Clearly Scrumptious

We have been kindly sent a box of healthy treats from Clearly Scrumptious. Clearly Scrumptious is a healthy treat Company that make natural and delicious snacks with no added nonsense. My Children, Husband and I love to snack so these went down well.

Clearly Scrumptious
Amazing selection – Kindly gifted for review

Clearly Scrumptious create dried foods that are 100% natural and one of your five a day.

Clearly Scrumptious Treats
Cranberry and Raisins – All different tasty flavours

The various dried cranberries and raisins were the clear favourite, because of all of the different flavours like apple, cherry, raspberry and blueberry followed by the sweet tasting dried strawberries which my Daughter couldn’t get over were actually really strawberries just dried and she said how delicious they tasted. I love how they are all around 100 calories so a perfect light snack anytime of the day.

Clearly Scrumptious
Crunchy Apple Wedges

The dried apple wedges weren’t particularly popular with my family as generally prefer fresh apples, However these would be great on the go and a store cupboard staple as have a pretty long expiry date. The packets are a great swap for sweets and perfect for being out and about with children and adults alike. Which is how the Children have been eating these snacks usually during days out as a snack between meals.

Clearly Scrumptious
Sweet Dried Strawberries
Clearly Scrumptious
Juicy Dried Cranberries

Clearly Scrumptious state the snacks are wheat, gluten and dairy free whilst also being suitable for vegans plus have no added sugar.

These opinions are my own and I received this box of healthy treats in exchange for a honest review. Thank you Clearly Scrumptious

Getting my nearly 9 month old baby to take a bottle with NUK Nature Sense Bottles 6-18 Months ( gifted )

If you have been following me for a while you’ll know that I’ve been having great difficulty with Baby Jake taking a bottle. Since his birth in May last year Jake has been exclusively breastfed, At around 5 weeks I expressed milk occasionally which he took from a bottle. I made the mistake of not trying again for sometime. At around 4 months I tried again knowing that I had to leave him for a couple of nights because I had an operation looming.

In the lead up to the operation I tried so many brands of bottle including cups, I fed him before the general anesthetic then whilst I was asleep Jake took most of a small bottle of expressed milk from my Husband in a Cafe. Success we thought….

However it was not to be, as he just wouldn’t take a bottle again, so I fed him as I came round half asleep from the Operation. There after I continued to try even every day, I thought with starting weaning he may become interested in a bottle. I had tried several different brands with no success he would just scream and push the bottle away whilst clamping his mouth firmly shut.

He can be fussy when breastfeeding too i.e going on and off a lot screaming etc. He just doesn’t seem to love food or milk!

My Sister recommend NUK bottles, so speaking with the team at NUK they kindly gifted me a bottle to try, and in the spirit of transparency Jake is entertaining this bottle sucking it a little and holding it to his mouth not pushing it away and screaming which is what he did with the others, we still have a way to go but finally making some progress. Which is what I’d hoped for as now feel ready to stop breastfeeding. The NUK Nature Sense is specifically designed for 6 -18 month old babies and recommended by Midwives and Pediatricians with a anti colic vent.

Jake trying NUK bottle
Jake trying NUK bottle
NUK Closer to Nature Bottle
NUK bottle and soothers received

I love the design simple yet classic plus it’s design mimics the tiny milk ducts found in the breast which I think is really clever and not heard of that in other bottles.

All views are my own and I was given ( gifted ) the bottle to review. Thank you NUK.

www.nuk.co.uk


Bassetts Multivitamins ( Ad)

Recently we were given the opportunity to trial Bassetts Multivitamins tailored for ages 3 -6 with Talk to Mums.

Giving my children a vitamin daily is something I aim to do, however in the past hadn’t always remembered consistently.

The Bassetts Multivitamins are soft and chewy in various flavour’s so appealed straight away to my girls who are 3 and 6 years old.

At breakfast each morning I like them to have either cereals or toast ( my eldest won’t eat toast  but will have a cheese and ham toastie  – very continental! Plus at least one piece of fruit normally apples ( has to be a red one ) , grapes or strawberries and a yoghurt. I feel especially as we head into winter a daily multivitamin rounds off their breakfast nicely.

My girls do have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I was pleased to see that they contain no added sugar, as they consume enough already. As a Mum I try to do my best for my children so giving them a daily multivitamin gives them a bit of an extra top up that they may be missing especially with one of my daughters being quite fussy at the moment, although I am hoping this to shall pass! as they say, whoever they are!

The girls say the vitamins make them happy because they have a smile on them. This has also been their opinion on the Bassetts Omega 3 and Multivitamins that come in a orange flavour with no reports of a fishy aftertaste = Happy me!

The Bassetts Multivitamins contain vitamin A, B6, C and D to help support healthy eyes, skin, teeth,bones, muscle and immunity.

Currently on offer in Tesco at 3 for the price of 2 each pack contains 30 vitamins.

Newborn Sleep Deprivation

When I had my first baby at the age of 26, the sleep deprivation was something, somehow I was NOT prepared for!  Despite all the advise I’d been given. ( The photo above was from 15 weeks ago when I had my third baby )

From the moment my little girl was born, Breastfeeding was quite tricky and frustrating as what ever I did I couldn’t get her to stay attached! I had lots of help from various staff on the maternity ward yet it was so tricky to get going, these difficulties I think added to the pure exhaustion early on. What I would come to realise is that it was a skill that I needed to learn as I hadn’t been a Mum before and she hadn’t been a baby before and I think that’s a great way to look at.

I finished work just two days before I was induced because of Pre-Eclampsia so barely had time to get my head around going from work mode to being a Mum.  Once my little girl arrived I started noting every time she fed and everytime I woke up! The latter I wouldn’t advise.

I even kept the record of that sleep schedule on my phone to remind me in the future.

I remember feeling so tired that I could barely function, I don’t think I slept at all until she was about 14 days old. It was hard going and something that I wasn’t prepared for, For some reason I just thought I’d go home and go to sleep for 7 hours. Hilarious looking back now!

So what I learn’t by the second/third time round, was the following:

  • Don’t record your awake times ( Record feeds if it helps, but if feeding is going well I wouldn’t worry )
  • Use a swaddle with a zip up the middle like the ‘Love to Dream’ ones.
  • Understand  that newborns feed little and often because of their tiny tummy’s even more so with breast milk as it digests very quickly.
  • Only change their nappy if full or a poo
  • Put them to sleep in a crib next to you as soon as they are asleep sleep yourself even if you only get an hour it all add’s up and will help you the following day
  • Get out and about in the fresh air
  • Have a low dimmed light on all night ( I found this to help as could see what I was doing in the middle of the night )
  • A little tip I saw on the internet was to place a warm hot water bottle in their cot, then remove allow to cool a little ( test with your own hand/ elbow ) when you feel it’s not hot lay the baby after a feed and I found this really helped my baby feel able to sleep.
  • Rest/ sleep in the day if you can ( annoyingly I never could!)
  • In advance of your baby’s arrival do a good food shop if you can and freeze meals or buy ready meals for when you are just too tired, if all else fails get a takeaway – you deserve it!
  • Drink lots of fluid, water if you can it really helps with milk supply
  • Eat regular meals and lots of snacks
  • For me having a shower every morning really helped, especially as I found you sweat more post birth and if breastfeeding it’s nice to not smell of it ( again a personal thing ) Having a shower really made me feel better and far more awake.
  • Another useful idea for night feeds is having a little area in your room with all the supplies you need for the night for me it was ( glass of water, cereal bar, changing mat, nappies, wipes or cotton wool and a change of clothes in case of a poo explosion )

Last of all, Remember this too shall pass and  before you know it your little baby will start sleeping longer stretches.

Natvia – The Natural Sweetener

I was recently given the opportunity to sample and give out samples of Natvia, A natural sweetener that can help you quit sugar.

For me sugar mostly in the form of chocolate is a huge problem and one that has lead to a two stone weight gain over the last 6 years since the birth of my first child.

I even had gestational diabetes in my last two pregnancies, no doubt linked to sugar consumption although once diagnosed I did all I could to keep my blood sugar levels under control, As I’ve had gestational diabetes I am now more at risk in fact 1 in 2 chance of getting type 2 diabetes so I really do need to cut down my sugar levels.

I used Natvia as an alternative in Cooking, baking and tea/coffee’s the feedback was over whelming good where people who tried it said, they couldn’t tell the difference. I am shortly going to be commencing a healthy eating 12 week plan from home and will be substituting sugar for Natvia in lots of recipes which I am quite excited about.

Natvia is available in Tesco, Ocado and Whole Foods.

Natvia has zero impact on blood sugar levels ( I even tested this on my old blood glucose monitor recently ) It also doesn’t contain: Aspartame, Saccharine, or Fructose like some sweeteners can do and is made from 100% natural sources. It’s definitely worth trying and is far easier to quit sugar with Natvia.

 

Maternity Leave

For me a few months after the initial birth, recovery, sleep deprivation  starts to lift I find myself wondering what I will do when my maternity leave is up, whilst I am not wishing the time away quite the opposite in fact, It does make me think am I doing what’s best for my children and our family. How will we cope with x3 drop off’s and pick up’s in different places? for example.

Questions like should I not return to work, instead of paying extortionate amounts of money in childcare or should I find a more local job closer to home? These are all thoughts currently going round in my head. That I need to make sense of,  Financially I still need to work and I love the satisfaction and sense of pride that comes with my job that I am currently on maternity leave from.

I know that I will definitely not being having any more children ( 3 for us is a great number and slightly scary! ) And the last pregnancy was truly difficult, with gestational diabetes ( insulin controlled ) Horrendous morning sickness and several other issues without wanting to bore anyone reading this!

I’m hoping that as time passes I’ll feel more comfortable with what my future holds work wise and so aware that they are only little for the tiniest amount of time so want to make the most of it whilst still bringing in an income.  I know this is known as ‘Mum guilt’  and it really is.

At the end of my last maternity leave with my second daughter I volunteered on the maternity ward where I would end up having all of my children, It was a great experience. I was able to help support new mothers with nappy changes, making up bottles, attending to call bells and just general company if they were alone. Towards the end of the 3 months I was trusted to do several tasks which I really enjoyed and getting to know patients who had been in a little longer. This is a field I’m really passionate about since becoming a Mother and wonder if this is somewhere my future lies. The other question for me is juggling what would be shift work with my husbands day and occasional evening work.  Sadly I had to give up the volunteering after 3 months because it was tricky juggling it with going back to work and my husbands work.

At this point, three months post the birth of my third baby, I am just going to enjoy him and my girls.

What’s in my suitcase? – Disney trip!

Disney image suntan lotion

Packing is one of the most exciting parts of planning a holiday for me, I especially enjoy writing lists before. Making sure I don’t forget to pack anything essential or that may be difficult to source in a different country or substantially more expensive.

So, before the holiday I’ll write a list of items needed for the Children and us, then a separate list of what I need to remember to pack.

This is the list of items I’ll pack / ensure I buy in advance broken down:

Snacks – My girls like a snack so I’ll pack some for when out and some for the room. As we are travelling by Car I will pack several packs of water (I managed to find some cool Disney ones!) For food it would be snacks such as popcorn, rice cakes or the little fruit stars generally foods that are quite light so that where possible they eat well still at meal times.

Clothes – Always allow extra and a change of clothing when travelling with children either by car or plane as there is nearly always a spillage or leakage of some form. I also went to H&M and Primark and brought lots of the cheaper T-shirt style dresses for them to wear each day as well as packing 3 of their Princess Dresses each for the meet and greets.  Then as it should be hot when we go away I’ll only take us all x1 Hoodie style top each plus a pair of leggings for my girls in case the weather turns cold. Also a buy them a packet of new trainer socks to save time searching for enough pairs that they already have. I found some trendy ones in Primark with bobbles on the back and a rather funky pattern!

Goodie Bags – I like to take little presents for them to unwrap if on a plane ( don’t make the mistake I did and wrap up play dough! as this got me lots of questions at security last year!)

This year I’ve been and brought lots of Disney merchandise from the high street mainly Primark  and H& M where it is substantially cheaper again, For example Mickey Mouse ears in Primark are £2 and in Disney they are £20 plus ( yes I’m sure the quality may better however how often they would wear them it wouldn’t be worth it ) Also included would be presents that are activity based like colouring books etc. This time we will place these on the children’s bed in the hotel for them to open when they arrive.

We have the car so can take more with us. If travelling by Plane I would add to the suitcase or hand luggage.

Essential’s in my opinion if travelling with young children / Adults:

  • Suntan lotion
  • Hats
  • Sufficient Nappies
  • Same for Wipes
  • Swim Nappies
  • Calpol
  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Diarrhoea Medication
  • Insect Repellent
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo / Conditioner
  • Shower gel (Can double up with kids depending on ages and skin type)
  • Face wipes
  • Face moisturiser that’s also a Sunscreen
  • Sanitary protection if needed
  • Little wind up / battery powered hand-held fan
  • x4 Way Multi Socket travel adaptor
  • Make up!

If going to Disney – Face glitter and a pot of Vaseline (I was given this tip by the Manager in our local Claire’s Accessories to apply the Vaseline first, then the glitter stays put)

Then lay it all out on the bed and assess whether I’ve enough outfits per day plus a few more spares.  My two girls have a Trunki each which I’ll pack as must of their clothes in as possible then aim to share a large suitcase with my husband and our baby will most likely need another bag for extra nappies etc.

Do you have any tips for travelling? What do you think is essential to pack?

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below:

 

 

Coping with Gestational Diabetes

Insulin

Gestational diabetes was something I’d heard of but didn’t know much about. I was diagnosed at around 32 weeks in my second pregnancy in 2015 and initially found it tricky monitoring my blood sugar I didn’t need to go onto insulin until the last couple of weeks but seemed to be ok on the metformin tablets they gave.

Third time round I had an early glucose tolerance test ( which involves having a blood test, drinking a high sugar drink then another blood test  to see how your body tolerates sugar ) at 14 weeks pregnant which came back as normal then another at 24 weeks which frustratingly didn’t. I was then referred to the diabetic team at the Hospital who have pretty much handled my care since.

Initially my diabetes was diet controlled then a couple of weeks later my glucose levels started to creep up, then it was decided I’d try metformin just one a day but had an awful reaction to it in the form of agonising pains and an upset stomach.

So at that point it was decided to start insulin which I’ve had the levels gradually increased thereafter.

Insulin injections take a little getting used to but the needle is fine so doesn’t hurt just a sharp scratch as long as you remember to rotate the injection point and use a fresh needle each time.

Also it’s remembering to monitor blood sugar for me four times a day plus the 4 insulin injections which are done either at the top of the thigh or lower stomach.

The only benefit I guess is more scans at least every month, more frequent checks of my pregnancy levels and getting to listen to the heart beat, I am extremely luckily as feel my antenatal care has been excellent and now feeling more positive than I did when I initially found out I had the gestational diabetes.