Category Archives: Health

My Daily Skincare Routine & The Products I Use

In under 7 months I am 30! I remember on my 21st Birthday Greg saying to me that my 20’s will fly by and that is exactly what has happened! Obviously a lot of amazing things have happened since then but never the less I can’t believe I am nearly 30. One thing I have always tried to do from an early age is look after my skin. I am one of those people that am worried about ageing and always try to take good care of my skin. This is a first for me as my blog has always really been based around the boys but I want to start writing about being a Mummy too and what I like and what I do. So I thought I would start my telling you a bit about my daily skincare routine and what products I use.

Me at 21!

A lot of the products that I use have been recommended to me when I go for a facial or I have read great reviews and decided to give them a try, loved them and stuck with them.

My Morning Routine

When I get up in the morning before I put my make up on I cleanse and tone my face using the Guinot Lait Hydra Fraicheur Refreshing Cleansing Gel Milk and the Guinot Lotion Hydra Fraicheur Refreshing Toning Lotion with cotton wool pads. They are £19.50 each and probably last about 4-6 weeks. I also use these in the evening along with their eye makeup remover as the cleanser and tone cleanses and removes your make-up, freeing the skin of all impurities. It also softens and refreshes the skin, leaving your skin feeling super soft.
I then wash my face using the Dr Russo SPF30 sun protective day cleanser. You simply wash your face leave then massage the face wash in for a couple of minutes and then rinse off. This then gives you SPF30 protection which is so important to keep your skin healthy and looking young. Up to 80% of premature ageing is due to sun damage and even in the UK where you might not think the sun is damaging you, it still can. I also have the SPF30 sun protective moisturiser which is great and really light too so you can use it and then continue with your usual skincare routine. The protective day cleanser is £52 for a 100ml tube and the day moisturiser is £95 for a 50ml tube.


I then use the Guinot Longue Vie Yeux Eye Lifting Cream. It is really good and I use a small bit around my eyes and in between my eyebrows in a figure if eight motion. The eye-lifting cream eliminates visible wrinkles & fine lines and firms the skin around your eyes for an instant lift. It also soothes away dullness & puffiness which I need as Archie still wakes up sometimes four times a nigh and gently calms & hydrates the eye areas. I have tried lots of different eye creams before but this is by far one of the best.


I then use the ESPA Tri-Active Advanaced Instant Facial which is £58 for a 30ml bottle. It smells amazing like all of the ESPA range (I am obsessed with their soothing candle and diffuser, they are all over my house) and feels absolutely amazing on my skin. It is an advanced age-defying 3-in-1 serum, essence and treatment oil to instantly smooth and hydrate while brightening the complexion, for skin that is revitalised and glowing. The spa I go to Mulberry’s in Beaconsfield use the Espa and Guinot products and I have never been disapointed. The Antioxidant Macrolage Cell Extract in the cream helps smooth the appearance of fine lines, the White Truffle Extract helps boost elasticity, while Coconut, Jojoba and Avocado Oils help nourish and strengthen skin’s moisture barrier. It really is an amazing cream and I think worth every penny.


I then use my ESPA 24 hour replenishing moisturiser on top to moisturise my face for the day. It is £46 for a 55ml and leaves your face feeling soft and supple ready to apply your makeup. I then apply my makeup which I will write up in a different post. It smells amazing too!


My Evening Routine

Before I get in the shower I use my Guinot eye makeup remover and the cleanser and toner to remove all my makeup and cleanse my skin. Every other evening I then use the Guinot Gommage Eclat Parfait Perfect Radiance Exfoliating Cream either in the shower or take off with a warm cloth which is £32.50 for a 50ml tube. When I went for a facial sometime ago I went through my skin care routine with the therapist and she couldn’t believe I didn’t exfoliate. Basically unless you exfoliate a few times a week then all the great products you use on your skin do not work properly as the exfoliator removes all of your dead skin cells allowing your moisturiser in to your skin properly. Ever since then I use it every other evening.

                      Guinot Gommage Eclat Parfait Perfect Radiance Exfoliating Cream 50ml

After I get out of the shower I use either my Guinot eye cream or my Elemis pro-collagen eye renewal cream if its been a long day and my eyes are puffy. It firms, smooths and nourishes the skin around your eyes and I have noticed it is especially good at soothing your eyes. It is £63 for 15ml but you only need a small amount and it will last for ages.


Also another great product that I use from Elemis is the Hydra-Boost Serum. This is great if you have been out in the sun or haven’t drunk enough water that day as it replenishes the skin and instantly hydrates, softens and nourishes the skin. I love it! it is £45 for 30ml.


I then use the Creme De La Mer The Moisturising Soft Cream which is the best moisturiser ever! When you wake up your skin feels as soft as baby skin. It is on the pricey side as it starts at £115 for a 30ml pot all the way up to £1500 for a 500ml pot. I have the 30ml pot and you only need a small amount. I expect it will last about 6 months. It’s advanced Moisturising Sphere technology allows this luxurious formula to penetrate deeply, replenishing moisture and strengthening the look of skin. Skin appears renewed and energised, youthfully radiant. As they say you get what you pay for and this cream is an example of that!


My Going Out Skin Care Routine

If I am going out my skin care routine is exactly the same except in the shower I would always use my Glam Glow Flash Mud Brightening Treatment. It is £39 for a 50g pot. It leaves your skin instantly vibrant and when you apply your makeup afterwards just gives you that extra glow. It is a multi-sensorial quick results brightening treatment. Powerful & Innovative multi-brightening complexes help to create the brightest, lightest & luminous perfect skin. The Teaoxi Technology in it is White Birch Leaf. It delivers natural Betulin, Betulinic Acid & Ellagic Acid to create an improved color balanced skin tone. WhiteEnergi  is a brilliant fusion of powerful natural actives to create intense bright & even results. Flashlucent™ is a combination of skin translucency optimizers featuring 3 levels of exfoliation to drive ingredients into the skin for luminous younger looking skin. Reflectrum™ is a blend of brightening ingredients boosted with diamond photoluminescence to increase the reflecting level of the skin and make it appear radiant & more attractive.

I would then use one my eye creams and the Espa Tri Active Instant Facial cream, its really smooth and doesn’t leave a residue once you have put on your primer and foundation.

I hope you have enjoyed this post as it’s a slightly different one for me. 

 

 

Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer Review

When Greg asked me in December what I would like for Christmas, the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer was at the top of my list. I had seen some amazing personal reviews and really really wanted one.

On Christmas Day I opened up the wrapping paper to reveal my gorgeous new Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer in the Fuchia/Iron colour combination. It is also available in White/Silver and the Fuchia/Iron limited edition which comes in a special Dyson Supersonic™ Limited Edition Box which is slightly move expensive.

Image result for dyson supersonic

The standard edition retails for £299.99 and the limited edition with the case is £349.99. A lot of people that have asked me about what I think of the hairdryer have always said “but its £300 for a hairdryer!” and “is it worth the money?” Well the answer is yes! I absolutely love the Supersonic and cannot fault it. It drys my hair in literally half of the time as my old Parlux hairdryer, which at the time I thought was an amazing hairdryer. The Supersonic makes an Air flow that travels at 105 mph for quick drying. My hair feels so soft after drying and when I use the smoothing nozzle it leaves my hair looking shiny thanks to the intelligent heat control, super soft and smooth and all I have to do is run my straighteners quickly over the ends. My drying and styling time has been cut easily in half.

The hairdryer itself is small and light to use, its almost as light as a travel hairdryer. It has a sleek and modern design and stands out in the ground! As the motor is in the handle it doesn’t feel top heavy like an ordinary hairdryer and you don’t get arm ache when blowdrying your hair.

While other hairdryers can get too hot, the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer works differently. It measures air temperature 20 times a second, preventing extreme heat damage to help protect natural shine. This also means less breakage which is music to my other half’s ears as he hated it when my hair got everywhere before when I have dried my hair.

The hairdryer has three precise speed settings; Fast drying, Regular drying and Styling and four precise heat settings; 100°C Fast drying and styling, 80°C Regular drying, 60°C Gentle drying, 28°C Constant cold. I use the constant cold for a few seconds when I have finished drying my hair to cool down the hairdryer to put back in it’s box.

In the box you get the hairdryer itself, a smoothing nozzles, a styling nozzle, a diffuser, a non slip mat and a storage hanger. It all packs back neatly in the box for easy storage.

Image result for dyson supersonic

To summarise, this is by far the best hairdryer I have even owned/used! It drys your hair in minutes, keeps it sleek and smooth, protects your hair from damage and looks great too! In my opinion it is worth every penny, especially as it gets used so much!

 

My C9 Forever Living 9 Day Cleanse

A friend of mine, Sophie is a Forever Living distributor and we were chatting and as I had made a new years resolution to myself to get fit and eat healthier I thought it would be a great idea to start off the year by completing My C9 Forever Living 9 Day Cleanse. I have done one before and loved the results. The aloe vera left me feeling amazing and I lost 8lbs in the nine days. This time around weight loss wasn’t a priority it was more giving my body a cleanse and starting the year as I mean to go on.

Image result for c9 forever living

The Clean 9 Pak contains everything you need for the Clean 9 program for the full 9 days. The instructions of what to do on each day is so easy to follow and before you start you record your weight in the booklet and using the tape measure provided and your body measurements too.

Day 1 and 2 are generally the hardest as you are starting off the cleanse and they are called the reset days and you don’t eat a meal on those days but to be honest I found these days really easy and the shakes, fibre drinks and the tablets and softgels contained more than enough calories to keep me going. I only found it a bit difficult when making the boys and Greg’s dinner, I had to contain myself from picking. There are a few free foods that you are allowed to eat if you need to have a little snack on the list in your booklet. You also need to drink lots of water, which I do anyway so that was easy to continue.


Day 3-9 as well as drinking the shakes, fibre drinks and tablets and soft gels I had a 500-600 calorie evening meal. In your C9 instruction booklet there are recipe ideas for healthy low calorie meals Most of my meals contained chicken as I upped my protein intake to help build muscle.


I chose the Vanilla flavour shake and it tastes really good. Since finishing the C9 I have brought extra bags of the forever lite ultra vanilla shake and have one for breakfast each morning and one after I exercise. I have also continued drinking one shot of 60ml aloe vera gel every morning too. Since drinking the gel I have noticed a difference in my skin and also I feel less tired in the morning after a broken nights sleep as always with Archie waking during the night.

“Summer bodies are made in Winter!”

Exercise

I exercised on Day 2 with a Metafit class and on Day 3 I did a Zumba class followed by a Pound Class. Day 4 I did a 28 minute Kayla Itsine’s Sweat workout from my app. Day 5 I went for a run and started doing a plank challenge of two one minute sessions a day and also started a squat challenge app. Day 6 and 7 I just did my planks and squats, Day 8 I did circuit training and Day 9 I did a Zumba class, followed by a Pound class, then a ab class.


My main goal throughout the C9 and going forward is to tone up and get back into shape, weight loss is not a priority to me as much as it was when I last did the C9 as It was about 8 months after I had given birth to Archie.

Since finishing my C9 I have continued my exercise regime, I try to do something everyday. I do four sessions a week with Carlie, who is just the best instructor/personal trainer. She is so motivational and encouraging! I then complete a couple of the 28 minute sweat workouts at home and do my planks and squats everyday. I am so determined to get back in shape!  Well they do say “Summer bodies are made in Winter!”

My Results

Day 1 I weighed myself and was 9 stone and jotted down my chest, bicep, waist, hips, thighs and calves measurements. On Day 9 I weighed 8st 9lbs so a total loss of 5lbs. Although it was the inch loss I was more interested in and in total I lost 11.5 inches in total off of the areas I mentioned above.

If you need any information on any of the Forever Living products and the C9 especially Sophie is on hand to chat through it with you and throughout the 9 days was really encouraging and on the end of the phone if I had any problems or queries. Sophie’s link is HERE.

Our Morning At The Vosene Kids Meet!

A couple of weeks ago during half term Oscar Archie and I went into London to the Dreamworks Shrek’s adventure on the south bank to the Vosene kids meet and trolls event. Vosene have a new collaboration with the brand new and super popular Trolls film. There range of children’s shampoos and detanglers have had a Troll makeover and with each bottle your little one could be in with a chance of winning their very own Troll toy.

When we arrived we went around the Shrek’s adventure experience which we had never been to before. I knew Oscar wild absolutely love it as he loves the Shrek films and also over films by Dreamworks, How to Train a Dragon being one of his favourite films ever! He was so excited in the car on the way. The Shrek’s adventure is absolutely fantastic. You are taken through the tour in groups and to start with me went on a bus to get to ‘far, far away’ which is an amazing 4D experience but we accidentally killed Rumple Stiltskins favourite witch. We then went to visit different characters from the Shrek films to get a potion together so we can get home safely. Honestly it was absolutely brilliant! Archie enjoyed it too although being only 22 months I had to carry him round as you can’t take pushchairs inside.

We had our photo taken at the start of the tour and we had it put into a Shrek journal.

Afterwards we had our photos taken with Shrek and met …. the Troll and then headed into the Vosene event.

Oscar and I had our hair ‘trolled’ which was great fun. Thank goodness it was the same week as Halloween as we did get some funny looks walking back to the car down the south bank with multicoloured hair.

Oscar had great fun taking part in Troll art and craft activities.


We came home with a lovely Troll goodie bag full of Troll toys, a Troll cup, badges, key rings and activity packs as well as the Vosene Troll products to try at home. The four products are the strawberry 2 in 1 shampoo for shiny hair, a conditioning defence spray with natural lice repellent, a 3 in 1 shampoo with lice repellent for super clean hair that smells of tea tree and lemon which I love and the 2 in 1 shampoo which smells of fresh melon. All of the hair products smell amazing, the 3 in 1 being my favourite and Oscar loves the Strawberry 2 in 1 shampoo smell. I have read a lot about the 3 in 1 shampoo and the conditioning defence spray as a lot of parents have raved about them as they both have a natural lice repellent in them which is fantastic. This is one thing I dread having long hair myself that Oscar will bring head lice home now I spray his hair every night in the bath with the conditioning defence spray. I also took it swimming with us when Archie and I go to his lesson on a Friday morning and I sprayed it in my hair and couldn’t believe how easy I managed to brush through my hair after going in the pool full of chlorine before washing my hair when I get home. When we got home from the event the 3 in 1 shampoo got used straight away to wash Oscar’s hair colour out and his hair smelt lovely. We had a great day out thanks to Vosene and Dreamworks and absolutely love all of the products!

The New Baby Bath Range From HIPP

When I first heard about the new baby bath range from HIPP I was excited and intrigued to try it out on Archie. To be honest I have been loyal to the same baby bath brand since Oscar was a baby and have never used anything different. The HIPP baby bath range is hyper allergenic and suitable for sensitive skin and the range comprises of a baby bath wash, a baby shampoo, baby bath bubbles and also a really fun children’s foaming hand wash. The whole range has been put together by baby skincare experts and every product has a no tears formula.

I was totally shocked when the most beautiful hamper of bath time goodies arrived for Archie. As well as the new baby bath range from HIPP there was also a beautiful towel and dressing gown with Archie’s name on it and lots of Bath toys for the boys to play with. Oscar instantly got the toys out the box and we couldn’t wait until bathtime.

Bath time arrived and I ran the bath with the HIPP good night baby bath and it made some nice bubbles for the boys to play with and it also smelt absolutely amazing too. We played with the bath animals and the letters which Oscar loved and we practised his spellings on the bathroom tiles with them. Archie liked chewing on them.

The boys played in the bath for forty five minutes and had so much fun. I think bath time is the boys favourite part of the day as they get to play together and spend some quality time having fun, I think they really miss each other when Oscar is at school. So lets get down to the washing part. Firstly I shampooed their hair and honestly I could not believe how soft it left their hair. Some shampoos can really feel like it has left behind a sticky film and you can still feel the product even when you’ve washed it out but with the HIPP shampoo you felt nothing but soft hair, it also smells great too.

The baby bath head to toe wash smells equally as amazing and also left the boys looking and smelling squeaky clean. The bottle having a pump action top is also really easy to get the soap out when you have got wet soapy hands. There is nothing worse than not being able to open a bottle because your hands are wet and soapy. In the past I’ve had to use my teeth which as you can imagine didn’t taste great! After the bath both Oscar and Archie smelt amazing and Archie enjoyed snuggling into his nice new towel and then getting into his pyjamas and comfy dressing gown.

Last but not least is the foaming hand wash which comes in the sweetest duck bottle. It is BPA free, free from and ultra sensitive. Another thing which is great about this product is that you don’t have to keep buying the bottle as a packet refill of the hand wash is available too.

So most importantly have I been converted….. and the answer is a big YES. I truly love the range and everything about it. The smell is amazing and they leave the boys hair and skin feeling super soft. I would really recommend giving the range ago. I bet you convert to HIPP too!

 

Disclaimer: We were sent the above HIPP bath time range and bath time kit for the purpose of this review. However I absolutely love the products and my reviews are completely honest and my own!

The Power Of Skin To Skin

*This is a paid advertorial for WaterWipes

WaterWipes recognises that skin to skin bonding is absolutely vital for newborn babies. In their latest video campaign, they’re aiming to prove just how powerful the bond between mother and child truly is. I had caesareans with both Oscar and Archie and it was so important to me that we were given skin to skin contact as soon as possible. As soon as we were home I always made sure when feeding or when we were relaxing at home I always had Oscar or Archie laying on my chest often snuggled in bed together to encourage the bonding process between us as much as possible.

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WaterWipes have put together a lovely film which through an experiment they have shown clearly the natural power a new mum has to care for her baby. Using infrared filming techniques and equipment to monitor heart rate, breathing and blood oxygen levels, it captures for the first time the biological response to skin to skin contact. The film makes visible the innate ‘superpower’ that every mum has to stabilise her baby’s biology when held in the skin to skin position. The experiment was conducted in collaboration with three first time new mums by world renowned skin to skin expert Dr Susan Ludington.

After watching this lovely film it will show you how amazing nature really is and that all your newborn baby really needs is you…. their Mummy! World-renowned expert on skin to skin Dr Susan Ludington comments that, scientifically, your skin on baby’s skin is a potent combination and can do something absolutely amazing for your baby. I was so surprised watching it how the little baby’s heart beat and vital stats went up and responded when they had skin to skin contact with their Mothers. Dr Susan explains that mums’ bodies are extraordinary. We spend nine months making and then give birth to our baby. Then once baby is born, a mother’s body continues to do incredible things for her baby – she even has the power to regulate baby’s biology simply by holding her baby skin to skin.

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This video has made me feel that as a Mother by giving both my boys the most skin to skin contact as possible as newborns along with breastfeeding that I have given them the best start to life that I possibly could have. So get cuddling your newborns. As if you needed more of an excuse to snuggle up with them!

 

 

HIPP Organic Review And Competition

Over the last couple of weeks we have been reviewing the HIPP Organic follow on milk and the 1-3 years tray meals. To be honest I have been feeding Archie the tray meals for a while now as he really likes them, his favourite is the wild zoo pasta. The meals are easy to prepare you simply pop it in the microwave or boil it on the hob. Obviously all of the ingredients are organic which is something I always look for when buying food for us and the children. The tray meals come in lots of different lovely flavours and have meals for 9 months plus, 1- 3 years and 18 months – 3 years. They are available at Asda, Tesco, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

The HIPP Organic follow on milk was a new one for me as I hadn’t used the HIPP formula milk before. The follow on milk is a gentle organic milk that complements a weaning diet. It is a nutritionally complete, casein based, gentle infant milk that is suitable for use after first infant milk if baby is not being breastfed, or to complement breastfeeding. Using this product may help delay the early onset of weaning, as the higher proportion of casein means that it may satisfy extra hungry babies for longer than a whey-dominant formula. The gentle organic formula contains Omega 3 & 6 LCPs (DHA & AA) and PRÆBIOTIK® oligosaccharides (GOS), as well as all the important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients (required by law) that babies need to grow strong and healthy.

I switched Archie’s milk over and he didn’t notice at all. Archie is a very hungry baby and wakes 3-4 times in the night still for a sip of milk but I noticed that the HIPP formula seemed to fill him up a bit longer and he only has been stirring a couple of times in the night. With all the health benefits mentioned above I will continue to use the HIPP formula. I breastfed up until Archie was 6 months old and wanted something as a follow on milk that would meet all his health needs so he would continue to be happy and healthy and HIPP ticks all the boxes for me as a follow on milk. Obviously the Department of Health recommends that you breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first six months of their life; at around six months you can start to wean them onto solids. HiPP Organic understands that all babies are different and some mums might find that their baby is ready to accept solid foods a little sooner than this. HiPP Organic would always advise that you consult your health visitor for advice on when to start weaning.

The cuddly HIPPOPHANT

HIPP Organic have kindly given the chance for one of my readers to win a lovely hamper including:

  •   HiPP milk storage tin
  • HiPP’s ‘HiPPofant’ cuddly toy
  • As well as a number of HiPP products (+6m):
  • Creamed Porridge Breakfast
  •  Penne with Tomato & Courgette
  • Pasta in a Tomato & Ham Sauce
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Carrots, Sweetcorn & Sweet Potato with Apricots
  • Pumpkin, Carrot & Apple Spaghetti
  • Apple & Banana Crumble
  • Pear, Banana & Kiwi
  • Cherry, Apple & Banana Breakfast
  • Apple, Blueberry & Banana Muesli with Yoghurt

Enter below to be in with a chance of winning this great prize! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned products to review but all opinions are completely honest and my own.

 

Your Baby’s First 1000 days

1000 days is 2 years and 9 months to be precise. 1000 days from the date of conception will take you right up to your baby’s second birthday. It sounds like such a long time but those days pass like a blink of an eye. Archie is now almost 13 months old and I honestly do not know where the time has gone, it only feels like yesterday that we brought him home from hospital and started life as a family of four. These first 1000 days are so important to give the right amount of nutrition and protein to your baby as it is proven during this crucial period it has a profound impact on your baby’s growth and development and is the foundation for their cells, muscles, brain and other tissues. Protein and nutrition is just so important to shape your baby’s whole future and SMA  nutrition is working with media Doctor Ellie Cannon, to further educate parents all about nutrition in those important first 1000 days.


From the moment of conception your body is performing the most amazing and crucial job it will ever do. Making sure you are having a healthy and eating a nutritious diet when you are pregnant and taking the right supplements is vital. This will help to ensure that your baby gets the correct micronutrients he/she needs to avoid deficiency in early life. This is something I personally took very seriously and read up on good healthy meals and the best supplements that were packed full of all the nutrients that my baby needed. After all you only have one chance to get it right!

I decided early on that I wanted to breastfeed Archie as I had done it with Oscar for the first six months. With Oscar it wasn’t a great experience but I stuck with it as obviously my milk is tailored to him and contained all of the right protein and nutrients he needed. With Archie, again I found it difficult and ended up expressing from when he was 1 month up until he was 6 months. I only did this as he lost a bit of wait at his 5 day check and was admitted to A & E and by expressing it was my way of making sure I knew exactly what he was consuming, more for piece of mind than anything else. Obviously we all know that breast is best and it is tailored to your baby’s specific needs. I am in no way saying bottle feeding is bad but it was my personal preference to breastfeed for the first 6 months, everyone is different. The protein level in your breast milk amazingly changes as your baby grows, resulting in your baby getting exactly  the right quality and quantity of protein they need to help them grow at a steady rate. This changing protein composition which can only be found in breast milk, can help to ensure your baby follows the appropriate rate of growth, which decreases their chances of being overweight or obese in later life, and sets a solid foundation for life. I know what your thinking… the human body is just amazing, right?


At 6 months I changed Archie to formula and also started weaning as he was a little hungry baby. Obviously being able to prepare him healthy and nutritious meals made it easy for him to get all the goodness and protein he needed.

Breast feeding feels like so long ago now and when I look at Archie and Oscar it does make me feel sad that time passes so fast. I think when Oscar was a baby I didn’t notice it as much as I always thought we would have another baby but now we have had Archie and we have decided that two children is enough I often find myself looking through my camera roll on my phone and catching a glimpse of Archie’s newborn photos and I do think to myself; I will never have a newborn again, I will never be pregnant again and now Archie is crawling around he isn’t a tiny baby any more. This does scare me a bit. I have also been so much more relaxed about his development. When Oscar was a baby I was almost willing him on to sit up, roll over, crawl and walk and with Archie I was so much more laid back and just wanted him to stay a baby for as long as possible.

SMA have just launched the most amazing campaign that aims to educate pregnant women and mums about the importance of the first 1,000 days of a baby’s life. I think some Mum’s just don’t realise how crucial this time period is and now thanks to SMA you can head over to their website where you can read up on all the information you will need or even log on to their live chat or call the helpline to ask any questions you may have.

Alternatively please comment below and leave your questions on protein and early life nutrition during the first 1,000 days. Not all questions can be answered but I will be following up with another post shortly where Dr Ellie Cannon will have the answers to you questions which I hope you will find really helpful!

Disclaimer: This post is in association with SMA Nutrition.

The Power Of Plants – With Flora #PoweredByPlants

Yesterday morning Oscar, Archie and I drove into London to attend a special breakfast with Flora. When I was invited to the breakfast I knew straight away that it was something I wanted to take Oscar along to as Flora has pledged to connect children and families with the power of plant based foods and where their food comes from and I think it is so important for children to learn this from an early age. Luckily Oscar is really interested in where things come from and what’s healthy and what isn’t so I knew he would enjoy it. FloraWe had a lovely breakfast and then listened to a short talk from the Flora team themselves, a dietician and the farmer who grows the crops for the oils that are used in the spreads. I couldn’t believe when Lucy, the dietician told us all that there are over 20,000 edible plant species and the average person only eats 20! This has made me Google and research to find out over edible plants that we can add to our diet. Getting Oscar to eat vegetables hasn’t always been the easy task that it is today and he would turn his noise up at certain fruit and veg. Teaching Oscar where vegetables come from and growing some at home in the garden ourselves has certainly made the child/veggy war so much easier. If you are going through the same vegetable battle as most parents then Flora are here to help! Flora wants to help us parents address this problem by running a fun and exciting programme of activities that will be rolled out over the course of the year for your children to get involved in.

Photo Credit: Flora

The programme will begin with a dinosaur made entirely from plants. The Florasaurus, (Oscar loves the name) will show how many of the worlds most magnificent creatures were powered by plants. The giant beast will be touring around the UK to highlight the amazing power of plants and the simple plant based ingredients that go into Flora. If this won’t engage children I don’t know what will! Oscar cannot wait to go and see the Florasaurus!

Afterwards Oscar got the chance to make his own spread, which couldn’t have been easier. It really reinforced how Flora contains the simplest of ingredients which can be found in your kitchen cupboards. Each tub contains plant oils, such as sunflower, rapeseed and linseed oils. Oscar mixed the four simple ingredients and was very pleased with himself when he saw his spread at the end. He spread it on to some bread and loved the taste of it. We will definitely be making it again at home as he really enjoyed making it.

Flora is lower in saturated fats than butter and provides a source of healthy Omega 3 and 6. These essential fats contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels and are also needed for normal growth and to support the development of our children. Oscar loves me adding a bit of spread on to his corn on the cob and it makes vegetables so much more tastier which again will make vegetables more appealing and tasty to kids.

As part of Flora’s commitment to promote plant based diets, they have launched Flora Freedom. This is a 100% dairy free product, which is free of preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, and like the rest of the Flora range is approved by The Vegetarian Society. I can honestly say It tastes amazing and if I didn’t know I would never have guessed that it is dairy free.

We had a great morning with Flora and they have certainly opened my eyes up to foods that are powered by plants and given me lot’s of fun ideas of how to improve our diet at home and top tips to teach Oscar where is food comes from. They also kindly gave us a goodie bag which had a sunflower seed kit inside which Oscar can’t wait to plant in the garden.

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post].

Back To School & Back To Sleep With Silentnight

The new school year is just around the corner (I can’t believe it!) and the Summer holidays often put stress on the whole family’s sleeping patterns. It’s important to help children get back into a sleeping routine to make sure they are well rested for their first school day. For us personally getting Oscar back into a school routine is quite hard as he has had a nine week Summer break. Silentnight’s sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, says: “The school holidays are an exciting time for children, it means enjoying lovely holiday lie-ins, afternoon naps, and sometimes late nights, all hugely affecting both parents and children’s body clocks.” We have been away twice within the holidays and are currently in Toronto which has a 5 hour time difference so late nights and jet lag has defiantly messed up Oscar’s usual 7.30pm bedtime routine and we will have to help Oscar get back his normal sleep routine ready for school when we return to the UK. Dr Nerina Ramlakhan also says, “Routine is key to children waking up refreshed and feeling ready for bed at a suitable time. The sooner you begin to reintroduce a sleeping rhythm, after several weeks of irregularity, the sooner all the family can fall back into a healthy sleeping pattern.”
So to help you to get you or your children in a great sleep routine ready for them to go back to school Dr Nerina, a physiologist, sleep therapist, author and consultant for more than 20 years, has listed her top sleep tips to help your child ease back into their school-time sleep schedules:
1. Start to introduce technology-free time in the evenings
Research has shown that by having a constant stream of light enter our eyes before we go to sleep, we are actually telling our brains that we want to be awake. An hour or so before children go to bed, rule out any blue light. This means no TV, tablets or mobile phones. The bedroom should be a technology free environment.
2. Gradually reintroduce earlier bedtimes
An ideal bedtime for pre-teens would be no later than 8.30pm, gradually shift bedtime earlier over the course of a few days to allow children to adjust.
3. A calming pre-sleep routine
The few hours before bed can be just as important as actual bedtime. Relaxing baths with lavender, a milky drink or reading are great ways to help children wind down and feel ready for bed.
4. Have a chat
Heading back to school or starting a new one, can be worrying for some children, and leave them feeling anxious. Talk to your child about any concerns they may have before bedtime, and encourage simple yoga or meditation by repeating a calming word or by helping them with their breathing techniques, including breathing deeply from the stomach.
5. Create a sleep friendly bedroom
Bedrooms need to be sleep friendly and this means a cool environment. Freshly laundered bedding, possibly lavender fragranced, can make the room feel very calming and relaxing. Again, technology free bedrooms are a must!
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6. Exercise is key
It is scientifically proven that exercise can help you get a better night’s sleep. Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress hormone levels (mainly adrenaline) thus enabling you to sleep more deeply. A short walk with children after the evening meal would be the perfect exercise to help them wind down.
7. Good nutritional habits 
To help us sleep we need a good balance of the hormones serotonin and melatonin in our system. Sending children off to school with a balanced lunchbox will help to promote a healthy hormone balance. Things such as chicken, cheese, tuna, eggs, nuts and milk are all high in serotonin and are lunchbox friendly.
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For more information and sleep tips visit www.silentnight.co.uk/sleep-matters