply want to combat the effects of gravity, age, childbirth, etc.

In this case, a cosmetic surgeon will merely remove excess sagging skin in order to reposition the breasts higher on the chest and restore them to a more natural, rounded shape. The important thing to remember here is the surgeon only removes excess skin during a lift. No fat is removed during a breast lift, and this is where it differs from a breast reduction.

Your Cup Size May Change After a Breast Lift
Any reputable, professional plastic surgeon should be 100 percent honest and upfront with you when discussing a breast lift or any other procedure. This means making sure you are fully informed and thoroughly understand not only the risks and potential complications, but also of the type of results you can expect. Going into your procedure with realistic expectations gives you a far better chance of being satisfied with the result. In terms of a breast lift, it is vital that you know wholly what to expect as far as how the procedure can affect both the shape and size of your breasts.

The truth is that many breast lift patients report needing to wear a slightly smaller bra than they did prior to undergoing the procedure. Studies also seem to back this up. In fact, the vast majority of women will probably find that they need to buy all new bras after their surgery—with the average decrease equal to approximately one full cup size, i.e, D to C, C to B.

Of course, every woman’s body is different, and there are a variety of factors that can determine exactly how much your cup size may change following a breast lift. Still, the fact that a loss of cup size is a real possibility is precisely the reason why many women with smaller B or A cup breasts also consider undergoing a slight breast augmentation at the same time as their lift. However, it is important to note that most studies have tended to focus more on women with larger C and D cup breasts, which is why it is essential that you discuss everything with your doctor to determine what sort of results are typical for your specific case.

Why Smaller Cup Size Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Smaller Breasts
If the thought of your breasts potentially becoming smaller makes you reconsider your choice to get a breast lift, it is important that you understand the full picture before making any decisions. While it is true that most women report a decrease in cup size as a result of breast lift surgery, this doesn’t actually tell the whole story. In purely scientific terms, the fact that no fat is removed during the procedure means there is technically no way that the breasts can shrink in terms of total volume. Simply put, your breasts will stay have the exact same amount of fatty tissue as they did prior to your surgery.

This might sound a bit confusing since many women do lose a cup size, but there are several important factor that help to explain why this happens. The main reason is that many women with larger breasts tend to switch to a larger cup size as their breasts sag more. In most cases, this is done for reasons of comfort as the shape of ptotic (drooping or sagging) breasts tends to make them fill out a larger cup size. In this sense, what a breast lift really does is return the breasts not only to their more natural shape, but also their natural cup size.

Studies have repeatedly shown that most women don’t wear the right size of bra anyway since their true bra size could potentially lead to more discomfort. This is precisely why a breast lift can be such an effective solution to so many different issues. Nonetheless, it is important that you understand all of the potential effects the procedure can have and especially keep in mind that you could lose a full cup size with a lift alone. The reason this is so essential is that it can help to prevent you from possibly opting for a reduction in addition to your lift only to be disappointed when your breasts end up smaller than you’d anticipated.

No matter the type of cosmetic surgical procedure, patient satisfaction begins with having a complete idea of the expected results. In this sense, it is essential that you take the time to choose a plastic surgeon that you’re comfortable with, and one who takes the time during your initial consultation to ensure you have a full understanding of what your breast lift procedure will involve and exactly what you can expect in terms of recovery time and results.

Knowledge, experience and reputation are also vital when choosing a plastic surgeon, and this is precisely why the Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami is a great choice. Board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Jason Altman, MD and Dr. Marcelo Ghersi, MD and the rest of the world-class team specialize in facial surgery, body contouring and breast surgeries and you can learn more about it all here:

Reshape Your Asymmetric Ears With Otoplasty

Many individuals feel self-conscious because of their poorly shaped ears. This can be especially true for children with asymmetric ears, which are sometimes subject to teasing and social embarrassment.

Many people choose to correct asymmetrical ears through surgery. Ear reshaping is known as otoplasty. This is a surgical procedure that can bring a better balance to the ears. The goal of the procedure is to enhance the overall appearance of the face by making the ears more even. It is the 10th most common cosmetic surgery in the United States.

Ear Reshaping

Ear reshaping is a common procedure that can be administered on children as young as six years old. When children reach six, their ears have nearly reached adult size. There are many parents who have the procedure carried out on their children early in life, which avoids teasing at school. In addition, ear reshaping can also be administered on older children, teens, and adults who want their ears to be more symmetrical.

How is the Procedure Performed?
A plastic surgeon will use a specific technique to reshape and reposition the ears. The incisions will be made behind the ear to conceal any scars, which are typically very minimal. The ear cartilage will be repositioned as well as rotated to create more natural ear folds. A plastic surgeon may use sutures to set the ears closer to the head, and cartilage may also be removed to create better ear symmetry. A plastic surgeon will discuss the techniques that he or she will use to create your desired look during your consultation.

The procedure can be carried out at a surgical facility or a hospital, and patients will usually go home the same day. The procedure will last between two to three hours, and if sutures were placed, they will dissolve on their own.

The type of anesthesia that is administered will depend on the patient, and most patients will have to wear a head dressing for about two to three days. Children who have the procedure can return to school in about one week. However, they should wait about two weeks before participating in physical activity, such as gym class. Adults typically return to work in about five days. Light cardiovascular activity can resume in one week, and strenuous activity can resume in two to three weeks.

Can Otoplasty be Administered With Other Procedures?

The procedure is typically carried out on its own when it is performed on children and teenagers. However, adult patients can choose to combine ear reshaping surgery with other aesthetic procedures to further enhance the contour and appearance of the face. This may include Botox or other injectable fillers, a brow lift, a facelift, and more. In addition, some patients choose to have body reshaping done in conjunction with ear reshaping surgery, such as liposuction or fat transfers. If you want to have ear reshaping surgery done with other cosmetic procedures, your plastic surgeon can recommend the best combination of procedures to help you achieve your desired results.

How to Prepare for Ear Reshaping Surgery

You should stop smoking and stop taking certain medications that can cause excessive bleeding. Your plastic surgeon will let you know what to expect before and after the procedure and will answer any questions you have about otoplasty.

What Type of Anesthesia is Used During an Otoplasty?

For an otoplasty, anesthesia can range from light sedation to general anesthesia. Your plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist can determine which type of anesthesia is best suited for your needs.

Recovery From an Otoplasty

Although pain is usually minimal, after the procedure you may experience aching and swelling, which can be managed with an over-the-counter pain medication or prescription medication. In addition, swelling and numbness can also occur but should reside in a few days.

Are There Risks to Having an Otoplasty?

It is important to note that any surgical procedure comes with risk. While the risk is minimal with ear reshaping surgery, some risks may include blot clots, infection, and scarring. In addition, some patients may also have a reaction to the anesthesia that was used. However, if a skilled plastic surgeon carries out the procedure, it will minimize its associated risks.

Who are Ideal Candidates for an Otoplasty?

The procedure can be administered on anyone who is in good health. Adults should be non-smokers and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. It is important for children to follow instructions before the surgery and during recovery. In addition, children should also be comfortable with the plastic surgeon that carries out the otoplasty.

What Should You Expect at Your Otoplasty Consultation?
At your consultation, your plastic surgeon will ask about your medical history, which includes allergies to medications, previous or existing medical conditions, and what medications you are currently taking. In addition, your plastic surgeon will ask about your expectations to ensure they are realistic. Your ears and overall facial aesthetics will be examined as well.

If you are an adult looking for an ear reshaping specialist in New York, or if you are a parent who is interested in having it administered on your child, it is important to contact a plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Andrew Jacono, MD, FACS is one of the top plastic surgeons serving those in the New York area. He specializes in a wide range of cosmetic procedures that include otoplasty. Visit Dr. Jacono’s website at for consultation.

Friday 21 September 2018

Mix Up Clay - *Review*

Mix up clay is a revelation I tell you.....a revelation! I am one of those Mums that struggles with loads of messy play and activities, anything that involves paint, small tiny bits, beads....anything that is going to create carnage! I love to get the kids involved in crafty and messy play but stress hugely about the clean up after.....when I was sent some mix up clay I admit I had some reservations....

I needn't have worried...... mix up clay rocks!

Included in the pack is a decent amount of the clay and some coloured tints. It's super simple to use, simply tear off a chunk of the clay, add some of the tint which is included in the kit, add more to intensify the colour and then you're good to go. Roll it, squash it, model it and create with it. Hours of fun!

It takes seconds to prepare and can provide a decent amount of playing time, Elarna absolutely loved it. It's stretchy, soft and even bounces. It feels kind of soft and cloud like, I even found it therapeutic to have a play with!

You can use the tints provided to make solid colours or marble through the clay, you can even mix the tints up to make even more playing options. As the clay is air drying it is important to put any unused clay back into the zip lock bag to ensure it doesn't dry out, if you want to save your creations leave out for 6 hours to set. You could even add some glitter to it for another dimension!

The absolute best part of mix up clay is there is next to no mess. Other than the extra things that we got out to use with it such as a rolling pin, brush and shape cutters the clay itself creates no mess at all. It's not sticky and leaves no residue when played with, it's great. Often with these things I am sceptical expecting it not to live up to the promise but mix up clay really is what is says it is.

Retailing for around £5.00 a pack from reputable retailers this would be a fantastic little pocket money present or stocking filler for dare I say it....Christmas!

What do you guys think if mix up clay? Would you try it?

* Please note we were kindly sent a pack of mix up clay free of charge to try out, all thoughts are my own.

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Blogger's Best Linky!

Welcome back to the Blogger's Bests linky. We can't wait to read your posts and see what you've been sharing this week. 

So Sarah from RunJumpScrap and I would like to introduce you to the Blogger's Best linky. A place for any post, whatever the post, the best post of your week or simply a post you are proud of and want to shout about it. This is the place to share it and we can't wait to read them. The linky will open at 05:30 on a Wednesday and remain open until Friday 23:55.

There aren't many rules because lets face it, rules are boring right? However, linkys only work if you share the love and support your fellow bloggers so what we do ask is.....
  • You comment on the host posts and at least a couple of others, of course if you want to comment on more  then please do!
We would also love if you could .....

  • Tweet us over on Twitter (I'm @helsy_1983) and Sarah is (@runjumpscrap) so we know you're joining in ( and please do use #bloggersbest) and we can give you a retweet

  • Join us over on Instagram with the hashtag #bloggersbest and tag us in, we both love a bit of Insta! You can find me here @helsy_1983) and Sarah is @runjumpscrap

  • Add the badge at the bottom of your post so we know which post you've added to the linky
But these are pretty much all the rules. Sarah and I will continue to have featured posts each week and will of course be retweeting your links when you link up. We're really looking forward to hosting a fresh and vibrant new linky and hope you'll enjoy linking up too! Spread the word, Blogger's Best is the place to be!

Run Jump Scrap


Tuesday 18 September 2018

Camping with Blacks - *Review*

Camping. In a tent. Not something that many people would associate with me, I'm one for home comforts, to have a toilet nearby and access to electricity. I know all these things are possible while camping but the closest I've come to actually camping was Eurocamping in France a few years ago where, although we were in a tent they were well kitted out! 

The kids and my husband however have been wanting a tent for ages and dreams of a 'lads weekend' seemed within touching distance and when we were asked to give our thoughts on this Eurohike 5 person tent (RRP £99) from a selection of tents available at Blacks we were happy to oblige. 

When the tent arrived I was surprised at just how the small it is when packaged up, rolled up into a sausage and stored neatly into this blue bag is a 5 person tent, pretty cool! Everything required to set up the tent is included (tents, floor sheet, guide ropes etc) is tucked into this bag ready to be set up for exciting camp trips away. As soon as it arrived the kids were desperate to set it up ready for a back garden sleepover. Alfie couldn't wait to help!  

The Eurohike tent is super easy to set up, all the instructions are attached inside the bag itself meaning that you'll never lose them - a handy feature! Once the ground sheet is in position and the tent itself is straightened out it is simply a case of snapping the clever arcflex tent poles together which are handily colour coded making the job even easier and feeding these through the pole seams and securing. 

I would say it took about 30 minutes to fully assemble, in the grand scheme of things barely any time at all! Once set up we had a rather fancy and fairly spacious tent! Luckily we already had a decent blow up mattress and Adi had a camping mattress and sleeping bag so all we needed to do was bring a ton of duvets and pillows down and feed some electric through via a weatherproof, extension lead and it was good to go for a rather exciting garden sleepover. 

Amazingly, the day chosen to put the tent up was one of the best ...... in the morning. It was lovely, warm and sunny and then oh my word the heavens opened towards the afternoon and carried out well into the evening. The kids were counting down the hours to bedtime and even the pouring rain didn't put them off. It did me however so Daddy was designated to take one for the team and supervise the sleepover with both kids......on the provision that I supplied him with beer and snacks so he didn't have to leave the kids. Pretty good deal I thought! 

As you can see from the pictures below the tent is of a decent size, it's not one that we would consider for an extended holiday but it's more than ideal for a weekend away. It would be a bit of a squeeze for 5 but for a family of 4 there is a decent amount of size, we would be able to fit 2 of our inflatable mattresses in as have some more room to store a few items and make it comfortable. It's warm, dry and robust and feels secure when in it. I also liked the fluorescent guide ropes outside which were very useful later in the evening as I was tending to my beer duties!

Although I didn't spend the night with Adi and the kids I most certainly wouldn't rule it out and we're already thinking about where we could go for a weekend away to fully test it out. We do need to stock up on a few camping essentials before we do this but we have the basics to get us started. 

Admittedly it took the kids a while to chill down but they were so very excited to have their little garden sleepover and once in a while it's ok to steer away from the routine. Once asleep they slept the whole night and excitedly came in to see me to tell me all about it and that they couldn't wait to spend another night in the tent! So sweet. Adi said he didn't have a bad sleep either, a little bit chilly but other than that no problems.  

As you can see from these pictures, very happy children!

What did we love about the Eurohike tent? 

  • It's robust and well made, it was weather proof and really did feel pretty secure when in the ground.

  • Good value, for a starter tent it's great, what more could you want?

  • It packs up so small! It's so compact it's very easy to store. 

  • Colour coded poles and guide ropes are such a handy feature.

Anything we weren't so keen on? 

  • We found the zipper to the external and internal door did become easily stuck so not great if you need to get out or in the tent quickly. 

  • Other than the above its a very good piece of kit if you're entering the world of camping.

The black clouds rolling on in over the Cambridgeshire skies!

 If you fancy checking out the range of Blacks tents please head over to the website and have a nose. Has anyone got any camping tips for us? Do share!

* Blacks kindly asks us for our thoughts on the above productAll thoughts are my own.

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Blogger's Best Linky

Welcome back to the Blogger's Bests linky. We can't wait to read your posts and see what you've been sharing this week. 

So Sarah from RunJumpScrap and I would like to introduce you to the Blogger's Best linky. A place for any post, whatever the post, the best post of your week or simply a post you are proud of and want to shout about it. This is the place to share it and we can't wait to read them. The linky will open at 05:30 on a Wednesday and remain open until Friday 23:55.

There aren't many rules because lets face it, rules are boring right? However, linkys only work if you share the love and support your fellow bloggers so what we do ask is.....
  • You comment on the host posts and at least a couple of others, of course if you want to comment on more  then please do!
We would also love if you could .....

  • Tweet us over on Twitter (I'm @helsy_1983) and Sarah is (@runjumpscrap) so we know you're joining in ( and please do use #bloggersbest) and we can give you a retweet

  • Join us over on Instagram with the hashtag #bloggersbest and tag us in, we both love a bit of Insta! You can find me here @helsy_1983) and Sarah is @runjumpscrap

  • Add the badge at the bottom of your post so we know which post you've added to the linky
But these are pretty much all the rules. Sarah and I will continue to have featured posts each week and will of course be retweeting your links when you link up. We're really looking forward to hosting a fresh and vibrant new linky and hope you'll enjoy linking up too! Spread the word, Blogger's Best is the place to be!

Run Jump Scrap


Monday 10 September 2018

Summer Holiday Fun with Now TV!

While we were away on our holiday our days were packed with swimming, sightseeing, chilling out and generally just having fun. The evenings were a little more tricky, after lots of fun you would expect my kids to be knackered but on the contrary at times they were wired and would take a while to wind down.

Brilliantly, literally a couple of days before we left we were sent this amazing personalised suitcase full of handy holiday items courtesy of Now TV, within the suitcase was water bottles, sunglasses, a comfy cushion, headphone's and a Now TV stick with subscriptions. What a total life saver!

Everything was utilised while we were away, Alfie loved pulling his own suitcase around and I have to say it is quite roomy! The sunglasses were well used and the headphones were very handy for when we needed a bit of peace and was the 3 month kids subscription we were sent. 

As I mentioned above, winding the kids down in the evening was at times a bit of a challenge, we're not adverse to giving them a bit of 'tablet' time' or TV time so having the Now TV stick with us enabled us to chill them down a bit watching something they both enjoyed using the subscription and rest assured it works abroad so no concerns there! With episodes of Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol and Teen Titans Go, among many others they were entertained for sure.  

We also received a 3 month entertainment pass so when the kids did finally get to bed Adi and I were able to chill ourselves and watch some grown up TV and enjoy some peace. I can highly recommend the entertainment pass, loads of fab TV series to get your teeth into. We are still going through several TV series now we are home, it's great!

Now TV was a life saver when we were away, we can all benefit from a bit of TV time now and again and it's such a small dongle like stick, super small and easy to chuck in a suitcase wherever you go. I can highly recommend!

* Please note we were kindly sent the Now TV stick and subscriptions free of charge in exchange for an honest review.