The weekend before I turned 30.

Many people dread turning the big 30 or 40? Why because they don’t want to feel old?
I suppose people want to feel like they have accomplished something by the time they reach a certain age? Like a weight loss goal? Married? Kids? That dream job?


I was doing a bank shift recently and was given a student to shadow. As we were driving along in the car we were chatting about life and what she was doing at the weekend. As she talked I thought we sound like we’re the same age, although she wasn’t married or had kids.
When I asked her how old she was she said 18…my jaw literally dropped… I thought we were the same age….but in actual fact I was 11 years older!!! How could this be?? Even driving along the road that day chatting about life with 3 kids car seats in the back I felt not a day older than 18!
It was a reality check for me that day.. I thought she must look at me and think I’m old!! But I wasn’t I felt young! Age is just a number!! It doesn’t mater if your not married by 30 of 40 or 50! Marriage isn’t for everyone and we’re not born out the same box, everyone has different goals and views of life.
These days people aren’t getting married at 19 and Boom boom boom 3 kids. People are enjoying life a bit first before they have kids and settle down, travelling or meeting new people. Turning a milestone birthday is just another number.. has no meaning…you are just as old as you feel…and I don’t feel a day older than 18…

The last Saturday in my 20s was just another ordinary Saturday for us… usually we have a chilled out morning as it’s the one day of the week we’re not rushing to get out of the house for school or church. So on a Saturday we chill… my dad came round to finish more of the hall way floor and Sean decided to muck in too. There was a craft fate on the in village hall which I had planned to take the girls to… however my mum took Ivy away to Fraserburgh with her and my brother took Gracie away to Banff with him.


So I found myself ‘almost bored’ just me and Malachy. What were we going to do? As we were chilling I began to think.. this is my last weekend in my 20s I should have arranged a party or a get together with my friends, but life has been so busy with kids and other stuff, I guess I forgot!

When he girls got back we sat down to some lunch, Sean was always hinting ‘what we going to do today?’ To be honest I was quite happy just go to the craft fayre and come home again. However I felt Sean wanted to get out the house and kept commenting on that we needed a food shop from Lidl’s!
As the hours passed I was still sitting there in my polo neck, jeans & slippers…looking back now Sean must of been in a sweat trying to get me out the house half decent dressed.
So he mentioned something that would always make we jump… what about we go for a food shop and go out for supper somewhere nice… right he said it… let’s go!
So I decided It was my birthday weekend even though we hadn’t anything planned, I would dress up a bit and we would have our dinner out with the kids in the evening which I looked forward to as we never go out these days. The stress of eating out with kids just isn’t worth it.
So while Sean packed everyone into the car (at this point Sean was getting a little stressed at the time it was taking everyone to find their shoes and get out the door) I was thinking to myself, What’s the rush? It was 2 pm we had all afternoon to go to Lidl’s and go out for dinner.
Any ways we got into the car and off we went in the direction of Lidl’s… in the back the girls was popping out hints like when will we be at the fayre? I began to wonder what was going on.

Sean took a wrong turn. He stopped the car and pulled out a blind fold… here put this on! From then I knew my suspicions were right there was something going on. I said where we going but he would let out no clues.


He started to drive, to begin with I knew the road so I kind of knew where we were going. Later that day I got a text from someone who saw Sean driving me through the countryside blind folded wondering if we was doing a fifty shades stunt. I couldn’t help but laugh! If only!
So the car stopped, by this point I didn’t know where we were. He opened the door and lead me through the car park. I took my blind fold off to find all my family waving at me and laughing shouting surprise!!

Sean sneakily had arranged an afternoon tea for my 30th Birthday.
What a great surprise to receive. I was in shock as I sat down at the head of the table Sean began to thank everyone for coming, and thank everyone for their help with the kids ,as he did a speech for a moment I thought he was going to do a pregnancy announcement, I wasn’t the only one who thought this either.
Along with my mum they arranged this together with the help of some friends. It was lovely, food and cakes and party bags for the kids to keep them entertained in our own private room to ourselves.


I never knew my man could pull out all the stops and arrange something like that without me knowing. I did have my concerns when it must have been in the planning stages when he was continually on his phone, I would ask him what you doing and he would say never you mind!

Felt totally blessed to have all my family come together to celebrate my birthday. Made turning 30 that bit easier…

little did I know that wasn’t the only surprise that week he had up his sleeve!!

…to be continued…

The Mummy Club

What is Club Mummy I hear you say…I stumbled across her page on Instagram and was intrigued and went on to read her website..

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I love this saying she quotes ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ I for one am an example of this as I have my mum, and both granny’s  and aunties living around me. Who all have input in my children’s life and help me raise them on a day to day basis. However not everyone is blessed to stay so close to family or friends even. The world can be a lonely place and with no one to talk to it can become even lonelier. No one ever talks about their failings or down times, but when they do we realise were all the same, were not robots, we all struggle! Its good to laugh at our failures rather than dwell in them.
Christie a mum of two girls is founder of the mummy club after having her girls struggled with post natal depression and anxiety. After having kids were expected to know what to do right? We don’t we just struggle on and wing at parenting. Post natal depression is common for new mums or becoming a mum for the second or third time. I personally struggled with postnatal depression after Gracie and it is a lonely place, you may be surrounded by lots of friends and family however inside your head its a very lonely. The voice inside telling you your not a good mum, and constant comparing yourself to others. Its not until you speak out to others your discover your not alone feeling like this.


The Mummy Club was born… as Christie wanted to put a smile on other mums faces. By filling this box of goodies to make you smile after you’ve had a bad day. The boxes can be on subscription for £18 or a one off gift for yourself of fellow mum.  This box diffidently put a smile on my face when I opened it.
The mummy club website has a bloggers showcase which is packed full of different bloggers take on life, like mum problems to mental health issues. Great place to visit when you are feeling low. From every box £1 is donated to PANDAS foundation. Which is a great organisation which helps people struggling with pre and post natal depression.

When this pink box arrived on my doorstep I was so excited to open it, when I did the smell bounced out at me. What was this amazing smell that reminded me of being on a spa day…It was this little candle inside a tin by Help me organics a smell of Frankincense , Geranium, bourbon and lavender…smells amazing! They included a 10% discount voucher. These candles are organic, vegan and cruelty free. I will defiantly be purchasing one of these! If you want to go on a pretend spa day buy one of these ‘help me have a mindful of calm’ candle.


The next thing that caught my eye was the book. I recognised the faces on the cover strait away. I follow the Scummy Mummies on Instagram. They talk pure honesty on mother hood. They always make me laugh and laughing at our faults and failures makes us realise we’ve all done it at some point…been a scummy mummy. The first few pages of this book made me laugh out loud, defiantly worth a read.

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The bath bomb is amazing again smelling of Lavender…this girl really knows how to treat a woman. This box is like a spa in a box! The only thing missing is a little lady to do the massage! If anyone knows me they know I love a bath, but getting the time or the energy these days is a struggle. Usually by the time I get the kids to bed I’m so tired I fall into my own bed and don’t have time to even run the bath. So when I saw this bath bomb it instantly put a smile on my face.Sabao bath bomb is very luxurious and contain exotic essential oils from around the world- and chosen to promote wellness and well being is from their aromatherapy collection.

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The last item in the box was this beautifully wrapped in brown paper and tied with a bow. Its food I thought, when I pealed back the paper my mouth watering and my daughter Gracie and husband slyly watching me…this  adorable chocolate covered love heart flap jack from Just flap jack. I must admit flap jacks aren’t the first thing I would pick up from the sweet/biscuit isle I would far rather go for a cream egg or a galaxy…however when I tasted this flap jack it was truly delicious! It was huge bigger than a normal biscuit so it was a win win situation! I had to stop myself eating it all so gave half to Gracie and she demolished it. I read the ingredients label, all natural products no ‘EEs’ which is a tick in my box!! I even checked under the tissue paper in the box to see if there was another!


This box really is a treat and well worth the money! This box has reminded to always take time out and have some self care. Us mums need down time when the kids go to bed and this box is the perfect treat!! As we go through our busy life’s its important I feel to self medicate with love and take care of our minds and body’s. Positive thoughts and actions have a positive impact on our behaviours. Lets talk more about or failings and laugh at them, as when you do you realise others will open up to and you are not alone.

Negatives?
One thing that seemed to be missing was the massage lady with the free gown and slippers…

 

Thanks so much Christie for sending me this box to review. Its been a real treat! Keep up the good work!!

Go check out her page for yourself and treat yourself or another woman who deserves it.

The Mummy Club Website

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Mila & Pheebs -review


The background

Alexis like myself has a love for little ‘knick knacks’ and all things stationary! Like my girls, she was always making things from left over materials and very crafty minded as a child. Alexis really is the stationary queen…and her choice for each box shows this off beautifully! Every item in the box is carelfully selected, and it doesn’t disappoint. Her daughters are her judge and guide and if it doesn’t excite them it doesn’t go in!

This is a great little family business with help inputted from every member- mummy Alexis scores the internet for such beautiful little stationary and cute items to put in each box. Along with her husband Pete who is the designer behind the scenes, he makes up the designs for all the activities inside the box. The georgous twins Milena and Phoebe help mummy by sticking all the stickers on the box! Such great team work!! Their beautiful names is obviously inspiration for the name of this special business.

You can subscribe to the boxes on a monthly basis or simply buy a one off box, various themes are available on the website! Great ideas for birthdays- as this is where Alexis business first began.

First impressions:

When I first received this box this slim line box came through my letter box… to be honest my first Impression was there can’t be much in there due to the width of the box-however all was soon reveled when I opened it up. This slim lined box is decorated with bright stickers very eye catching.

Age related?

These boxes are aimed at ages 4+ and I would totally agree. My girls are ages 4 and 5 and they loved it, Gracie especially found It very exciting going through the box, finding all the surprises. The crafts and activities are great and based well according to that age group.

What’s inside-

This months edition is all about Garden pals… this was the list of items inside the box.

The girls thoughts?

Gracie jumped in as she loves all things stickers. We had great fun making the bumble bee badge, she found it easily enough to follow the instructions and do it by herself.

Ivy is a little more delicate in her crafting than Gracie and she loved doing the lady bird sewing kit. It was two great things to include in the box as my girls are very different and they loved these tasks.

Another great item was the garden pals dotty art. I actually took these with me to church on Sunday as it was something different for them to do. Again this was a hit with the girls as they sat for ages choosing different stickers for their picture. I must add, the quantity of stickers is very well thought out too!

As I said earlier my girls love all things craft- so when it came to making Mother’s Day cards we grabbed our box again and inside there was two cards with envelops also a bag of various foam stickers. The girls sat for ages designing their cards and they loved the fact there was envelopes to post them with too!

I especially loved the news letter it was bright and colourful with lots of facts about animals, jokes and ideas! It’s so eye catching and a great feature of the box!

We haven’t used the activity sheets yet but they are great sizes and printed on strong card to take away with you on a day out. Great to pull out in a restaurant while waiting for your meal to keep the kids entertained. The pencil and eraser didn’t last long in the box before it disappeared into Ivy’s pencil case.

Overall.

I believe that there has been lots of thought and time gone into the contents of this box. Every item is related to its chosen theme. I love how these boxes have various crafts inside for example the sewing kit to the activity sheets.

The items inside are good quality and very eye catching to the buyer! I love how it’s all wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a sticker, so neatly packed inside and so exciting for the child opening it. Although my first impression I thought it looked small, after opening the box I was proved wrong and this little box is full of unique little surprises. Every item linked to another and guaranteed to keep your child busy for hours, independently or with help. I would have to agree with the price too as myself as a mother has scored the internet and stores for stationary and they can be very expensive to purchase. So this product is very much worth the money of (£10) per month.

I would and have recommended these boxes to my friends. If I was planning a long flight I would defiantly consider buying these to take on the plane. So compact yet full of goodies.


To find out more about the products check out their website and Instagram page.

To subscribe or browse their great products click here. 


Disclaimer: I was kindly sent a free sample of the product in return for my honest review in my blog. All opinions expressed are my own and unbiased, not influenced by the company and any links used in this review are not affiliate.

A Mothers love

Becoming a mother myself…

Mother’s day is the one day we set aside to appreciate our mums, granny’s, sisters, aunties, mother in law, and others who play a motherly role in our life. A mother’s love begins in the womb, when you first see the red line on the pregnancy test, the fluttering in your tummy of nervousness and excitement. The feeling of skin to skin and the connection is unreal when you first hold that baby on your chest. It’s so precious, you made this tiny human and its all yours.
I remember looking into the Moses basket when Ivy was just a few days old and being overcome by emotion as I couldn’t believe I could love this tiny baby so much and she was all mine. The same happened with Gracie and Malachy too. I just wanted to hold them forever they were so precious and I remember being so in love with them my heart could burst. To become a mother is truly a miracle I believe. For a man and a woman to conceive a child and grow this baby inside of you for 9 months is truly beautiful. It’s so precious and mind baffling at how nature works in our body’s.

Nature’s wrong turn

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There is great excitement when the pregnancy test is positive and we begin to plan out the future for the baby…However silently nature can take a wrong turn and the baby can be taken from you without warning or reason. That is not how you planned the future, what did we do wrong we often question ourselves. Miscarriage is more common than we know with 1 in 4 pregnancy’s ending up in miscarriage. Its a silent heart ache that often women don’t share with the world as its usually within the first trimester. Why God we question ourselves?

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Isaiah 41:10
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous hand”
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Our journey is planned out…

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Boy meets girl, Boy marries girl, couple have a baby…this is the ideal life for some isn’t it? For lots of couples this isn’t the reality. I am often humbled thinking about couples who have fertility problems or for whatever reason can’t conceive. It would appear to be so isolating and difficult to understand if you haven’t been through it yourself. The constant thought of mourning that child you can’t have. It must be mentally exhausting going through that and being around children on a day to day basis. We don’t know the plan God has for our life, and sometimes God puts us through trials so we can be a testimony to others. But we’re seeing so much medical intervention these days it almost becomes that anything is possible. I believe God is in control of every situation. It’s sometimes not how we had planned it and we become angry and bitter, but in time it will be revealed it’s not our plan its Gods plan.
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Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
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The loss of a mother

Mother’s day for some is an agonising day. It might be the first mother’s day without their mum or the 10th anniversary , but every year it hurts just the same. This special day is a frank reminder that you mother is no longer here to celebrate it with you. You wish you had one last phone call or one last hug. That hole in your heart can never be filled. For some it becomes a day of celebrating their lives. Your mum was your number one fan, right there in the front row of your life. A mother can never be replaced but others around us become a mother supplement. We must bring joy to them also on this day.

Myself as a mother

I love mother’s day, I love receiving the home made cards from the girls that they made at playschool. However I almost feel a sense of guilt as I read them. I think back to the days when I was tired and I shouted at them as they were misbehaving in the bath or wouldn’t put their clothes on as we were in a hurry. I just hope they don’t remember those times.
The days can be long but the years are short. Gracie is approaching school age after the summer I look back and think where did those years go? I have such a bad memory all the kids milestones of walking and talking verge into one. Since becoming a mum and I go through trials with the kids I often think back to my own mum and how she would have done things.

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My Mum

My mum wasn’t the cool mum at the school gates with the funky clothes or the stylish hair. (Sorry Mum) She was the mum I could tell anything to, a comforting loving godly mother. She was and is a strong centre link in our family and she has done a great job raising my brothers and I. When I heard her say those words ‘I know best as I’ve been here before you’  I used to cringe, when she wouldn’t let me go out with that crowd or go to certain places. Back then I didn’t know why she did say no to all those things, now I see through mothers eyes, and all that she did was love. She knew what was best for me, even though I couldn’t see it. I often feel bad for my parents for the teenager that I was back then. It’s not an easy job being a mum as I often am the one saying no, and the kids look at me angrily or with disappointment. I would do anything for my children. I dread my two girls hitting their teenage years! Help!! It isn’t until I became a mum that I realised how difficult it’s going to be for Sean and I.
Happy Mothers day to all my fellow mums and followers. Let’s celebrate and appreciate the women in our life’s. This Day and every day…

Thanks Mum, I love you!
Love April
xx

Love Endures

What the bible says about love…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians ch13 verse 4-8.img_8166

What love means to me?
I love this verse its a perfect example of what love means to me. Love is all those things and more. It stems from a close friendship that grows to affection, feelings and state of mind between yourself and another. Love is forgiving, Love is about tolerance, Love is about compromise and putting others before yourself.
Before we got married 7 years ago my dads only advice was to never let the sun go down on your wrath. A well known bible verse. Yet so true, as relationships can be damaged if arguments and strain goes on and on. The best piece of advice I could ask for.pexels-photo-256737.jpeg

What is the definition of love?
The definition of love is different for everyone. No one can define it and no one has the right answer. To fall in love when a strong connection in your relationship kindles, the feeling of giddiness and excitement. That feeling when you cant wait to see each other again. Holding hands, and the feeling that you cant be apart. There’s a big spark between you and the relationship is very rosy and fresh and new. As relationships mature the spark becomes a glowing ember in your heart. Maybe your not feeling the same excitement when you see each other but you just know the love is still there. You don’t need to question it. You don’t need to express it with PDA public display of affection anymore or bunches of flowers. Love simply becomes a cup of tea made for you in the morning or plugging your phone into charge when you simply forget. Or prepping the kids before you head out the door to work to make sure they behave while your away. Love has your back, love forgets old wounds, Love doesn’t look at your bank balance or your race. Love doesn’t care about your cellulite or your stretch marks. Love is blind and love is from the heart. Love endures.


What love means to others…

Claire, also known as @Cailynsmummy

Love to me is being present, caring and wanting to be there for the people you care about. Love is such a strong word and one I’ve not said to many but love with Chris gives me excitement, happiness and security. Love to us is passion and support for each other, always. See more from Claires here

Hetti, also known as @blossomandbe mother of 2 take on her love…

Defining love is complicated as we each experience love in our own way. For me love doesn’t exist as one thing. The love I have for my husband is a passionate commitment that is always developing and being nurtured.
I think a key factor in this growing love is our compatibility, we share the same values, likes and dislikes and interests, and these common grounds were what sparked our love, and what allow this love to grow. I don’t find it difficult to stay in love with him, it’s something I never question. He makes me laugh, is there for me when I cry and I will care and protect him forever through thick and thin.
The love for my children is a different type of love, it is a profound emotion that is like nothing else in this world. When I first saw them i got an instant overwhelming urge to love them and I find it almost indescribable. From that moment these tiny babies were my main priority and I immediately had a fierce desire to protect them. When my children were born I also realised how much my mother loves me. I love my children unconditionally, it is an attitude, something that is eternal.
You can catch more from @blossomandbe here


Valentines Love

Around this time of year we can get caught up in the commercial aspect of valentines day, what about all the other 364 days what happens to the love then?
I love valentines it simply gives the men out there a nudge in the right direction. Or if you’re like my dad and father in law they still forget its valentines and I have to remind them. However, I don’t believe this phases my mother or mother in law. Except that kind of love even not shown is there like a glow. Cooking their supper every night when they come in the door. Keeping them company in an evening in front of the tv and just being there for each other.pexels-photo-196664.jpeg
Love can be seen in many different ways. Love is when the others happiness is more important than your own. I must admit Sean doesn’t whisk me off for a surprise weekend away or send bunches of flowers to my work for all to see, except he appreciates me in many different ways throughout the year, not just Feb 14th. If he’s down stairs in the morning before me he always makes me a cup of tea. That’s what deep down love is for me. He doesn’t need to show me with outward approach. When he does buy me flowers its usually the most unexpected times and a great surprise. He knows me when I’ve used my reserve tank with the kids and he steps in.

One Valentine’s Day he did actually run me a romantic bath. I had just finished a shift at work and was very pregnant and sore with my pelvis at the time. I thought to myself wow! He’s really pushing the boat out here. However the kids heard the bath running and stampeded up the stairs. I ended up sharing the bath with Ivy- It had slipped my mind for a second she was off nursery that day due to a tummy upset. Seconds later she passed wind… well u can imagine what happened next…I’ve never exited a bath so quick in all my life. Poor Ivy she didn’t realise what was going on! So that was the romance down the drain that night.coffee-cup-stack-break.jpg

I wish you all the love this Valentine’s Day. If its with that huge bunch of roses or the silent love expressed by that cup of tea he made you. Share the love. Today and everyday. True love endures.

Have a great valentines day

 

Happy Baby=Happy Mum Harry & Rose product review

Disclaimer: I was kindly sent a free sample of the product in return for my honest review in my blog. All opinions expressed are my own and unbiased, not influenced by the company and any links used in this review are not affiliate.


Background
Harry & Rose founder Alba Cusworth is an experienced parent who has a love for natural baby products. The company have specially formulated these products to a high quality, natural ingredients especially for sensitive skin. Which is good news for Malachy as he falls into this category also suffering from eczema. As much as myself Harry and Rose believe what you put on your skin is very important, especially baby skin. This product is manufactured in England with the best quality and standards and not tested on animals may I add. Ingredients used in these products are Calendula, coconut, camomile, cottonseed, aloe Vera and sunflower. I am a great lover of natural ingredients for your skin. So I couldn’t wait to try this out on Malachy.


Features/ Target Group
The target group is mothers/fathers and expectant mothers of young babies. The great features of this product are the natural ingredients and the affect they have on sensitive skin. For example, camomile is great for breakouts and rashes, and the sunflower extract is honourable for babies that suffer from eczema.

The Baby hair and body wash ingredients include:
Calendula, coconut, cottonseed, camomile, sunflower and aloe Vera. The attributes of these particular ingredients are quick absorbing, retain moisture, light and silky, great for break outs and rashes. I admire how this product is natural and doesn’t include the nasty preservatives or parabens. So many products these days are full of nasty’s and we don’t realise it as we wash our children with them every day and don’t give it a second thought. As a nurse myself I know too well of the effects of these parabens on frail and delicate skin. Even creams and washes prescribed from the GP contain many of these. I have many patients whom I purely moisturise their skin with 100% olive oil, it’s so natural and works wonders


Malachy loves a bath however with 3 kids he often endures it with the girls in beside him. Tonight was special and I loved spending time alone with Malachy. The bottle has an easy to use pump top, the great waterproof label is a hit as malachy is forever playing with the bottles in the tub. The product design and render is neutral and soft, which best describes the contents of the bottle.
The previous evening before I received this sample Malachys bath time was very stressful for me as a mum. As soon as I strip him down he always likes a good scratch. With eczema this is quite common however this night in particular was the worst I’ve seen it. I had to quickly bath him and pull him out the bath as he was getting so agitated and couldn’t stop scratching. Even after his pyjamas were on he just couldn’t content himself forever trying to scratch through his clothes.
The next morning, I booked an appointment with my GP to have him reviewed. Is this a food allergy? Is it my washing powder? I came out of the doctors with a prescription bag full of ointments, creams/steroid creams and antihistamine. I’ve been here before in this situation. I feel like I have tried every cream and ointment out there. I was very reluctant to start the process all over again. Coincidence the same morning my Harry and Rose sample arrived. When I stripped him off again for the bath he did have a scratch as usual and I placed him in the bath and began to wash him with the bath and body wash. I must admit it wasn’t instant relief but I didn’t want it to turn into the previous night all over again. I took him out and rubbed him all over with the body lotion cream sample they kindly sent me…It was like a miracle, after the cream was applied he was settled and didn’t need to scratch. Typically with other creams and lotions he scratches through them after they have been applied.
When I first smelt the product, I was slightly dubious it smelt so lovely I thought how can something so natural smell so nice. After his bath there was no scratching and no need for the antihistamine that night. I was so pleased as it’s so upsetting and frustrating as a mother not able to help your child who is constantly itching. I have been using the product for over a week now. I purchased the body lotion after the company kindly sent me a small sample which I am so glad they did, or I wouldn’t have discovered it. Malachys skin has returned soft and smooth and no blemished or rash areas from the eczema. I have been applying the body lotion morning and night.
Overall, I am very pleased with this product and its quality. As the products has won several awards including Best baby and toddler gear I have no problem in ‘sharing the love’ to friends and family. I am going to continue to purchase this product for Malachy as long as it continues to work wonders. It is more expensive than your typical supermarket products however I wouldn’t grudge purchasing this product if it works for Malachy. Happy baby = happy mum. A big thank you to Harry and Rose from Malachy and Mum for this new discovery in natural skin care.


The Harry and Rose baby hair-body wash and many other lovey product can be found at their website here.

My survival guide

Many people ask me how I cope with 3 kids 5 & under also with an occasional husband (who works away 2 weeks at a time) To be honest some days are more fun than others. Sometimes I look at people with 4 or 5 kids and wonder how they cope. Having 3 kids really push you to your limits when your solo parenting. I try to keep on top of the housework as much as possible to make this journey more enjoyable for everyone. It’s getting easier now the kids are older and more independent. I love to plan things out, write myself notes, and be prepared for the week ahead. I don’t have OCD but after you read this blog you might think so. It works for us. Everyone does life differently, so here’s how I do mine:

Prep the kids
I found out through experience and reading baby books that kids love routine. Keeping them informed makes them happy bees in the hive. A fine example of this: Gracie is sitting engrossed in the iPad, instead of taking it off her I would prep her beforehand. If i didn’t I would then endure a 10 minute tantrum which then leads to some serious misbehaviour. “Gracie, you’ve got 5 minutes left on the iPad” then a while later “two minutes, Gracie” then after a another couple of minutes ” okay Gracie, times up put down the iPad now that’s long enough” It works wonders. I would say 90% of the time she puts the iPad down. It’s a good technique to use when were about to leave the grandparents ” were leaving in 5 minutes kids” and so on. Usually we all leave happily and without a tantrum, tantrum free= happy mum!

Prep the food
At the start of the week I love to meal plan for the week ahead. I first got the idea from a Slimming world class. It helps you to stick to your chosen meals for the week and not go off track. I try to involve the kids as much as possible however their reply to “what would you like for supper?” is usually “noodles.” I have recently started to write out a shopping list before I head to the supermarket. We’ve found that we save money as we only buy what we need for that week, we actually come out with some decent meals. As before I would wander around the aisles throwing stuff in the trolley be £100 at the till and have nothing to make a decent meal with. So this is how we do it now. If its not on the list it doesn’t go into the trolley. On a Monday I do lots of food prep when the kids are away at school. A typical Monday can be quite stressful for me so I like to have a big pot of soup boiling on the hob. This will do us for 3 lunches. I also stick a big piece of meat in the slow cooker that will do us two meals too. Doing this just releases the stress of making supper after one of our busy Mondays knowing that the meals are sorted.


Housework
The dreaded word, right? I used to enjoy house work when I had time to do it before we had kids. Nonetheless with 3 kids now and sometimes a working mum I struggle to find the time. I like to be able to keep on top of it so it doesn’t nag me. There is more important things in life than housework however when the house looks like a bomb has hit it something needs to be done. I love following The organised mum method(TOMM) 30 minutes a day on specific rooms and your done! I hear you thinking that doesn’t work… but it does. She also does a deep clean method for all those homes needing a bit more tlc. I find that if I keep the washing & ironing basket empty I am not doing piles of ironing that I hate. I like to spend a little time each day in my utility room sorting out clothes and it keeps the whole thing at bay. Sometimes if were busy over a weekend and I don’t keep on top of it, and I go into the utility on a Sunday I could just walk out again and cry.

Morning Routine
From when I open my eyes in the morning even before I have a cup of tea here is a glimpse into my morning routine. This only applies when Sean’s away. As when he comes home the routine can sometimes get a knock on the head. When I hear the first child awake, usually one of the girls I jump in the shower while Malachy is still asleep in his crib. The girls will sit happily with the tv on until I shower. We are lucky with Malachy as he sleeps from 7pm till usually 7am. If I were to take him out of his crib there would be carnage in the bedroom and I would end up not getting a shower. He can be seen running about calling 999 with the house phone, emptying bedside table drawers or dunking the toilet brush down the toilet. So I tend to leave him in bed till I get myself organised. After everyone is dressed
1, Make beds
2, Throw all dirty clothes down the stairs
3, Quick tidy of bedrooms and bathroom upstairs
4, Open blinds and turn radiators down (Sean’s request)
5, Everyone comes down stairs and eats breakfast
6, While the are kids eating breakfast I load the washing machine.


I love to come down stairs to a clean kitchen and empty sink so the night before I ensure the island is free from dishes and clutter. I like to set out everyone’s clothes for the next day in the bathroom in their individual piles. When the kids get up they know the routine, get dressed and go down stairs. I try to encourage the girls to help with making their beds and throwing the laundry down the stairs. Which usually results in a pair of knickers landing on Malachys head. The girls can be so messy at times, I try to engage them in some games when it comes to tidying up. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Please note my routine doesn’t always go to plan the way I would like it. There’s usually a chase around the bedroom with a half-naked child trying to put on their socks. That’s what makes life exciting I suppose a lap around the bedroom before school. I’m not the perfect mum or don’t try to be. I just love routine and so does the kids. What is the perfect mum?