Friday, 24 February 2017

Cyber Bullying

Yesterday I watched an interview on This Morning on the subject of cyber bullying. If you haven't seen it then you can find it hereIt completely broke my heart and it has stuck with me ever since so that's why I decided to write a post on it.

The two mother's described losing their children after they were driven to suicide due to constant cyber bullying. I think the reason it is bothering me so much is that one day my children will grown up, be teenagers and they will live in an even more digital age than we do now. And that frightens me so much.

The thought that there are people out there who pick up their phone just to make someone else's life unbearable is incomprehensible. I found the following description of cyber bullying on the NHS website.

  • emailing or texting threatening or nasty messages to people
  • posting an embarrassing or humiliating video of someone on a video-hosting site such as YouTube
  • harassing someone by repeatedly sending texts or instant messages through an app or in a chat room
  • setting up profiles on social networking sites, such as Facebook, to make fun of someone
  • "happy slapping" – when people use their mobiles to film and share videos of physical attacks
  • posting or forwarding someone else's personal or private information or images without their permission – known as "sexting" when the content is sexually explicit
  • sending viruses that can damage another person's computer
  • making abusive comments about another user on a gaming site
The thought that anyone could do any of the above is totally beyond me but at the same time I am not naive and I know that it is happening every minute of everyday. Children need to be encouraged to think about the impact their messages may have, there are consequences to their actions. Unless the subject is highlighted on such TV programs such as This Morning we just don't hear about it. When I was at school it wasn't cool to be kind it was cool to be a bad ass but back then social media wasn't a 'thing'. 
Because of the increase of social networking sites cyber bullying is now on the increase. 

(Picture from pinterest)

For now we encourage our children to always be kind and when the time is right and they are older we will talk to them about staying safe online. This is a subject that is taught in some schools but not all of them. Hopefully in time it will become a mandatory subject in all schools.

It costs nothing to be kind. One word, a smile or a simple gesture can change someones entire day. You never know what they could be going through behind closed doors.  

Friday, 17 February 2017

Falling off the dieting bandwagon

It was all going so well. I had managed a month on slimming world and was feeling so good. Then I was back to eating what ever I wanted when I wanted. I found myself putting so much pressure on what I was eating to the point were I was starting to feel down about it. But I started to think why am I really doing this? I was doing it to eat better and not so much to lose weight. I am actually the lightest I have been in years. If I was to lose a stone I would be the weight I was when I was 18. 

I am 100% an emotional eater, if I am down or have had a rubbish day I eat. I find it especially hard in the evening when it's just me to stay on track. Kids have gone to bed and just I can't be bothered to make myself a proper meal. By the time I have tidied downstairs, folded the washing, done the washing up I just want to go to bed! I don't feel like I'm eating too much more that I'm grabbing high sugar foods just to keep me going.

On the left I was 39 weeks pregnant with Isabelle, this is the heaviest I have ever been. On the right I was 32 weeks pregnant with Charlie and I definitely made sure I didn't make the same mistake again. I am always going to be a bit self conscious of my belly now and especially after having a c-section but it's were my babies came from so frankly, I couldn't care less! There is too much pressure on us Mums to look perfect after having kids and it's totally unrealistic.

This is me now and you know what, I'm actually pretty happy with this picture. My mummy tummy is tucked away in my jeans and I remember when I took this pic that it was the first time in a while that I had felt like me. It's so easy after you become a mum to lose your identity and you just end up blending into the background. Now don't get me wrong most days (all right 6/7) you will find me in a pair of leggings with a mum bun but some times it's just nice to remember who we were before our babies. This picture is exactly that for me.

As long as I don't start piling on a stone a week I'm going to stop worrying about my weight and just be happy with the way I am!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The terrible twos are here again!

Well what can I say? It's like I'm living with Jekyll and Hyde at the moment. Super cute on the outside but inside there is a monster! I have uploaded a new video today discussing this subject but I also wanted to write a more detailed blog post.

In all seriousness I forgot how testing having a toddler is even though I have been through all of this before with our first. We have been so lucky with Charlie, he has always been so laid back (get's that from his Daddy) and just the easiest child. Maybe that's why I'm finding it so hard because it's come out of now where.

The meltdowns are on another level yet there are never any tears. Every trip out involves one, you know were strangers cast there judgemental stares in your direction (yeah cheers for that). I find it slightly easier at home to handle his behaviour but when we're out I find myself giving in for an easy life when normally I'm relatively firm. He is my little mate, maybe that's why I am finding it so hard because he has me wrapped around his finger and don't we just know it. 

Some of the thing's he is doing at the moment though are just down right naughty. When he is given a snack he now puts it on the floor and stamps all over it. What is that about?! He got hold of a lipstick (I still have no idea how) and drew on the carpet on the stairs during the 10 seconds I had gone upstairs. If you tell him off he does the old bottom lip trick, I mean how can you stay annoyed at that?! The foot stamps though, so sassy!

Grunting, does anyone else's toddler do this? He sounds like Kevin and Perry! I get flashes of what he's going to be like as a teenager, let's not think that far ahead please. The terrible twos is something every parent has to go through. It is bloody hard but we all come through the other side as a stronger person. I don't agree with it just being during year two though. With our first it went on until she was three and a half. 

He teaches me everyday how to be a better mum, how to be strong, patient and I am proud of myself for doing the best I can. Love you little man, more than you will ever no.

Thanks for reading 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Could it be melanoma?

This is a very personal post but I feel writing it down will help me process what is happening. 

I have a lot of moles, I always have done. I have never had any problems with them up until this point anyway. I have a rather large raised mole behind my left ear which for most of life has never caused any concerns. In a way I have always looked at it as more of a birth mark than a mile because its quite prominent and has always been there. For a few months I have noticed that I have started to catch it when I brush my hair and this has caused it to start to come away at the top (queue me panicking that I'm going to rip it off, TMI?).

Last week I went to see my GP about something unrelated but i decided to ask about the mole. She refereed me to see the GP in the surgery who specialises in moles and removing them. I thought great I can get it removed and then I don't have to worry about it anymore, never did it cross my mind that there might be something wrong. 

The GP had a look at my mole and said he was slightly concerned that it was looking 'scabby' (again sorry if that's too much info) and that he would remove it and send it off to be tested. I suddenly got this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, what if something is wrong. Regardless of the fact that I have anxiety I think anyone would be worried.

This next part is upsetting for me to write, I have to be honest. Around 15 years ago myself and my family had the truly devastating news that my mum had skin cancer or as it's correctly called, a melanoma. I am sat here struggling to write about that time. As a teenager I couldn't comprehend exactly what was happening. I remember all the hospital trips, my dad trying to hide his total devastation from me and my brother. I found myself pushing everyone away, my way of pretending it wasn't happening. It felt like it was years not months that she had been going through it all and I found myself just wishing it would all go away. Nothing is supposed to happen to your parents, mine are some of the strongest people I know and this is why they got through it.

But, and I am still so thankful to be able to say this next part, after successful operations to remove the cancer my mum was given the all clear a few months later. She still has to be checked at least once a year to make sure there is no re-occurrence. 

Since that time I have always been very pro-active at knowing my body and keeping track of any changes within my moles. Now I find myself thinking what if? What if I have a melanoma too? 

I have decided to take the positive road (or as much as my anxiety will allow) and I will not worry until I have something to worry about. This has always been my husbands ethos for life so I'm going to take a leaf out of his book. I am booked in at the beginning of March to have it removed and I will know a few weeks after if they find anything when it's tested. 

If you have moles it is so important to watch for any changes. This can be a mole getting bigger, changing shape, changing colour, bleeding, becoming crusty or becoming sore or itchy. 

If in any doubt it's always better to get it checked out, even more so if you have any history in the family.

As I hoped it does feel good to write it all down, this blog is like therapy for me. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Looking after your mental health

As a mum it is so easy in a way to look after the kids but at the same time completely forget to look after yourself. At the moment I am coping quite well with my anxiety during the day because I am so busy and this blog has been a huge help too as it gives me something else to focus on. But and its a big but, it's now hitting me a night. I go to bed and just lay there with all this stuff just going round and round in my head. Then when I do fall asleep I have been having the same horrible nightmare around twice a week. 

For the best part of the last year I have had issues with agonising pain in my jaw. I obviously went to the dentist after a while thinking I had something majorly wrong. Nope, I had been clenching my jaw so hard in my sleep that I was causing my jaw to ache pretty much constantly. If I wake up in the morning with jaw ache now it's pretty much my personal warning that things are getting on top of me. 

A few weeks ago for the first time in around four years I had a panic attack. These plagued me in my early twenties and even though I had experienced so many of them it was still awful. You forget how truly terrifying it is. After it had passed I was so upset and I remember saying to my husband 'if this is starting again I don't no what I'll do'. This was me at my absolute lowest and looking back I should of been proud of myself for getting through it and not been putting myself down. Thankfully I have not had another one since and I'm trying my hardest not to cling on to the thought of what if I have another one.

I mainly wanted to write this post to share a few things that I find helpful when my anxiety level is high.

The first thing is getting out of the house, I cannot stress this enough. Some times when your feeling low or anxious you just want to stay in your safe place and for most people that is home. Going out for a walk really helps me whether it be on my own or taking the kids out on their scooters/bikes. It helps me clear my mind even if it's only for a bit. If you feel up to it meet friends too. Having a laugh and a bit of fun is like medicine for me. Try not to cut yourself off from the outside world. I do occasionally get into the habit of it just being me and the kids and that's ok but it's important to put yourself out there too.

The second is talking. If your feeling like your not doing so well then just spending half an hour talking to someone can make you feel like a different person. Whether it be your closest friend or someone you have just met you will be so surprised how many people are going through the same situations. It's always a good idea to have a chat with your GP if your not feeling yourself too.

The third thing I have to mention which I have recently picked up is a thankfulness diary. Now you don't have to buy a fancy one, a cheap notepad will do, just write the date and three thinks you are thankful for. I normally do this in the evening and it really helps lift my mood and it's great to look back on too. If you do want to buy a ready made one then I picked this one up for £2 from Wilko. 

Have a bit of me time. Whether it be a bath (normally scolding hot in my case) or doing your nails these things can really boost my mood and calm me down too. If your like me my anxiety makes me feel so tired because I'm just fighting it all day. I would recommend having an early night at least once a week to recharge your batteries too (she says wishing she could sleep).

Lastly I find having things to focus on really helpful. Whether it be a date night, your children's birthdays, plans with friends, anything really. Having something nice to look forward to is so important. It's how I tell my anxiety that it's not going to win. I have such and such planned and you are not going to stop me doing it.

I really hope this post has been helpful, I feel like I could go on and on. If your feeling low or anxious then please remember I know exactly how you feel and I am always here for a chat. 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Banana Cupcakes

This recipe will make 12 cupcakes.

You will need

2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas
100g caster sugar
140g self raising flower
100g softened butter

Pre heat oven to 180c/160c for a fan oven.

Step 1.) Place all of the ingredients into a bowl. If using an electric whisk then the bananas can go in as they are. If mixing by hand I would recommend mashing them first. Give everything a thorough mix until smooth, there will be lumps of banana.

Step 2.) Place 12 paper cases into a tin and spoon the mixture into each one. Place into the oven for 20-22 minutes making sure that when you stick a knife in it comes out clean.

And that's it! They are so easy and quick to make and my kids loved them! If you want to jazz them up a bit then maybe try adding raisins or chocolate chips. I left mine plain but you could also top with vanilla buttercream. These cupcakes are lovely and moist because of the banana too.

Let me know if you give them a try!

Friday, 3 February 2017

Review | Aveeno Cream & Oil

Being that this is my first review I wanted it to be on something that we have used for years. Not only have I used this but Isabelle also has for nearly five years.

Isabelle developed eczema very early on and upon seeing our GP we were prescribed hydrocortisone cream to start off with but it was obvious that Isabelle needed a really good moisturising cream as her skin gets extremely dry. After going back and forth from the doctors (we tried so many different types) we were finally given Aveeno's moisturising cream.

Isabelle's eczema was so bad that she would scratch herself red raw, it was totally heart breaking to see. The relief from Aveeno's cream was instant for her we used it twice a day and within a week her skin was looking the best it had done in months. 

After the success of the moisturiser we looked further down Aveeno's product line and purchased their bath oil. We would still use a small amount of sensitive bubble bath so that it wasn't to boring for her (I mean who want's a bath with no bubbles?!) but we would also add some of the oil too. When you hear the word oil it's easy to think of getting out the bath like a greasy mess but this is not the case. Isabelle's skin was so soft and not irritated at all. I didn't realise to start of with that the oil can also be used in the shower and I have now tried it (yes eczema is something else that Isabelle has inherited from me, can you imagine the grief I will get when she's older?!).

We have to be so careful with what we use on her skin, for example washing powder, fabric conditioner and we also think there maybe a link with her lactose intolerance and eczema. 

Isabelle's skin is actually pretty good at the moment but we still use the moisturiser when needed and the bath oil once a week just to keep on top of it because we never no when it might flare up.

Both products contain oatmeal which is well known for its soothing qualities. If you or your child suffer with eczema or dry skin then I cannot recommend the Aveeno range enough. I am trying the hand cream at the moment and it's just as good. I will leave links to all three products below just in case you want to check them out.

Aveeno Oil *
Aveeno Moisturising Cream*
Aveeno Daily Moisturising Hand Cream *

Not a sponsored post. Affiliated links are marked with a *