Featured Post

Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Finding Myself : Feeling Body Positive After Pregnancy

This has to be one of the most widely covered topics that a lifestyle / parenting blogger will cover, a day doesn't go by when one doesn't pop up on my feed. So today I am going to be a cliche and write about exactly that. And actually I have written about it before - but I felt a little differently back then.

Finding Myself : Feeling Body Positive After Pregnancy

But this last few months I have felt a change in myself. Actually I would say since having Alex. I have never felt completely down on myself since having children but I have from time to time struggled to find myself, find my comfortable zone with my mind but also my body. Pregnancy changes us in weird and sometimes wonderful ways. My skin isn't what is used to be across my "stretched" areas and I am not as full as I used to be either. To be expected though, and actually now i am in the right mind set something I am very proud of my body for. I gave birth and fed two babies, not something to turn your nose up at!

I have wanted to get up and go out to the gym for some time, for me. I had been a member at the local gym for almost a year and except for swimming lessons and things I could count on one had the amount of times I had been there for just me. About 6 months after having Alex I decided that needed to change, I wanted a bit of me back, as in to feel good about myself but I also wanted that release that exercise alone (without babies) would give me. It is amazing what 40 minutes away from the home can do for you.

Finding Myself : Feeling Body Positive After Pregnancy

But I learnt you can't force something if you really are not interested. Before then I wasn't at the point where I was feeling fat, had loads of weight to move or needed to get rid of my mum tum after having Alex. But that doesn't mean I was happy with myself but it also didn't mean I wanted to get stuck into the gym life again.

If I look back I lost confidence in my self, in my body. After having Daisy I (I hate this term but can't find a suitable replacement) "snapped back" fairly quickly, and before long didn't feel much different to how I had felt pre- pregnancy. But after Alex it was different. I was looser, softer and just didn't feel like I owned my body anymore. I wasn't hating on it but I certainly wasn't pleased with it entirely either.

I wasn't at a point where I was hiding away under bin bags but I was feeling nervous at the prospect of a bikini for my holiday. Dressed I am happy but slightly exposed, not so much. Before our last holiday I took to going to classes, helped by a friend and it didn't take long until I started to see a little definition again. I am never going to have abs and I am never going to be super lean, I love food too much and I am just not THAT dedicated. But I am happy.

And actually I am enjoying it. I feel like me again. I feel nice. And I am not sure if that is because I have the confidence from shaping myself up a little or the fact I am doing something for myself, having time out and releasing any tension of the day. Either way I will take it and ride with it, and keep at it.

The lovely Fi from Beauty Baby and Me has let us know when she thinks too:

Body confidence is such a huge issue now and there is so much pressure on women to conform to the bloody Mail Online and the celebs who manage to snap back into their bikinis within three weeks. The important thing is remembering the difference between them and us; not many of us have dedicated personal trainers who can come to our houses, create diet plans and training schedules. And quite frankly, so soon after birth, I wouldn't want that. If I recall rightly, I couldn't even fathom getting myself properly dressed in the couple of weeks after I had Josh let alone eating kale and going for runs.

However, I do think confidence in ourselves is an important thing. You have to remind yourself how amazing you and your body are. One thing I am glad I did is taking a photo at the end of the pregnancy - I believe it was a couple of days before I had Josh. I still look back at this, at how stretched my body was, how I had grown and nurtured this little being who arrived into the world just a few days later.  It is incredible when you think about it.  Believe in yourself; ignore the labels ("real woman" is the one that grates me the most), and remember what your body has grown, produced and gone through. You and your body are amazing.

Hayley x

Keeping Your Family Safe Abroad, My Top Tips*

We love to travel with our children, I often share tips and stories of our holidays on here. I thought it was probably time I mentioned how we try to keep everyone safe and well on holiday. 

Menorca with children

We all know that having an accident abroad can be expensive and for lots of families, it’s a big worry not only at the time but also when you get back and you are faced with covering the potentially whopping bills. 

So I thought I would share this infographic from Netvoucher codes about the cost of medical treatment abroad as a reminder to have insurance, anything we can do to prevent those huge numbers can only be a good thing surely. 

Keeping Your Family Safe Abroad, My Top Tips*
When I saw that 25% of people travel without insurance it actually really surprised me, although it is one of the last things we tick off the list when we go its always something we do. We actually get annual coverage so that we are always covered, especially as we can often go last minute and several times during the year. 

I was reading some of these stats out to Ben and just couldn't stop once i had started, every single one surprised me! 

As well as having travel insurance for covering those eventualities that just can't be helped my top tips are also below:

(1) Food - Food poisoning is a big one. We always make sure we check out any establishment we eat at, is it clean and well presented, a good indication of the hygiene is often the toilets or bins around the restaurant. I may be a little on edge with these things but it pays off usually. 

(2) Sun exposure. Having had heat stroke as a child, well a teenager, it panics me the thought of having it again. And it really does make me paranoid when it comes to the children too. They always have their hats on, as best as I can force them to anyway (we all know what babies like!), they always have time in the shade to cool down and relax and lots and lots of fluids. 

(3) Play areas. I am a paranoid mother. I am not ashamed of it either or embarrassed, why would I be when you see these stats? I am not going to let my babies play in risky play areas or dodgy ride ons when I have seen what can help on them. I have bad memories of a child having a nasty accident on one a few years ago (pre children for us) and it left me mentally scared, at the time I was so horrified I fainted!!! Not good. Anyway, keeping children away from danger is an obvious tip I am sure. 

Do you have any to add?

Hayley x

*PR Collaboration

Have You Got a Trolls Mad Toddler?

This summer holidays, Trolls lovers will be able to join their favourite Trolls characters on board the Trolls Truck, as it heads round on the country to visit you all.

DreamWorks Trolls Truck Tour

At over 17 meters long, the Trolls Truck is packed full of fun activities for Trolls fans to join in with and get stuck into. Featuring Poppy and the Snack Pack, the Trolls Truck includes a cupcake decorating station; crafting tables; a chance to Trollify yourself in Poppy’s Salon; a visit to Branch’s bunker; and much more! Sadly there are no stops in my local area but thought some of you may be a bit luckier than we are :)

DreamWorks Trolls Truck Tour

DreamWorks Trolls Truck Tour

#TrollsTruck tour stop locations and dates can be found below. .

Tuesday 22nd August
Smyths (Salford)
West One Retail Park, Gilda Brook Road, Salford M50 1ZD
Wednesday 23rd August
The Entertainer (Lincoln)
St Marks Shopping Centre, Lincoln LN5 7EY
Thursday 24th August
The Entertainer (Burton Upon Trent)
Octagon Shopping Centre, Burton Upon Trent DE14 3TN
Friday 25th August
Toys R Us (Coventry)
Cross Point Business Park, Parkway, Coventry CV2 2SR
Saturday 26th August
Toys R Us (Swindon)
Oxford Road, Swindon SN3 4DG
Monday 28th August
Smyths (Slough)
Slough Retail Park, Twinches Lane, Slough, SL1 5AL
Tuesday 29th August
The Entertainer (Staines)
Unit S4, Two Rivers Retail Park, Staines, TW18 4WB
Wednesday 30th August
Tesco (Lakeside, Grays)
Tesco, 2394 Lakeside Extra, Cygnet View, West Thurrock, RM20 1TX
Thursday 31st August
Tesco (Watford Extra)
Tesco, 239-241 Lower High St, Watford WD17 2BD
If you manage to go I would love to hear how it went and see some pictures of the truck, I am gutted we won't be able to visit it this time!

Hayley x

My Holiday Essentials

We have just got back from our annual family holiday, what I like to call our "Big" holiday! So I thought I would share with you my top holiday essentials for this year.

My Holiday Essentials

Apart from the usual sunscreens etc there are a few bits that I wouldn't have been without this time.

My number one is a good silver shampoo, being quite blonde at the moment the chlorine, sun and sea air tends to have its wicked way with it. Leaving it brassy and dry. I am loving the John Freida Silver shampoos at the moment, it is called Colour Renew.

Silver shampoo
My Hair currently after using the silver shampoo

Next up is the What Skin Needs Soothing Skin Gel. It is perfect for sun drenched, dry skin as an after sun but also perfect for insect bites and any skin conditions. Before we went away I had a slight skin infection which caused eczema so this was perfect to take with me for all of those above reasons. It is made from pure natural botanical ingredients including plantain, aloe vera and lavender which it means it actually smells scrummy too. It’s natural ingredients also means it is perfect for protecting little ones after a day in the sun. Just a perfect travel essential!

Next up is a face product, which is the Garnier SkinActive Naturals- Green Tea Gel Wash which is so refreshing after a day in the sun. Because I don't like to wear much make up on holiday it leaves mys skin feeling nice, not shiny but not matt. The perfect base for a simple, light moisturiser or BB cream to be applied over. They do a few other scents but anything green tea is my favourite at the moment.

Although at home I use body oils quite often I rarely do when away, mainly because with two children they take up most of my packing space and secondly because I am using more body butters and after sun products I rarely have time to indulge in a nice oiling too. However this time I did take my this works skin deep dry leg oil with me and I am so glad I did. My legs are still so tanned and show no sign of dryness at all. It added a nice shine to them in the evening and I am unsure if it had much to do with this or not but I had no insect bites at all.

Hayley x

Daisy,My Little Flower...

I haven't written to you in a little while but you seem to be changing so quickly at the moment that I am afraid I am going to miss capturing just a tiny part of you. Because you know, when I am old and wrinkly (that may not happen too far in to the distance) these are the little things that I will like to look back on and soak up once again. 

The last time I wrote to you was just before your third birthday and well those last few months have flown by, once again. 

Toddler Outfit inspiration
Crown Poundworld |  Blouse Next | Shorts H&M | Trainers Primark

You are now 3 years and 4 months old. How crazy is that? My baby girl. It has started to make my heart flutter a little when I think that this time next year we will be gearing up to get you ready to go to school in a few weeks time. I can't even imagine how that must feel, but it won't be too far in the distance that I will be finding out I guess.

I can't tell you how proud of you I am, your ability to react and adapt to all kinds of things blows my mind. Nothing is too much effort (except eating a decent meal!) and nothing stops you. You have learnt to tie your dolls hairs up with clips or bobbles, put your socks on and well get dressed fully actually. You swim amazingly well and well I can't think of a lot that you can't do, if anything.

Toddler Outfit inspiration

You have built yourself a great little character up now. Feisty and independent with a very soft side too. You have decided that boys are pains, they are not allowed to like pink and definitely don't play with dolls. Much to your brothers disgust who actually loves playing with your pram. It amazes me how someone so small can be influenced to have such strong feelings on gender stereotypes, all naively and innocently of course. I am sure we can iron that out of you!

You have a nice little group of friends who you claim are your bestest friends, the one little girl that you talk about most days always cuddles you so hard when you leave nursery that she knocks you off your feet. It makes me smile and chuckle every time. Oh to be 3 again and have no social inhibitions!

Your diet has not changed all that much in recent months, it is still very beige. Anything breaded is a winner in your mind, not so much mine. Although you are now eating pasta, and we have progress, you will have sauce. Not too saucey mind, you don't like it too slippery! Carbonara is your favourite at the moment, with egg - you eating egg, can you believe it? And yes I know, you love chocolate eggs not chicken eggs. Unlucky lady, you're eating chicken eggs and loving it!

Love you to the moon and back,

Muma xx

Splash Landings With Konfidence*

A few weeks ago we visited Splash Landings at Alton Towers with Konfidence as part of their Swimologist programme to test out the Konfidence Swim Jacket.

Splash Landings With Konfidence*

It is somewhere I have often thought about visiting but just never got around to. We were not disappointed it was fantastic, something for everyone. They had slides and attractions for all ages and Daisy was able to roam about freely and safely with her jacket on.

The jacket gives not only Daisy confidence knowing that she has that little bit of flotation if she needs it (we have removed half of the floats now so it is not completely buoyant now as she can swim) but also us knowing that she has that extra support, keeping her safe. Of course we would never leave her alone anyway but every little helps.

I have shared a post previously all about the jacket, that goes in to a lot of detail here. We use it weekly in our swim lessons and have been on a few trips with it now, and we wouldn't be without it.

Holiday, Eurocamp 2017

swimming aid

So on to a little more about the waterpark.

Firstly we did think it opened quite late - 10am. Staying at the hotel we were there early and with children, well they get up early, we had quite a long time to wait and so ventured to the theme park for the morning instead. It is a shame really because I wanted to spend as much time there as we could, I also wanted to take lots of photo and video footage to share with you all before it got busy but sadly we couldn't wait until it closed to do that (that is when the manager offered us time to go and do this) as we had to leave and the day earlier the children didn't quite have the staying power we hoped for, neither did I to be honest. We were pooped!

The park has heated indoor and outdoor pools, which were great and a hit with all of us, even if it was chilly outside in the typical British summer time! They also had a toddler pool and a main pool that included  ‘lazy river’ where we could float on inflatable rings. This was Daisy's favourite spot, it was full of buckets emptying on your head, waterfalls, sprays etc. It just demonstrated how comfortable she is in the water, if I am honest more at home than I am in there!

It wasn't quite the school holidays but the water park was still really busy and quite loud. I expect it would be pretty manic in the summer holidays and maybe a little too chaotic for us. With Daisy wanting so much independence it would worry me a little bit, even if she can swim and has her jacket for a bit of aid.

Have you been?

*PR Collaboration

Top Sale Picks in Joules | Childrens Clothing Wishlist

I have never done this before but thought I would share my top sale picks for the current sale in Joules. I ALWAYS have a good old rummage through the online sale and have picked up many pieces for Daisy's next wardrobe collection on a few occasions. I have shared lots of wishlists before but never a sales picks.

These are my top picks for toddler girls at the moment.

Top Sale Picks in Joules | Childrens Clothing Wishlist, Joules discount code


Hayley x

This is not a sponsored post, I just love sharing my finds!