Reviews

inspired by Hannah over at Mums Days and her 2015 Castle challenge, I set myself the rather more modest challenge of visiting one of the local castles which we had never been too.

Stafford Castle - sharing our winter adventures to Stafford Castle

What a lovely surprise and what a shame we hadn’t visited before now! It was a great afternoon out.  There is not a great deal left of the actual castle, but there is a nice visitors centre, and lots of information boards dotted about.

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We arrive after a short drive and found, much to our surprise, that the parking was free… where has free parking nowadays? From the carpark it is a short walk up to the site of the castle.

Stafford Castle

The weather was a little on the cold side, but were were all wrapped up warm and ready to get our shoes muddy!  It was the first time we had taken Boo to somewhere like this without the pram/trike and she did amazingly well to walk as far as she did! And there were lots of little hills which she dealt with really well.

There are information boards dotted about the site with lots of interesting information on, which would be great for older children to either have read to them or read themselves.  There was also a marvelous circular board which had lots of places of local interest listed on it showing the direction and the distance.

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The ruins of the castle are really beautiful and I had great fun trying to take some photos of things other than my cheeky Boo!!

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The view from Stafford Castle ruins themselves is amazing, and I honestly don’t think my photo does it justice.

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Boo enjoyed exploring the ruins, and we were lucky in that there were only a few other people around, so she could run free!  The walk up to the castle had caused some difficulties and we did have one slip over, and some muddy knees, but a day out isn’t complete without a bit of mud!!

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castle5At certain points, I must admit it did feel like we were in the movie Labyrinth!

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We had to have a stop on the way back to the car so that Boo could have a rest and check the mud on her knees was still there!  Daddy was on hand to carry a tired Boo back the rest of the way back to the carpark, (which was about 5 minute walk at normal speed). Though I think I was a bit slow, as I was stopping to take pictures as Boo kept looking round and waving at me!

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All in all we had a really great time at Stafford Castle, I think it’s marvelous and it’s a real shame we haven’t been before now!  I think it would be even better in the summer and we intend to go back with a picnic!

Family Fever

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

Let's Talk Mommy

 

Having suffered with Hyperemesis Gradivarum (HG) when I was pregnant with Boo I was really pleased when I found out that Hyperemesis Gravidarum – The Definitive Guide had been published when I reading the amazing Spewing Mummy blog.

Oh how I wish I had had access to this book and the Pregnancy Sickness Support Website when I was pregnant.

I ordered the book from Amazon, and couldn’t wait to get reading, this is especially interesting for me as we are still considering whether another child is an option for us and of course HG plays a part in that decision.

The book is written by two HG survivors and awesome bloggers, Caitlin Dean who blogs at Spewing Mummy and Amanda Shortman who blogs at The  Family Patch.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum - The Definitive Guide

The book is a perfect reference book, neat easy sections and chapters, make it easy to read in the order you choose and find the information you want to reread again.  The book is divided into four sections;

Part 1 – About Hyperemesis
Part 2 – The Hyperemesis Journey
Part 3 – Life After Hyperemesis
Part 4 – Resources and Appendix

I headed straight for Part 3 as that was the most relevant to me at the stage I am currently at in my HG journey, it discusses everything from dealing with the aftermath, ‘getting back to normal’ and ‘dealing with the Mental Health Legacy of HG’.  I have read the rest of the book now, and I can honestly say that this book is truly fantastic, an amazing support mechanism for anyone who is suffering, or has suffered from HG.  I was surprised that changes I have felt after pregnancy are actually fairly common among HG survivors, it is nice to know that just as others are there to share your HG journey, they are also there for afterwards, and for while you consider going through it all again, or for while you mourn the baby that will never be.

When I first started reading HG: The Definitive Guide I did start to get panicky, as it did bring back a lot of memories from when I was pregnant.  It brought back feelings that I had buried (or had been obscured by the sleepless fog that is having a new born!)  But this is a good thing, as you need to remember what you went through in order to properly decide if you can do it again, whilst looking after your current child/children.

The depth of the book and the amount of research that has gone into the book is truly awe-inspiring, I could not think of a single thing that had been missed out of the book. All my questions were answered, I felt supported and comforted and the experiences that the authors and others had shared in the book.

But above all, after reading the book I felt three things;

1.  I felt like someone truly understood what I had gone through.  It felt like a wave hitting me, it was a feeling of relief, to know that Hyperemesis Gravidarum – The Definitive Guide is now out there to help other women suffering from HG and dealing with it’s lasting effects.

2. I also felt sad, reading this book made me realise how lacking my care was during my pregnancy.  I was let down by healthcare professionals.  There are lots of options available to women suffering from HG and the worse thing is for them to be told they just have to put up and shut up.  HG is incredibly isolating and women need to know that healthcare professionals will advise them as best they can and not just dismiss them, and their suffering.

3. I felt supported, there is a specific, in depth section on ‘trying again’, it makes you feel less crazy for even considering the possibility of going through HG again (HG survivors have about at 86% chance of suffering again – so the odds are not in our favour!).  There is a detailed questionnaire to fill in, and guidance about treatment options including pre-emptive treatment.  When you are suffering from HG you can barely function, so trying to persuade a dismissive G.P you need more support is impossible, the book advocated getting a plan in place before hand, this is invaluable advice.

I cannot rate this book highly enough, it really is the definitive guide (there is even an section for partners to read about how best to help and support their pregnant partner).

Hyperemesis Gravidarum – The Definitive Guide is the must read book for anyone who is suffering from HG, or has suffered from HG.  It contains pretty much everything you need to know from medication options, mental health recovered after, trying again or having a one child family,  and how to deal with healthcare professionals to ensure you get the best care possible.

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Family Fever

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Last month I won a competition over at What the Redhead Said for a Child’s Farm Top to Toesie Cleaning Kit. I was really happy I won (who doesn’t like winning things!) as I had been looking for some bubble bath etc for Boo.

So when my parcel arrived I was really excited to see what these products were going to be like, until very recently we have only been washing Boo in water, so I was looking forward to trying out some bubble baths!

Child's Farm Review

The kit comes in a nice resealable plastic wallet and contains;

Hair & body wash for dirty rascals
Hand & body lotion for silky skin
Bubble bath for sweet dreams

Each of these three bottles smells so lovely, it was like Boo was a newborn again, I kept sniffing her hair… I am not weird, honest.  Though I am a sucker for mandarin scented things!

Not only do they smell nice, but everything is organic and suitable from newborn which is great, and as the Child’s Farm website states this pack is ideal for travelling, or as a gift.  We have taken it away with us twice and it is so handy, and the wallet is great for keeping everything together.

The body wash, bubble bath and lotion are also dermatologist approved for sensitive skin and eczema which is great, I suffer with sensitive skin, so I always prefer to use products that are for sensitive skin, just in case Boo’s is sensitive too.

The bubble bath makes lots of lovely bubbles that makes Boo’s baths so much more fun and the lotion has helped with the small patches of dry skin that Boo had.

I will definitely be buying some more of the Child’s Farm Bubble Bath, Body Lotion and Body Wash as they smell lovely and they agree with Boo’s skin.

Family Fever

I recently bought Boo a Reversible Waterproof Jacket from Jojo Maman Bebe, as she needed a warm and waterproof jacket and I couldn’t find any in my local stores so I hit the web.  I am not a great fan of shopping online for clothes as I like feel them and see the fabric but I am so glad I bought this jacket.

Reversible Waterproof Jacket

I ordered the coat and I was very impressed by how quickly it arrived, I was expecting the best part of a week at least.  And it’s always nice to get post that isn’t a bill!

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I love the design, we went for Meadow as it was the design that I thought would suit most of Boo’s clothes and I am a bit of a sucker for the colour pink. As you can see from my blog header and other photos I have been posting recently Boo has pretty much been living in it.

We have been to the park several times, even when the weather is cold and it keeps her toasty warm, even when she manages to pull and throw away her mittens her hands are still warm because of her coat.

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The fleece part, which Boo usually wears on the inside is so soft and fluffy and is a beautiful deep fushia colour.  The hood is great, it is large and the elastic at the front means that it doesn’t get blown down by the wind.  There are mitten hooks too which will be very useful, as Boo loves to take off her mittens and throw them away!

I am really impressed by the design, attention to detail and general great quality of the coat, there is a small label to write your children’s name inside one of the pockets and the back of the coat is slightly longer which helps keep them extra warm, as it doesn’t expose their lower back when sitting. The elasticated cuffs on the sleeves also help make the coat wind resistant and warm.

The reversible waterproof jacket cost £17.00 and I think is excellent value for money.  I bought it in size 12-18 months for Boo and it is, admittedly a little on the large side at the minute, which is that I expected but the quality means that she will, weather permitting, get a lot of use out of it, and I do think it will last for at least 6 months if not a lot longer.

Family Fever

I recent bought these Hape Wooden Qubes Farm Animals, I saw them on sale and bought them on a whim and I am really glad I did, as Boo loves them.

My Review of the Hape Wooden Farm Animals

I bought them with the intention of starting to teach Boo about different animals, (and of course because I am a sucker for wooden toys).  We have been using them to sing Old MacDonald and learn the different animal names and noises, and Boo has also been giving them a good old chew.  Boo has also started to stack them, when the blocks are laying on their side, which is unusual for Boo as she usually just likes to knock things over and take them apart!

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They come in a plastic tube which can be used to store them in, and a lovely handle with a wooden heart.  It’s finishing touches like this which make things seem a bit special, and I think they would make a really lovely gift.

The Wooden Farm Animals are for 12 months+ and contain 12 lovely painted farm animals, there are other packs available, such as Safari Animals, Sea Animals & Dinosaurs, all of which looked lovely and brightly coloured and I think Boo would love to play with any of the packs.

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I paid £4.99 for these wooden farm animals in a sale and I think they were well worth it.  I can see Boo getting a lot of use out of them.  They are very versatile and can be used for learning about animals, the names and noises and are a great prop for songs like Old MacDonald.

Family Fever
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