Posted in parenting

Baby Loss Awareness Week 2020

For 5 years I have supported BLAW, or tried to. I have a habit of getting very overwhelmed with the things others do to raise awareness and end up feeling like I haven’t done enough, like once again I’ve failed Jason for not doing “more” and I end up giving up and really only remembering to do the Wave of Light.

This year I took a step back, reminded myself that by taking part in BLAW and sharing our story that is enough, I know Jason would be proud of his Mum for talking about him and making sure the world knows he existed. I know I do “enough” because living through this hell is enough. I jotted down some ideas, planned my social media content and I survived the week sharing my story and getting people to talk about a topic that nobody wants to talk about let alone have to survive through.

I then decided I would share the posts here, in one post, for myself to look back upon but also for anyone trying to navigate the world of baby loss and wanting to know they are not alone. If this is you, I promise you, you are not alone and you will “survive” you will feel happiness again and sometimes you will still cry. Remember, my inbox is ALWAYS open!

Day 1

💙𝘽𝙖𝙗𝙮 𝙇𝙤𝙨𝙨 𝘼𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙒𝙚𝙚𝙠💙
Today marks the beginning of baby loss awareness week – something I knew absolutely nothing about. This week I’d like to share our journey, Jason and the love I have for the boy who made me a Mummy. I appreciate that for a lot of people the thought of losing their baby/child is one they don’t want to imagine but for me and thousands more it’s a reality we live with every day. I talk about Jason because he existed, he grew inside me, he was born and he lived. He deserves to be remembered, loved and shared with the world. I hope you stick around and please be kind. There will be lots of mums grieving this week, some openly, some in secret.

If you’re thinking of a baby gone too soon, whether it’s your own or a loved one – please share their name below ❤️

Day 2

💙𝘽𝙖𝙗𝙮 𝙇𝙤𝙨𝙨 𝘼𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙒𝙚𝙚𝙠💙
𝑃𝑟𝑒𝑔𝑛𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑦
I found out I was pregnant just a few weeks after we’d got married – meaning I was already pregnant when we got married. It came as a huge shock as we hadn’t planned on trying so soon but was over the moon to be starting our family. Honestly, my pregnancy was pretty standard, no morning sickness, no health issues and little man was growing perfectly (or so we were led to believe). Looking back, I can see things were so perfect and wish I wasn’t so naive. This picture was taken hours before Jason was born – the last bump pic, a very spontaneous one just because but I’m so glad I did as this was the last moment everything felt perfect 💕

Day 3

💙𝘽𝙖𝙗𝙮 𝙇𝙤𝙨𝙨 𝘼𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙒𝙚𝙚𝙠💙
𝐵𝑖𝑟𝑡ℎ
I’ve written Jason’s birth story down so many times but it doesn’t get any easier. Jason was born during an unexpected homebirth at 35 weeks. I was under the impression that we’d made it through the danger zone and at 35 weeks it would all be okay. Of cause it wasn’t. There is no safe zone in pregnancy no matter what you are told. My boy lived for 37 minutes and I am so proud of how much of a fighter he was. Jason’s story is written in full on my blog if anyone wants to read it – it’s too much to write on a caption but I also wouldn’t want to upset anyone or trigger anyones grief.

Day 4

💙𝘽𝙖𝙗𝙮 𝙇𝙤𝙨𝙨 𝘼𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙒𝙚𝙚𝙠💙
𝐹𝑢𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑙
We weren’t prepared for planning a funeral. Wed prepared ourselves for dirty nappies, sleepless nights and bottle making. We didn’t know the first thing about planning a funeral.

We didn’t allow people to attend, close family was it. I knew it would be hard for me not to put on a brave face if others were there. It was a simple ceremony, no words were spoken – how do you talk about someone whose life barely began? Standing watching his tiny coffin disappear behind the curtain, wondering whether we made the right choice, wondering whether any choice was the right choice. Those who have always been the strongest crumbled, I hated that I couldn’t protect them from the pain. I hated that I couldn’t just pick him up and take him away from it all. I felt so helpless.

Day 5

💙𝘽𝙖𝙗𝙮 𝙇𝙤𝙨𝙨 𝘼𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙒𝙚𝙚𝙠💙
𝐿𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑎𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑠
I’m sure you can imagine, our lives changed so much after Jason’s death. We couldn’t stay in the house we loved so much, it was tarnished by his death, the room where all his things were kept was empty and echoed with the loss we faced. We moved; we adopted Luke’s nans cat in the move and I hated the thought of having a pet – I was meant to have a baby not a pet. However that little ginger furball saved me more than I ever thought he would. He gave me a reason to get up and function and without that I’m not sure I’d have “coped” through the first year without Jason. Misty became part of our family and was so protective over my Ellie bump before he died. Ellie’s birth gave us so much happiness, I feel so privileged to be her mummy and I don’t take any moment with her for granted. I know how short life can be and I know the way I parent has been tainted by the thought that anything could happen and I could still lose her. That’s how a grieving parents mind works. Life after loss seems fairly “normal” to the outside world, we function just like we would if Jason hadn’t have died or if he hadn’t existed but inside we are still grieving and will always grieve for the boy he should have been.

Day 6

💙𝘽𝙖𝙗𝙮 𝙇𝙤𝙨𝙨 𝘼𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙒𝙚𝙚𝙠💙
𝐽𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛’𝑠 𝐿𝑒𝑔𝑎𝑐𝑦
That is your legacy on this Earth when you leave this Earth: how many hearts you touched. To date we have raised nearly £4000 for different baby loss charities, all in Jason’s memory and created a library in our local hospital bereavement suite full of books and stories relating to loss and specifically baby loss which has already helped so many families in the early stages of loss. I feel incredibly proud to be the mummy of a boy who has touched so many lives without ever meeting anyone. In December we take part in #adventtoremember which is such a wonderful way of remembering loved ones throughout December in any way you see fit – we do family trips, Christmas themed activities and raok, I share Jason in as many ways as I can.
𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐦𝐲 𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐦𝐲 𝐬𝐨𝐧, 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐣𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬.

Day 7

💙𝘽𝙖𝙗𝙮 𝙇𝙤𝙨𝙨 𝘼𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙒𝙚𝙚𝙠💙
𝑊𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑙𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡
For my son, the little fighter who made me a Mummy. The Little man who I was so lucky to have held and love with every part of my heart. For all the babies who have gone too soon, for all the ones we didn’t get to bring home.
I light my candle because I am 1 in 4.

Posted in baking, Food, Gifted, parenting, product review

Doughlicious Gourmet Cookie Dough – Review

I love baking, it’s something i’ve enjoyed doing for many years but being a busy, full time working Mum/Wife/Sister/Daughter/Friend/Influencer means I rarely get time to even think about baking let alone doing it. During lockdown I loved being able to have the time to bake with Ellie, she loved making cupcakes and cookies.

However I have lately been craving the thing I love most about baking – enjoying something fresh out of the oven.

***Enter Doughlicious Gourmet Cookie Dough***

We have recently been gifted 6 boxes of their “Ready-to-bake” range in return for an honest review. So before I get stuck in I thought i’d give a little bit more information on Doughlicious first.

Doughlicious first started in 2014 when the founder, Kathryn, decided to share her secret on how to make tasty american-style cookies using only the finest natural ingredients. What makes Doughlicious stand out is that their products are 100% gluten-free. They pride themselves on being inclusive for all so they even have dairy-free, organic and vegan flavours too!

How does it work?

Each delivery comes well packaged with freezer bags to keep them cool. You can either store the cookie dough in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to bake. Our order had fantastic dates – none of them were out of date before December although NONE of them have made it past 2 weeks!

The cookies bake in less than 15 minutes, perfect for a quick treat or for the busy working mum to win brownie (or cookie) points with the kids! They certainly won Ellie over!

We were able to review 6 of their fantastic flavours but to check out the others head on over to the Doughlicious website to see them all!

Organic Carrot Cake

Per cookie: 128 calories, 8g fat, 10g carbs, 4g sugar, 2g fibre, 3g protein

These cookies give a definite carrot cake taste – the spices work perfectly with the oats and the kitchen smells so good whilst they are baking. I found they didn’t flatten as much as the other flavours (but think this was more me than the cookie!) but they still tasted delicious. These were Husband’s favourite seeing as he ate 5 of them!

Dairy free/Gluten free/Vegetarian/Vegan/Organic

Chunky Oat Chocolate Chip

Per cookie: 140 calories, 7g fat, 16g carbs, 7g sugar, 2g fibre, 2g protein

These were simply amazing and possibly my favourite flavour. I love an oat cookie but these were on another level all together! I’d have never known they were vegan if I hadn’t have seen the packaging. The double wammy of oats (rolled oats and oat flour) gives a fantastic taste and texture to the cookie while the vegan chocolate chips gives it a soft gooey texture too.

Dairy free/Gluten free/Vegan/Vegetarian

Chocolate and Vanilla

Per cookie: 150 calories, 8g fat, 18g carbs, 10g sugar, 1g fibre, 2g protein.

I loved the look of these, so much so I had to bake these first/ The idea of having both chocolate and vanilla in one cookie and the way they were split so evenly in half excited me. They definitely lived up to my expectations, the rich chocolate flavour was balanced perfectly with the lightness of the vanilla. Ellie also loved the two-tone look to the cookie.

Gluten free/Vegetarian/Nut free

Chocolate Chip

Per cookie: 153 calories, 8.1g fat, 18g carbs, 10g sugar, 1g fibre, 1.7g protein.

This flavour has won the great taste award twice! You can’t beat an old-favourite can you? These are best when warm and the dark chocolate has melted. I definitely ate more than one of these.

Gluten free/Vegetarian/Nut free

Peanut Butter

Per cookie: 158 calories, 9g fat, 14g carbs, 8g sugar, 1g fibre, 4g protein.

Peanut Butter is the main ingredient in these cookies – which for someone who doesn’t like Peanut Butter I feel I was wasted when tasting them. So I asked Ellie and Luke what they thought for a more genuine review – they both loved them. They said the smoothness and doesn’t lose the peanut butter flavour.

Gluten free/Vegetarian

Double Chocolate

Per cookie: 153 calories, 8.7g fat, 16g carbs, 9.8g sugar, 1.6g fibre, 2.1g protein.

This is the chocolate lover’s dream! A rich chocolate cookie with soft cookie dough matched with melting chunks of dark chocolate. It leaves you wanting more!

Gluten free/Vegetarian/Nut free

Our verdict:

I’ve not been able to find a fault within these cookies! The fact that they take less than 15 minutes to bake, make no mess or washing up and they have the perfect balance between texture and flavour. The ingredients are natural, of a high quality and this comes through in the taste. I love the range of flavours, appealing to the chocoholics, the nutty and the healthier ones out there who still like a treat every once in a while.

The whole family have definitely enjoyed being my taste-testers. We will definitely be ordering more Doughlicious treats soon – their Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate cookies launching in just 4 days (7th October) is definitely one I NEED to try!

Disclosure: I was gifted the flavours mentioned above in exchange for an honest review by Doughlicious.co.uk
All views, opinions and images are my own.


Posted in baby loss, baby loss awareness, Ellie, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, parenting, parenting after loss

Sleepover

Ellie went for her first ever sleepover last night. She has been asking to stay at both her grandparents houses for a little while and I knew we needed to let her. She packed everything she needed; pyjamas, clothes,hair brush, toothbrush, DVD player, night light, 2 teddies and she was ready. She also wanted to take her curtains (i don’t know why) but with a little persuasion she realised she didn’t need them.

You see, my anxiety over her not being here has always stopped us from letting her stay over anywhere for the night. I know she is safe with both our parents, that’s not the issue, I just knew I would find it hard. I’m sure most, if not all parents, find it difficult leaving their children for the night for the first time but for me it felt like a repeat of history and I’m still not sure I’ll ever be prepared for her to not be here.

Whenever I think of waking up and Ellie not being here it takes me back to the first night after having Jason. Neither of us could sleep, of cause, so we sat on the sofa and watched awful comedy shows. We stayed up until the station turned off and even then sleep was hit and miss. I couldn’t go upstairs, knowing my son should be lying in his Moses Basket or his cot sleeping away. I was very aware that I should have still been pregnant but I wasn’t and the reality hit like a tonne of bricks that I was at home while my baby lay on his own in the hospital. That feeling is awful, unless you’ve been there you’ll never be able to fully grasp what it feels like being at home and knowing your life should have been so different.

Of cause, being a parent after you’ve lost your child is really tough, I’ve never really been an anxious person but where Ellie is concerned I worry about losing her more than is really healthy. I’m so unbelievably grateful that we were given a second chance at being “normal” parents but with each day that Ellie grows and becomes more independent the more I wonder what Jason would have been like now and the reality is I will never know. Due to Jason’s health complications I will never know what it would have been like to parent a 5 year old right now.

Anyway, Ellie absolutely loved her sleepover and has already decided she is staying at my inlaws next week. Mummy really struggled but fought back the tears and the urge to sit in her bedroom and cry those really ugly tears I get when I think about death and what my children would have been like together now. We slept, I woke up and it didn’t feel the same as when Jason died, I didn’t get that gut-wrenching feeling that she was gone, I knew she was safe. I may have cried a little once I’d picked her up and she was back in my little bubble but that’s allowed right?

Life is unfair and our lives should be different however I made a promise to my daughter that she would never be second best or miss out on anything because her big brother isn’t here and a sleepover (as little as it seems) is something she shouldn’t miss out on no matter how difficult it is for me.

I feel proud. Proud of myself for not letting my fears take over and proud of Ellie for being so grown up, spending a night away from us and not being bothered at all.

What age did your little one have their first sleepover? If they haven’t yet, i’d love to know why you haven’t done it yet (if you feel like sharing of cause).

Posted in Gifted, parenting, product review, reading

Wonderbly Personalised Childrens Books – Review

I often wondered whether Ellie would lose the passion she has for stories as she grows up or whether it will continue to bloom. It seems quite clear to me that as she’s getting older she still loves to listen to stories, she particularly loves ones with unicorns, cheeky characters and most of all books with her name in.

We have recently been given the opportunity to review two books which have been gifted to us by Wonderbly; “I Love Daddy This Much” and “The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name”

For those who don’t know; Wonderbly is a publishing company specialising in personalised children’s books for all ages. These books make your child the star of their own story. You can even personalise the illustration to look similar to your child too!

The process of making your Wonderbly book couldn’t be simpler. The website is well designed and easy to navigate. You can search for books by age, bestsellers or you can browse through them all! There are so many wonderful titles to choose from.
First of all you need to decide on the name, the gender and the features of the main character.

You can then personalise some of the books even further:

Once you’ve chosen the format (paperback, hardback etc), the recipient and the cover colour (available on specific books) you can then dedicate your book. This appears on the inside of the book.

I Love Daddy This Much” is THE perfect Father’s Day gift for both Dad and baby/child! It’s a beautiful story all about how much Daddy is loved, who wouldn’t love this as a gift? They also do I Love You/Mummy/Grandma/Grandad This Much too!
Ellie has loved reading this with her Dad and giving him lots of cuddles when she does. She has even started repeating some of the phrases to him when she tells him she loves him. For Ellie, she was so excited to see a girl with ginger hair the same as her and her Daddy and then to see her name written across the pages was great too.

The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name” is another wonderful story using Ellie’s name throughout the book. Ellie has just started recognising her name and is now able to write her first name without any visual support which is amazing as she is now able to recognise her name in stories too. She gets very excited when she sees it written on the page. This story helps the character follow a trail to find the letters of her name and links them to different animals. Each story is completely individual, Ellie’s story won’t be the same as Jason’s story as they would meet completely different animals.

You can find all the Wonderbly titles at their website: http://www.wonderbly.com/uk
You can also follow them for news, shares and the odd competition too!
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

Disclosure: I was gifted these two books in exchange for an honest review by Wonderbly. All views, opinions and images are my own.

Posted in parenting

Twenty Twenty

The year it all went wrong.

I think it’s pretty safe to say so far this year hasn’t been the best. In February we were dealt with storms that lasted days and caused flooding damage to so many areas around us. Thankfully, we are fortunate that we don’t live close to water and we didn’t suffer but lots of businesses and houses were destroyed due to flooding.

It feels like as soon as our county started getting back to normal we all went in to lockdown and that has been tough in itself!

As keyworkers my husband and I have both been working the odd day here and there but this has been a really difficult time. Ellie has been missing her friends, her nursery teachers, her grandparents and is so bored. It doesn’t matter what we do with her, to her she is still stuck at home and it’s really hard on her. It’s hard on all children.

Our days have been fairly relaxed, we’ve done some nursery homeschooling in the form of phonics, name writing and numbers. She’s read stories, retold stories and acted them out. She’s learnt how to put her socks on herself and has been helping do the odd chores around the house too.

We’ve also had more than one tantrum throughout, usually every couple of days we get a really bad day. It’s tough but just something we know we have to ride out as best we can.

I’ve tried to remain positive through all of this; we are safe at home and for as long as we can we will stay at home. I’ve lost one child, there is no way I am risking taking Ellie anywhere to lose another one. It saddens me that some people haven’t taken lockdown seriously enough; Ellie hasn’t seen ANYONE other than me and Luke in nearly 7 weeks and its tough yet we’ve seen neighbours still visiting their grandchildren regularly and having BBQ’s with their families. Trying to explain to a 3 year old why she can’t do the same (because to her everyone else is seeing their families and friends) is hard. We are both fortunate that our jobs are safe and we both have jobs to go back to, something I know others don’t have. Like I say, i’ve tried to remain positive and see the good in something that is so awful.

I’m hoping lockdown ends soon and we can start to begin a new normal way of living where we can start to venture out more and she is able to go to nursery but I can’t see that happening until September now. We shall see.

How has lockdown affected you?

Posted in nursery, parenting

First Half Term

It’s the half term holidays which means Ellie has completely her first half term at nursery. It’s been a huge transition from her, for the last few years she has spent the morning at my parents, doing things on her own terms and being surrounded by adults while I’ve been at work. We would spend as many afternoons as we could with friends; soft play dates, Hartbeeps baby group etc but I’ve always been worried that being “an only child” would cause her social development to be an issue.

As Ellie was 3 in November and myself and Luke both work over 16 hours were are entitled to the Government funded scheme where Ellie gets 30 hours of nursery care for free. I was concerned that starting her off full time would be too much but I also knew how ready she was to learn, I also knew the option to reduce a day or two was there if we needed it. Honestly though she has loved it so much! Yes she is tired, grumpy sometimes and desperately tries to have a 2 hour nap at 4pm meaning she is either falling asleep in her tea or still awake at 10pm but that will all come in time. I am so grateful that she can attend such a fantastic nursery as she has already gained so much from going.

She has come on so much with her learning, she comes home singing more nursery rhymes that I know, telling me about all the things she has played with and the numbers and phonics she has been doing. She recognises numbers to 20 and counts beyond 30! She’s got a passion for learning which I know will make her go far in life. She is beginning to recognise letter sounds and names and tells me all the rhymes she remembers to help them with formation. She has even started beginning to read words by segmenting the sounds she recognises…the other day she read the word CAT and I was gobsmacked!

Apart from the learning aspect of nursery, which honestly I couldn’t fault at all, she is so much more sociable than ever before. She can’t wait to get out of the car in a morning to speak to all the Teachers and Teaching Assistants she sees walking in to school (I guess it helps that I work in the school opposite and she knows a lot of the staff) and she’s so chatty to the children. She has developed friendships, asking where certain children are and whether they are coming and then saying hello to everyone as we all wait to be let in. She is the kindest little girl I know and she makes me so incredibly proud. She gets to come over to the big school and use the hall for PE, they go on Welly Walks every week and she comes home covered in mud but I don’t mind. She always has a story to tell, about her day, her friends. She gives me the biggest hug when I pick her up, she shouts my name and runs up to me as if she hasn’t seen me for weeks. After the first few days where she wouldn’t let me leave and I would come in to work knowing she was crying and feeling like I was doing the wrong thing she is now so confident, she has learnt the routine, she knows Mummy is coming back and she waves me off with a kiss and a cuddle before sitting by her bestie and having the time of her life. It’s such a simple innocence that I really hope she never has to lose.

I can’t wait to see what the next half term has in store for my little clever clogs and what amazing masterpieces she will bring home to us. I know one thing for sure, Ellie has missed seeing all her friends this week and has been carrying around her Valentines Card and showing it off to everyone she has seen “It’s from my Owen, I love him I do” (My heart just can’t cope!!)

For now I’m enjoying having her all to myself (and husband of cause) for the rest of the week. Although the weather has been truly shocking and due to local flooding we’ve been spending most of our days at home hiding from the wind and the rain.

Is it half term where you are? Let me know your tips on surviving rainy days at home with a nursery child!

Posted in parenting, product review

Review – Casdon Self -Service Supermarket Till

Ellie loves to role-play shopping and has really enjoyed testing out the Casdon Self-Service Supermarket Till. She’d had a really busy first week at nursery and she loved being able to play at home with her new toy.

Upon opening the box Ellie was slightly disappointed the till wasn’t already made (toddler problems right there!) and waited patiently for me to put it all together. The main base is made of three plastic parts that clip together easily then the counter attaches to the top. Thankfully the scanner comes ready made and slots into the counter. Its not difficult to set up at all however it did take me slightly longer to put all the stickers in place. I hate stickers on toys! The pressure to get them perfectly lined up is just too much with an over-excited toddler so I bribed her with snacks while I put them all on and made up the little food boxes.

However the time it takes to build and make up the boxes is definitely worth it once you’ve stocked the shelves full of branded goodies they know and love ready for play such as Hovis, Mr Kipling, Andrex and Birds Eye!

Once everything is assembled you are almost ready to play. The scanner itself needs 3 AAA batteries and works just like a scanner they’ve seen in the shops. It works on a light sensor so when items are passed through it it beeps like a real scanner. The buttons on the scanner also make a beep noise, there are two different noise levels so it doesn’t have to be too loud. The card machine on the side of the scanner also beeps when the numbers are pushed and coins put in can be given back as change when the button is pressed too.

The Self-Service till comes with a credit card, some notes and plastic coins that are great for teaching the basic skills of shopping and money. It also comes with a handy shopping basket to further develop imaginative play.

What We Think…

We love the bright colours, the bold red, blue and white are great primary colours and make it appealing for little children.

Ellie has really enjoyed acting out and pretending to be the shop-keeper scanning our shopping. She loves scanning different items and putting them in the basket, her imagination has developed lots since starting nursery so her play has developed too. It’s lovely to watch her play so happily. I love that she can use her own experiences of shopping in her play…although i’m not quite as keen on my milk costing me £20!!

The Casdon Self-Service Supermarket Till is perfect for pretend play; toddlers and pre-schoolers will love using their imagination and experiences to buy their own shopping and scan it themselves! For me, the realistic noises really add to the whole experience. Ellie can’t wait to have her friends round to play!

My only grumble would be the stickers…did I mention I really dislike stickers?

The Casdon Self-Service Supermarket Till is available from Hello Baby and at the time of posting is on offer at £49.09 with FREE UK DELIVERY.

Posted in Gifted, parenting, product review

Review – Doddl Cutlery Set

We have recently had the chance to work with Doddl to use and review their cutlery set. Ellie is 3 now and is confident in using a spoon and fork when eating however she’s suddenly decided she doesn’t like the feel of the plastic children’s cutlery we currently use and had started eating with her fingers again!
When the cutlery arrived Ellie got so excited about having her very own knife she couldn’t wait for tea time!

This Doddl cutlery set contains a Fork, Spoon and Knife.

The cutlery sets available from Doddl are suitable from 12 months upwards and are designed to suit children up to 5 years+. I loved that these sets contained a knife as I’ve only ever come across sets with a spoon and fork and Ellie is eager to try and cut her own food up, a skill many children don’t have by the time they reach school age.

The cutlery is designed with large metal ends for the spoon, fork and knife (a big hit with Ellie) and a short BPA Free plastic handle, the handles are designed to be shorter to help toddlers grip and have more control over their cutlery.
The cutlery itself has soft grip circles on the handles, typically where children would hold the cutlery, this develops an effective way to hold it ready to move on to adult cutlery.

Since using the cutlery Ellie is growing in confidence using her special knife, I was concerned to begin with as I worried about her cutting herself but Doddl have worked hard to ensure their products are fully safe to use and are functionally sharp, meaning although they are sharp enough to cut food they will not hurt a child using them. Of cause, being watchful of them when they eat is something we all do its just handy knowing they are safe if you do happen to be multitasking like all parents do.

Ellie can now cut her own fish fingers, chips and carrots up which gives her a huge sense of independence that all toddlers need, she loves feeling like she’s grown up like we are. It’s certainly made our meal times much easier!

Another big plus to the Doddl cutlery is the cleaning! They are so easy to clean, we’ve used Ellie’s for a few weeks now and I’ve not had any issues with food getting stuck in between the prongs in the fork or food getting stuck between the plastic handles. They are dishwasher safe (if you are lucky enough to have one…I’m the dishwasher in our house) but they can be cleaned easily enough by hand too.

The Doddl range also includes a Fork and Spoon set, a baby specific set and you can purchase the knife separately too! The also offer a handy carry case which is perfect as we have taken our cutlery with us whenever we have eaten out, it’s changed the way Ellie eats in cafes and restaurants so much. All of these can be found in various colours, ours is in Raspberry Pink, at www.doddl.com or you can head to Amazon UK to purchase them too. I couldn’t recommend them enough.

Disclosure: I was gifted a set of Doddl cutlery in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. #gifted #AD

Posted in Gifted, parenting, product review

My-Picture.co.uk Review

I’m the sort of parent who seems to have her camera on all the time. I’m always trying to take a picture of Ellie. Part of it is because I know how important photographs are more so since losing Jason and only having a certain amount of pictures of him and never being able to take more but also because I am the sort of person who just takes hundreds of pictures! I remember coming back from a weekend break with Luke and having over 2000 pictures to sort through!

I’m also the sort of person who likes these pictures in the physical form and not just on her phone. So I was very excited when I was offered a collaboration with My-Picture.co.uk who were very generous in giving me £50 to spend as I wished!

It didn’t take me long to know I definitely wanted to order a canvas, after reading some of their customer reviews my mind was made up! My living room has quite a large chimney breast wall so I opted for the 60cm x 40cm print (this also was the best fit to the dimensions of the photo I chose). The ordering process was really straightforward, I simply uploaded the photo I wanted, chose the canvas size and entered my details. I liked the fact I could customise my canvas by choosing the frame thickness and what the edging looked like.

For my canvas I chose the 2cm thicnkness and to have a white edge instead of the photo being stretched. There is also the option to add text to the canvas however I did not do this.

The canvas print now hangs proudly above our sofa and takes pride of place on our wall. It’s lovely to walk in and see them. The photo quality is great, even with pictures taken on my mobile and they are so light they hang on the wall with a single nail. The canvas itself is made from spruce wood making it sturdy enough to support the canvas print.

As well as canvas prints My-Picture.co.uk also offers a range of photo gifts such as personalised cushion, blankets mugs and even towels! I also chose to order one of their personalised photo puzzles to include in Ellie’s Christmas Eve box. I used a picture taken of our family visiting Santa as I knew it would be a special puzzle we can do at Christmas for years to come. The puzzle is made from a sturdy cardboard and is complete with a glossy finish. There are 88 pieces stamped with a photo of your own choice.

I would highly recommend My-Picture.co.uk and I am already planning to use them again for birthday presents for both our parents within the year. If you’d like to check them out yourself I’ll drop their social media links below 🙂

Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

Disclosure: I was gifted a gift voucher to purchase a product of choice by My-Picture.co.uk in exchange for an honest review. All views, photographs and opinions are my own.

Posted in motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting

Happy New Year

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like 2019 flew by? I don’t think I’ve had a single month where we haven’t been busy. I have neglected my little space on the internet and have felt quite lonely without it at times.

I have taken some time to really think about what I want from this space in the next 12 months and questioned whether I needed it any more. I do, but not in the same way as I did when I first started blogging. At the beginning blogging was a way for me to talk openly about Jason and my grief because I wasn’t able to do this in real life. I talked about him but only to a certain point that I knew friends and family could cope with. I couldn’t fully open up because honestly I knew the truth wouldn’t sit well with them.

I still love writing about him but once his story has been written and rewritten and written again there isn’t much else to say that hasn’t already been said. His story unfortunately doesn’t change, I can’t add anything new because he’s not here and that STILL hurts as much as the day I left him at the hospital. At the same time I enjoy writing about Ellie, her little quirks and personality is one of a kind. She brings a whole new meaning to fiery but she also brings more happiness than I ever thought possible.

So I decided I would make some goals to help me with this space and with the next 12 months. There is so much going on again this year and I am feeling excited to share the collaborations i’ve got lined up and more of our adventures as a family along the way!

So here are my 2020 goals:

  • To make time to write more (simply because this has been a difficult thing the last few months especially!)
  • To remember the happy times and not focus on the bad.
  • To engage more with other bloggers!

Here are my 2020 goals for my social media accounts:

  • To reach 10K followers on Instagram (I do follow genuine accounts back!)
  • To engage more with other bloggers, influencers and parents.
  • To develop my photography/editing skills
  • Don’t focus on ONLY posting the Instagram-worthy posts
  • BE REAL!

I’d love to hear your goals for 2020, write them in the comments and lets support each other. Trolls as SO 2019.