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Showing posts from August, 2018

7 Top Tips for Shopping with Food Allergies

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My son was 5 months old when we finally established that the reason for his slow weight gain, reflux, explosive nappies, wheezing and general discomfort was CMPA - Cows' Milk Protein Allergy.

As we were just about to  embark on weaning we had to learn to shop for allergies pretty quickly, and by this point my maternity pay had stopped so we had to do it on a budget. One stroll down the "free from" aisle in any supermarket will tell you that allergy shopping can get pretty expensive pretty quickly, so here are my top tips for allergy shopping:

1. Plan meals around things that don't usually contain your allergen(s) It might seem obvious but sometimes its hard to see past 'replacement' items and look at what is already available to you. For us there are a lot of things that are fine to eat without changing anything. Pasta, noodles, rice, bread and potatoes are usually all dairy free as are fresh fruit and veg and meats. for people wit…

8 things I wish I knew would happen postpartum

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Before Olivia was born, I didn’t give very much thought to what would happen postpartum. The extent of my worrying into that period was limited to my mental health, as I was already suffering from antenatal depression. But, actually, there are a lot of things that I wish I had known about what I would experience in the days and weeks postpartum. Warning, some of them are gross, but childbirth is gross so I’m not apologising!

1. The first poo
Sorry to start off on possibly the most cringeworthy one, but holy mother of Christ... the first poo is a bitch. I tried to go for days. Days of needing it but not being able to get it out... it’s such a glorious and magical time... not. 
A friend of mine who has just qualified as a midwife and was training at the time recommended that I try Lactulose (a liquid laxative). Hey, presto! It worked! But it takes a few days to kick in - so if you’re expecting, get some in the house ready for when you need it! 
2. The first wee

Mental Health Monday: I'm taking control... Anxiety vs social media

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I have an anxiety disorder. There it is, I said it. Phew! That wasn't so hard I guess... but I'm someone who doesn't openly discuss my anxiety issues, (being a bit of a proud and stubborn person), I still find it hard to admit that I have difficulties, which were on a daily basis. But here I am opening up about it and who better to share it with than you lovely mums?

I came off Facebook earlier this year and I've not looked back. When I realised that it was causing problems for my mental health, I decided it was best for me to finally ditch it.

Facebook has over the years been a great way for me, (like most people who use it), to stay in touch with old friends and new, but as my long-term relationship broke down, it was visually obvious just how much I had lost in the process. Seeing that old friends and family were deleting me out of their lives, after years together, took its toll on me and contributed towards my illness. Memories popping …

Clothing for Curvy Mummas - Where is hot and where is not!

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In the first few months after I had Flo, I had sort of accepted that my life as Harriet was over. I think “accepting” this was my way of rationalising that it was okay to not give a shit about myself anymore. I had signed myself up for a life of over sized tops and leggings and I was more than okay with that.

A few months and a few mental health medications down the line, I was clearly in a better mind set. I accepted myself and made sure that I accepted body. After all, it had grown a perfect little mini me, so I couldn’t have been that bad, right?

I slowly got back into who I was. I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself, I’d always loved being different and realising that there were markets that cater for my new shape, identity, style and body really allowed me to get back to finding who I am.

Trawling through ASOS and favouriting items until I’m brave enough to buy them (or they go down in price!) has played a massive part in rediscovering ‘Harriet’-
I cou…

Foetal Distress... Where my labour went wrong

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I was in slow labour for a solid 2 weeks. I'd had 2 sweeps and I remember so vividly on New Year's Day going into hospital for a midwife to say, "something is definitely happening, you're 2cm now rather than 1." Woohoo! One whole cm in a week, I thought to myself... I practically sulked in the car on the way home.

The next day, things picked up, so we went back up to the hospital. This time I was told; "okay, you're 3cm. I don't want to send you home as I can see your contractions are really picking up, but I really need either your waters to go or for you to be 4cm, can you try walking for me and we can get things going", Despite being booked to be induced the next day on my due date...I became a woman on a mission.

After some lunges, walks and a bumpy car ride the midwife checked me again. "Yep, you're 4cm...and....there go your waters, you're in labour"... HALLELUJAH.

I remember looking at the mid…

A daddy's view on postpartum mental illness...

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Hello everyone! I've been a bit quiet on the blog recently as my gorgeous husband is back from Afghanistan for a very short 12 days. 
But... making the most of him being back in the UK (currently in partially cloudy Clacton), I've roped him into doing an interview in what I hope will be the first of many in the Daddykind Corner segment of our blog! 
So we'll consider this a trial run on a topic for our usual #MentalHealthMonday posts...

What do you remember about your two girls being born?

Apart from them being 6 years apart? With Kiera I was being asked every two minutes if I was going to cry. I'd just got back from Afghanistan and that was when 3 guys from my regiment had just been killed. Kiera's nan was annoying me, asking if I was going to cry, and made a comment about me reading the newspaper story about my friends who had died in Afghanistan. She was very overbearing.
With Olivia, I remember playing Cotton Eye Joe at 6am while Sar…

5 top tips to reduce your household plastic wastage

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Many of us have been made more aware of our plastic usage since Blue Planet II was aired, and due to the 'blue planet effect' many people have begun to attempt to reduce their plastic wastage. I'm a big believer in looking after the environment and trying to live a sustainable lifestyle, so here are some top tips on reducing the waste and use of plastic in your home.



1. Try plastic free cleaning

White vinegar diluted with 3 parts water makes for a great surface cleaner. You can buy it in bulk to avoid buying cleaner in unnecessarily small cleaning bottles, plus buying in bulk means there's always some around and you're unlikely to be caught out with nothing to clean up with. Plus, if you're not keen on the vinegar smell, here's a tip - pop some vinegar in a big glass jar, and fill with citrus peels. The longer you leave it in the fridge, the stronger the citrus smell. Big efficiency, small cost.

2. Switch up your bathroom supplies

Why I'm happy being a single mum

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So, recently I have had friends all asking the same question... "Isn't it time you settled down?" And let's not forget dear old Aunt Barbara at the family meals asking why I'm still single. The reason to it all is because, in a warped kinda way, I'm happy being single.

The truth is I don't have the time for a relationship. I work full time and around caring for Oliver I am left with perhaps 5% free time - split that free time between friends and time to myself (that is 0%), and I am not prepared to sacrifice any of that on a relationship.  "You deserve to be happy,a dear friend said to me recently, and they are right. I DO deserve to be happy, but I replied to her by saying "but what makes you think I'm not happy?" I love the independence I have being a single mum and the freedom it gives me.

Freedom? Something I never thought that I would say in the same sentence as being a single mum, but the truth o…

My Menstrual Cup Changed My Life

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I got my first period when I was 12 and was perpetually embarrassed by periods for the next ten years. Ten whole years of negative feeling towards my body just doing its thing, like they do. The idea of a menstrual cup came up when I was around the same age, maybe 13 or so.

The brand that was mentioned was a Mooncup - and I kid you not, until I was 22 years old I thought they were exclusively for menstruating astronauts because you can’t change used tampons or pads in space. I also thought they were a medical device that was left in there for the duration of the period because… well… Space.
Needless to say, I was VERY wrong. Now I wish I had spent more than 3 seconds thinking this over as a teenager and actually done some research.
After deciding to use cloth nappies, a fairly natural progression from there is the use of cloth sanitary pads and other reusable menstrual products. I had seen other cloth nappy users mention “CSP” and “RUMPs” and one night, pinned und…

Mental Health Monday: Struggling With Depression or Anxiety?

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Today's blog post is a special contribution from Anna Kucirkova. Anna speaks 3 languages has a passion for kids and writing. While she has been to many places in Europe and South East Asia she still wants to explore the rest of the world.
Struggling with depression or anxiety? Here's what you need to know! Anxiety and depression are broad terms that can induce some anxiety just by researching and thinking about them. Oftentimes the two conditions overlap, which creates a confusing set of symptoms that both overwhelms and causes you to feel extremely low. 

If you believe that you may be affected by anxiety and/or depression, take a deep breath--you are not alone. The effects are serious but also fully manageable with the right tactics.

In this article, we’re going to examine the vicious combination of anxiety and depression to understand how they are related and how the latest research helps us understand the connection between them.
What Are Anxiety and …